Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lake Taupo

June 2010

Our original plans had been to take the drive out to Whakatane for a trip out to White Island, an active marine volcano, however due to poor weather we went to our back up plan - Lake Taupo.

Lake Taupo is about a 80 kilometer drive from Rotorua, or around an hour. Our first stop was the visitors centre to check out the different options we had in the area. DH already had his mind set on the Hukafalls Jet, so off we set. It was overcast and well, raining, but that didn't stop us from being the only 2 passengers in the boat for a spectacular ride to the spectacular Huka falls. Once we finished our lone jet ride, we took the short drive to the lookout to the falls. The Huka Falls, while only over a 20 meter drop, gush 220,000 litres of water every second.

Once leaving the Huka Falls, we took another short drive to visit the Aratiatia Rapids. A damned section of the Waikato river, the dam is released a certain number of times a day (three in winter) so that you can experience what was once the largest rapids in Australasia. Look familiar? It was also the site (or one of many in NZ) of a scene from Lord of the Rings 2. Can you pick which one?

Once leaving the rapids, we headed back to town to enjoy a burger at Burger Fuel, a New Zealand gourmet burger chain. The burger was wonderful, filing but wonderful.

After lunch we headed down to the boat harbour to catch an afternoon cruise around the lake and to see the maori rock carvings. These carvings are over 10 meters high and only accessabl;e by boat. They are quite impresive, but due to the poor weather the rocking boat made it difficult to get many good shots.

After a great crusie, but a long day we got in the car and started the shortish trip back to Rotorua.

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