This thermal attraction is located fairly close to Taupo.
You rock up to the carpark and there's an entrance gate where they're ready to take you money.
Once through you walk on well defined tracks, often boardwalks, through a myriad of different pools and steaming vents.
All in all I again found it interesting but not overwhelming.
We had sort of hoped this would make up for our lack of enthusiasm for Hidden Valley but it was just more of the same and Hidden Valley would definitely be our pick of the two.
When you've finished your walk along the beach you might chance a venture into the delightful park that sits adjacent to the Information Centre.
There's an assortment of flower beds (pic 1), sculptures (2,3,4) including the big trout and there's the Maori gateway that leads to the beach (pic 5).
It's a pleasant activity to do on a balmy day. You can watch planes land (pic 2), feed the ducks (pic 3), smell the flowers (pic 4) or see the mountain across the lake (pic 5). All things are calculated to give you a serene feeling as you stroll along the waterfront of New Zealand's largest lake.
The Huka Falls is listed as New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction.
You can walk there, catch a boat there or, do as I did and view them from the air.
They literally thunder over the drop and provide tourists with a photo opportunity they love; I shudder to think how many snaps a day are averaged here. Personally, I like falls in a rainforest but I can't deny the magnetism of this roaring body of water - more than 220,000 litres of water tumbles over the cliff face per second!
Set in Wairakei Tourist Park, just a short drive north of Taupo (you could walk it if you're fit), there is an Information Centre located by the falls and several viewing platforms provide excellent vantage points but none like the one I had.
Of course, where there's a big lake one is apt to find boats and people mucking about in same.
The marina at Taupo is tucked around a corner and not immediately visible on your entry to the town on the main road. Better to go for a walk and discover it as we did (pic 5).
There's certainly a variety here, from cruisers to yachts, but I couldn't help but wonder if any have ever come loose from their moorings and drifted off down the Waikato River to Huka Falls, which isn't that far away. Now there would be something to see. The Waikato is, incidentally, the only river draining the lake, though several feed into it, particularly from the snow clad mountains in the distance.
Boating is generally a summer activity, a view reinforced by the number we saw on the waters during our stay. If you haven't got your own you can hire one.......if you have the money of course.
Couldn't resist the horse (pic 2) but, after I'd fed him one bit of grass, he could certainly resist me. Walked off in a huff. There you go, rejected again.
Still, that left me with the wonderful scenery to look at and none is more dramatic than Castle Rock. We had just visited Tirau and were on our way home via the scenic route, somewhere on the back roads near Arohena when we came across the area I shot these photos in.
It makes for a lovely day out and the rewards of exploring are manifold.
A forty-five minute one-way walk from Taupo will bring you to New Zealand’s most powerful waterfall, Huka Falls. The falls are impressive in their own way, and this is a pleasant walk that is worth doing if you end up spending any considerable time in Taupo.
This is a 40-45 minute walk around a geothermal area. It is a collection of steaming vents with a couple of more interesting mud and water 'features'.
My wife was not overly excited about the place, but I thought it was ok - it was only $12 for a family ticket.
Basically good, but if you want steaming terraces, geysers and fire and brimstone etc, then you are probably better off heading elsewhere. When you find a good one, please email me!!!!
The best way to view Lake Taupo and get an idea as to its size is to see it from the air. Most travelers opt for the hair-raising adrenalin rush of jumping out of an aeroplane and are usually too scared to take in the view on the brief hurtle towards the earth. For a more leisurley option why not go for a flight in a sail-plane and enjoy the sounds of the wind rushing by whilst seated upright in a sturdy airframe! You will also get around 30 mins of either watching the scenery, or testing your ability to stay aloft with the elements. A far better (and cheaper) option. The members at Taupo club are a friendly bunch and everyone works together to ensure that you have a memorable experience.
The other bonus of this experience is that you get to meet normal people going about their usual lives and get out of the "tourist rat-race" where you are constantly being enticed to part with your cash.
They will pick you up from your hostel / hotel if you book in advance!
Feel the exhilaration and the power of a Huka Jet jetboat ride.
It’s 30 minutes of pure fun and exhilaration, skimming close to cliffs, sliding past trees, feeling the adrenalin of our full 360 degree spins.
Rates valid from the October 1st, 2006 to September 30th, 2007 is NZD$89.00 for adult and NZD$49 for child 15 years and under. If I'm not mistaken... The time I went on Huka Jet (tat was in Dec. 2004) was only NZD$75 for adult.
Located in the stunning volcanic Waikato River Valley, Taupo Bungy is considered one of the world’s most spectacular bungy sites. It's a must try activity when you're in Taupo. U can even jump free if you jump naked!!! =P
Taupo Bungy is open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Too bad i went there on Christmas... Else I might have tried it.
The jump costs NZD$99 for a solo jump and NZD$198 for a tandem bungy jump.
Lake Taupo is a very picturesque place that is bumbling with locals and tourists alike all year round.
For the keen anglers, you can go fly fishing for Rainbow Trout which was introduced from California in 1883 and Brown Trout from Scotland that came via Tasmania in 1867. There are many tours available on the many lakes at Taupo.
Approx. 1 hours drive away, are New Zealands largest Ski areas, Whakapapa Ski Field, located at Mt Ruapehu and Tukino Ski Field which is a club operated ski field that is open to the public but offers a combination of adventure and lack of crowds.
Catch some sun and practice your swing on the lake front 'Hole in One Driving Range'. The goal is to hit the golf over the water, onto the island and make a hole in one. No Mulligans allowed here, you miss-you lose. And if you want to try again, you'll have to use another ball. Pretty tough goal, I wonder how many people actually ever get a hole in one.More importantly, I wonder how often the lake gets dredged to collect all those missed shots!
If you have even one ounce of adventure in your system, and you obviously do if you're in NZ, then you must try Bungy Jumping!
There are many choices in NZ if you'd like to try it, here's where I did it. I would certainly do it again!!
At Taupo Bungy, I bought a package that included two jumps, a video, a T-shirt and some digital photos. I usually don't go for those sort of things, but I had to commemorate this personal occasion.
Located just to the South of Lake Taupo is Tongariro National Park. Tongariro is the home to several different activities and some great adventure hikes.
Sarah and I did not have enough time in our agenda to do any of the hikes, but for those of you who are interested, Pam (Kiwi) has a great page on the hike across Tongariro.