Rotorua isn’t far from Napier, apparently a 2 hr drive, but it took me 2 hr just to get to Taupo. The good thing is there was no rush and my first stop for the day was at Huka Falls. Huka is where the water from Lake Taupo flows into a very narrow canyon, creating a rush of water and up to an 11m drop. Further downstream is a hydro dam, that lets water out numerous times a day for environmental flows (sounds familiar, but they actually do it in New Zealand).
I walked along the trails either side of Huka falls looking for a good viewing spot and also some shade. In the shade there was a cool breeze, out of the shade it felt bloody hot. In some ways I probably should have taken the Huka falls cruise for $39 as they looked like they got nice and wet!
The second stop was at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. The title seemed like a bit of overkill, for what was at the site. Maybe the 10:15 am Geyser show was the time to be here, but there were plenty of people wandering the park and taking in the wonderful eau-du-sulfur. The Champagne pool was quite spectacular with several colours from different mineral deposits.
I walked along the long path, which was only 3kms. There were plenty of thermal hotspots, with steam coming out of the rocks. The last lake was a lime green coloured lake with a pH of 2 which is quite acidic. By now though the smell started to get to me. At first, it wasn’t great, but it was bearable but over time it didn’t go away and didn’t get any better.
Stupid comment of the day goes to the American who exclaimed at how surprised he was that it was so hot next to the hot bubbling pool with steam coming off it. I continued on to Rotorua, where I had som e delicious brisket and a 4 beer tasting paddle at the local brewery/bar. I was going to visit Hobbiton tomorrow but forgot to book and there are no available bookings for the next few days. I’m sure I’ll find something crazy and fun to do here!