The drive from Rotorua to Lake Taupo was 90 minutes of non-intensive driving, which was well received after drive we endured to get to Rotorua the day prior. To me, Taupo was very much a conference town; perfect to go for a week of meetings, or to impress/sign a client, however not all that much to do otherwise. That being said, we had one of the best meals of our trip to date at a restaurant called The Brantry which specialises in contemporary New Zealand cuisine. The most perfect salt and pepper squid I have ever eaten with a duck confit went perfectly with the bottle of Aronui Pinot Noir, from New Zealand’s leading Maori owned winery.
Just outside Taupo there are a couple of noteworthy sites that we spent a little time exploring. The first was the geothermal walked called Craters of the Moon. A relatively new phenomenon in New Zealand’s ever changing landscape, the Craters of the Moon were born in the 1950s due to the lowering of water pressure underground, caused by a nearby geothermal powerstation. Craters of mud began to appear and emit steam.
Strolling along the wooden walk ways built over the geothermal activity was like being in a science fiction movie. Curtains of steam rising from side to side which depending on how the wind blowed would cast an eerie shadow over the landscape, or envelope you within their cloud. The whole area is extremely unstable. At one point we were standing atop one of the craters which had been cordoned off, however looking into the bubbling crater you could see previous signage and fencing that had once been the barrier, before the craters inevitably bubbled the foundations away and the land at the summit would become part of the base.
Closer to Taupo and just outside the town is Huka Falls which is one of the most intense displays of the power of nature I have ever seen. The falls are a part of Waikato River which stretches over 420km along the north island of New Zealand. At Huka Falls, the river which is typically around 100 metres wide is crammed through a 20 metre wide and 11 metre drop gorge causing 220 000 litres of water to gush through each second. It was simply beautiful to see. We did a short walk to have a proper look, given more time we may have opted to take the Huka Falls jet which goes up the river and gives a view which could not be experienced any other way.
- New Zealand’s North Island – Maoris, Mudbaths and more… (aroundtheworldin80ishdays.wordpress.com)
- Road trip to Taupo, New Zealand (multiplyandivide.com)
- A Moment in Taupo (melmcd.wordpress.com)
- Napier and Taupo (sandragmurphy.wordpress.com)
- Taupo, Napier, Wellington (weaknuclearforce.wordpress.com)
- Roto-Vegas (lifekitt.wordpress.com)