Lake and sunshine
19.11.2012 - 21.11.2012
The next morning we were back on the bus and we drove a short distance to go to the Te Puia Thermal Park where there are geysers and hot mud pools from all the geothermic activity in the area. There is also a lot of information about the Maori culture and we even saw a few of the warriors from the night before working there! Our Maori tour guide took us around showing us various cultures like wood carving and weaving and then took us to one of the smaller geysers where the water was naturally boiling. He put two bags of eggs in there to cook us some hard boiled eggs for breakfast! Then we saw the mud pools and the big geyser that erupts roughly every 15 mins, it was quite an amazing sight. After we had eaten our eggs we went to the Kiwi bird enclosure where it was really dark and we had to be quiet and weren’t allowed to take photos. The Kiwi birds are strange looking things and are bigger than you might think, they’re about the same size as a chicken!
After that we got back on the bus to drive to Taupo. Taupo is one of the main places to do lots of adventure activities such as skydiving and bungy jumping. As I have already done a skydive in Australia I decided not to do one again. One reason is because it’s so expensive but also the skydive I did in Mission Beach was just so totally amazing that I knew it couldn’t really be topped so there wasn’t a lot of point spending all that money to do it again. Jonny did do a skydive though and he really enjoyed it. This is the first place we’ve come to so far on the tour where we are actually staying for more than one night – we’re staying two nights so that means that we were able to go out and have some fun in the evening! Well actually not everyone could go out because one of the activities happening the next day is a serious 12 mile hike for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. I would really have loved to have done it because apparently the views are supposed to be amazing but we were warned that the first 3 miles are completely uphill and you will encounter all 4 seasons of weather and that you really need a reasonable level of fitness to get through it which I just know I don’t have. If there wasn’t any uphill and I was able to go at my own snail-like pace instead of keeping up with everyone else then I probably could have handled it but I knew I couldn’t. Jonny decided to take the challenge though so that meant he couldn’t come out in the evening as they were being picked up at 6.30am for the walk! I went out and had a good time with some of the other people from the bus.
The next morning Jonny and some of the others got up and left super early for the hike and the rest of us enjoyed a lie in for the first time since getting on the bus! I had a shower and then spent the morning sorting out my photos and typing up these blogs! At lunchtime I met up with some people and went to get some food and then we spent the afternoon walking down by Lake Taupo and sitting in the first proper sunshine we’ve seen so far in New Zealand! Then I went back to the hostel and soon after Jonny got back from the hike. He enjoyed the views but found it very hard work and confirmed that there was no way I would have been able to manage it! He though that he wasn’t going to be able to finish it at one point it was that difficult! Everyone else found it hard too and they all complained about their legs aching for ages! Once they had showered and done some laundry we all went out to eat. We decided to just go to the hostel bar to get pizza but soon regretted it when 40 minutes had gone by and we still hadn’t received our food! Jonny was shattered so we just watched a film in the evening and went to bed.
Next stop is River Valley!