January 22, 2009

Taupo: Part One

Here we are!!

On Monday we packed up and headed off to Taupo for two nights. Michael visited Taupo and stayed over night a few months back with his biker buddies, the photos he returned with were amazing so we just had to head up there whilst Lynn was here to enjoy the sights and sounds of such and amazing area.

Lake Taupo is in fact a volcano that is currently considered to be dormant rather than extinct. It is the largest fresh water lake in Australasia, and approximately the same size as Singapore. Taupo itself attracts roughly 1.2 million tourists a year!

So we headed off early Monday morning dropping Denver off along the way at his new kennels (a post to follow on that soon!). Just a little under 5 hours later we arrived. The journey was good, Bethany has always been such a good little traveller, but having Grandma in the back with her made it even more special.

We took Highway 1 which is literally a straight route all the way. Passing through the Desert Road. Given the name as it is literally open land resembling the desert. The poor soil quality and howling winds cause chaos. Not to mention the flash flooding and heaving snow fall in Winter, this making this whole area uninhabited. As we drove on the Desert Road the temperature dramatically dropped from 22 degrees Celsius to 11 degrees Celsius!

We were staying at a Motel called Alpine Lake Motel, which was newly built and very nice. Michael and I managed to get a room to ourselves whilst Bethany was absolutely beyond excited at the fact she got to share a room with Grandma!!

So wasting no time we headed out. We were absolutely desperate to see some of the natural wonders of the world and so we headed to Huka Falls.

Huka Falls is actually a set of waterfalls on the Waikato River that drains Lake Taupo. The sheer force of this water flow is just breath taking, with this being the only way the water can get out it is no wonder! We spent some time here just gazing in awe at it all.

Next up we drove to Craters Of The Moon. The craters are significant as one of the very few geothermal areas in the world that appeared as a result of human actions. Due to the somewhat poisonous fumes and the fact that ground temperatures around steam vents can reach dangerous levels, the paths and board walkways that allow access to the field are relaid at irregular intervals to bypass them. All the work done here is by volunteers.

It amazed us all to see such an vast piece of land filled with plumes of steam rising from all different areas. We could hear some hissing and popping and the feeling of the steam on your skin was wonderful. We of course wont mention the smell that comes with it all!! We were also treated to some rain. Not the nice light type but the horizontal wild spray that made people run!!

Later on we headed back to enjoy the sights of Taupo. It’s such a beautiful city, the waterfront is stunning as it looks over to the snow capped peaks of Mount Ruapehu. We had a gorgeous walk before sitting down at the waterfront and enjoying a lovely meal, the sun shone and we were treated to the most lovely sunset. We even had time once we got back to the Motel to relax in the jacuzzi bathtub!

With day one proving to be an already amazing experience we couldn’t wait for day two, which was a trip to Rotorua.

To view all the photos click here.

 

To be continued…

 

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Comments

  • Sarah

    January 22, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Brilliantly written post Marrisa. Thank you for writing and sharing your wonderful time together (and I know every time you take time to write, it takes you away from having precious time together).

    I really enjoyed this post so much, you have truly captured the memories, feelings and fun of the trip, as well as some really interesting information about beautiful Taupo.

    Can’t wait to read the next installment – all in good time though!

    Lots of love to you and your family,

    Sarah

  • Tanya

    January 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Sounds like you had a great holiday! It certainly brings back memories. Next time the Spa Park walk on the other side of Huka Falls (over the bridge go right I think away from the viewing platform)is an easy scenic walk along the river, through some really big trees and even gives a sneaky view of Huka Lodge (the closest we ever got!). The best bit is near the Taupo bungy site where a few minutes in is a wee bridge that crosses a hot water stream. The temperature is just about perfect where the hot water meets the cool Waikato. Our two loved it when they were teeny tinies. We have a great shot of them age 3 and 7 on the track.

  • Mam Lee

    January 23, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Great post as ever all of you will have some great memories especially Lynn, I know it will be getting close to Lynn leaving you so wish her a safe journey home.x

  • Kya

    January 25, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Oh, I love Taupo! I can’t wait to read about the rest of your trip!