Tuesday 1 February 2011

Waikite Valley to Whakapapa (Active Volcano)

The weather wasn’t up to much today so we sort of had a bit of a day off. In the morning we went into Taupo, on the way passing Huka Falls which were very impressive. This is the outflow from Lake Taupo into the Waikato River, and it really thunders through here.
We had a short walk from the lookout to the falls themselves, then carried on into town. Taupo is a lovely city; we had lunch and spent the afternoon there. We had a look round a gypsy fair on the outskirts and Dave was very taken by this mobile blacksmith’s shop. He thinks it would make an interesting paint scheme for a narrow boat.
We left the city and drove round the southern side of Lake Taupo on the Thermal Explorer Highway. This is another crater lake, the biggest lake in Australasia, and a mecca for water sport freaks. But not today.
As the weather got worse and the visibility reduced we entered the Tongariro National Park, and drove up the road to the Whakapapa visitor centre and camping ground. Tomorrow, if we can see anything, we’ll go for a walk up towards the crater lake of an active volcano.

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