After having some breakfast and dip in the hot tub, Seio and I set off in our trusty Toyota to Lake Taupo.
We broke our journey at Orakei Korako Caves and Thermal Park – a very interesting place that was apparently used in filming some of the scenes from the BBC’s Walking With Dinosaurs series. It really did have a jurassic feel to it, with bubbling mud pools, silica terraces and Black Fern forests. We caught the ferry boat across to the main island, and spent about 1 1/2 hours walking around the park and having some lunch. The cave at Orakei Korako is amazing. There are only two of these caves in the world – one here and one in Southern Italy. No-one is sure how the cave came to be in such a location and whether it occurred from an explosion or a cave-in. It was a long way down into the cave to reach the Waiwhakaata or pool of mirrors. Apparently the minerals in the pool of mirrors can clean your jewellery, so Seio and I decided to shine up our wedding bands….I think it did actually work a little!! After climbing back out of the cave and walking back down to catch the boat back to the mainland, we had a spot of lunch and jumped back in the car.
We arrived at Lake Taupo in the early afternoon and checked in at our very nice hotel (we highly recommend this place). Taupo is another volcanic and thermal area, so the smell of Sulphur once again fills the air…although its not as strong as Rotorua.
The Huka Falls really are an amazing sight – they reflect the light so clearly that the water appears to be a very light, almost transparent, emerald colour. The power of the water is mesmerizing – you can really see and hear the strength of the rapids as the water gushes along the river at a great pace. Looking further along the river you notice the calmness as the previously gushing water collects at the bottom of the falls and then seems to flows quietly and effortlessly downstream again.
On the way back to the hotel we stopped off at Lake Taupo and took some more photos. The lake really is huge and very picturesque – it is lined with very big and very nice houses…quite expensive I am sure!
We arrived back at our hotel with some more food supplies and had something to eat – I found some more gluten free stuff, and as the hotel had a proper kitchen with all the appliances we ended up having quite a nice meal!
In the evening we booked up some more hotels and our ferry journey to and train journey within Southland.
A nice spa bath completed the day, and all that was left to do was to pack and get some sleep (^^)v