Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Zealand Day 5 Part 2 : Rest period @ Lake Taupo

It was a tiring, but satisfying journey around Wai-O-Tapu , I think this is another location we cannot miss if we go to Rotorua. Pity that we can't continue with our nature adventure at redwood forest and the buried village. So we decided to continue our journey to Lake Taupo, where we had already secured a booking at a motel.

Journey from Wai-O-Tapu to Lake Taupo was a short one, it is just about 50km so it took only slightly over half an hour to reach Taupo. But along the way, we stop first at Huka Falls, which is the largest falls on Waikato River.

Huka Falls is already very near to Taupo, perhaps about 5 minutes drive. We can also experience a walk along the riverside, which takes about 30 minutes where there are several viewing platforms provided for us to appreciate the nature.

Huka Falls is very beautiful, with water rushing through very rapidly. The water is so clear, I called it as blue as Listerine mouthwash.What makes the water flows so rapidly is because the 100m wide Waikato River abruptly narrows to just about 20m as it crosses a hard volcanic ledge. Oh.. before I forget.. for those who love to have a little adventure, this is where you can board the legendary Hukafalls Jet to experience the speed around the beautiful nature.

We then continue our journey to check in at our motel, Baycourt Lakefront Motel. It is a very comfortable motel, complete kitchen with both convection stove and microwave. The hosts are also very nice and accommodating. The unit we got is a downstairs one, easily accessible and quite spacious. It is not a studio type motel room, it is like a one bedroom apartment. We were also given complimentary 500MB internet access.

Since Mr D is not well, I was determined to just go to the lake on my own that afternoon. But Mr D assured me that he was OK after about half an hour rest, so off we went to the Lake together, which is just located opposite our motel.. so we just walked around.

Lake Taupo is so big I didn't feel like looking at the lake. It is like looking at the sea! Lake Taupo is the biggest freshwater lake in New Zealand, and the second largest in Oceania after Lake Murray in Papua New Guinea. It is as big as Singapore. Mr D used to joke that if anybody asked about how Singapore is, we can answer Singapore is like taking the whole population of New Zealand and throw it into Lake Taupo.

Lake Taupo is said to be formed by a series of volcanic eruption, the biggest one being Oruanui volcanic eruption some 27,000 years ago which ejected about 1,200 cubic km of pumice and ash. The eruption caused several hundreds km of land to collapse to form the caldera, which was later filled with water. That's where Lake Taupo is. We spent about half an hour admiring the scenery around Lake Taupo, with albatross and duck easily seen at the beach.

Taupo has a peaceful neighborhood next to the lake. The lakefront is full of motels, but I think there's residential area behind the front row. It is a very peaceful looking neighborhood.

Taupo i-Site is located at Tongariro Street. After its office hour, we can still find information at Xperience Taupo, which is located at the opposite row not far from Taupo i-Site. Taupo is famous for its various cruise journey, both for scenic and trout fishing at Lake Taupo. We didn't have time for both of course.

We also did a little shopping for All Black jersey for All Black fans back home, my 14 year old stepson and my younger brother. It was Rugby World Cup, so the price for RWC jersey was quite high. But am sure both of them treasure the jersey, when Mr D presented the jersey to my stepson he was all smiling and excited, Mr D had to warn him not to wear the jersey while playing rugby in the field.

And for those in search for halal food, there's a halal Turki's kebab shop on the same row with Xperience Taupo, called Best Kebabs. We bought two chicken kebabs for our dinner that night, it was so big I think we might be able to share one kebab between both of us. Wonder why all kebabs come in huge sizes.. even when I was in England, all kebabs I found are huge.. wonder why.

Next : Journey from Taupo to Wellington, through Palmerston North.

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