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The Journey to Lake Taupo – Day 21
Sunday 17th April 2005
Lake Taupo was my destination today, and it just might prove to be one of my favourite places so far. The literature I have on the place shows me there is a lot to do here, and it looked very appealing and mightily inviting. I think I will enjoy the next part of this trip very much, or at least I hope..
I began the day doing what I said I would do, and that is to take Tom to the Tongariro National Park where I think he would be embarking on a long trek across the mountains. It looked very daunting, and I had one or two leaflets on this trek. Maybe I would think about doing it myself at some point. For now, though, I carried on towards Taupo, having parted company with Tom.
The drive was as scenic as ever, and the sights were the most dramatic so far. The mountains all about were those used in the film ‘Lord of the Rings’, and I had read information about the mountains I was passing to be those used for ‘Mount Doom’. They certainly looked the part from the roadside as I parked the car for a look around. It looked as though I was passing ‘The Gates of Mordor’ also at one point, although this was purely guesswork on my part. I had no idea if they were the mountains used in the film or not. All about me I could feel the clutches of ‘Mordor’, and I wanted to take off on foot to explore the surrounding landscape, vast and unforgiving as it looked.
There was a low level of cloud today as I ventured on, and most of the tops of the mountains were covered over, obscuring my views of the dramatic landscape. This ruined things slightly for me, and made me want to take a hike around here even more so now. I would certainly look into it once in Taupo. What I could see was stunning nonetheless.
While on my journey to the vast lake, I stopped atop a mountain for something to eat. The picnic area on the side of the road gave way to immensely stunning and beautiful views of miles around. It was the perfect backdrop as I sat in deep admiration.
I arrived at Lake Taupo and checked into Sunset Lodge. The name drove me to this place, and I hoped it would live up to its name. I was already pleased with what I had seen as I set my belongings down in my dormitory, of which I am sharing with two other UK peoples. They seem cool.
I took my leave after a brief conversation with my roommates, and set off in the direction of ‘Moon Craters’, the scene of much thermal activity. This whole area is rich in activity, as it lies directly on a fault line. Sharing this fault line are many volcanoes and alien territory in the surrounding areas of Rotorua, and further north to the White Island, as told by one of the other guests. It sounds interesting, and I have nothing to doubt this information, so I choose to believe it.
Moon Craters opened the door to thermal activity unlike anything I have ever seen before, and I was immediately impressed, and slightly weary. I was eager to explore in more detail, and a closer inspection at some of the cracks in the earth revealed bubbling pools of muddy water, thermal vents spewing out sulphuric smoke, and noises that caused the weary feeling I had. It was all very good to see and experience, but I had seen all I could see, so I moved on to the next location on my agenda. Huka Falls was the name.
Huka Falls is an angry river of rapids. The water is released at intervals from the dam, which sends torrents of water cascading down the rocks and into the river. As more water is pumped into the ever-growing river, so rapids begin to form, making this the perfect location for Jet Boating. I would surely be giving this a go at some point while I am here. I took a small walk along the river, then backtracked to the car as it was beginning to get a little dark.
Back at the hostel, I booked White Water Rafting for tomorrow then had my dinner. I spent the evening having a giggle with my two, funny roommates, it was great fun. I am looking forward to tomorrow very much as I have never been white water rafting before, and people say it’s so much fun.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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