After Jamie & Katia’s wedding we took off for more “Tiki” tours. From Auckland we drove to Lake Taupo to visit Carleen & Steve. In all my sunset chancing I realised that I didn’t actually take any happy snaps of us all together! Firstly these are from Lake Taupo, which is a crater left from an explosion from aroun 196AD. The explosion (not the smoke but the actual explosion) was seen in Japan! The Lake is so deep you could fit Mt Everest in there, with room left over. It’s cold (except at the parts where the thermal parts make the water boil, and steam come up from the water and/or sand!
In the distance are the mountain ranges along the desert road, Tongariro National Park, which we drove down to view closer on day 5. These are active volcanos, and regularly close the snow fields due to eruptions. (is that not crazy!??! And yet people get upset that they have to get off the mountain. If I was there and heard the mountain I was skiing on was about to erupt, you better believe I would be OUT OF THERE quick!)
As you can see, STEAM. That water outlet was so warm, I could feel the heat from the sand under my feet, even with shoes on.
The National Parks second highest mountain at 2,287m, Mt Ngauruhoe. Also known as “Mt Doom” from the Lord of the Rings movies.
Tongariro National Park in the distance, with all 3 large mountain peaks slightly visible. The funny thing is, that from most angles, ‘Mt Doom’ looks taller than Mt Ruapahu, which is a good 500m higher.
Huka Falls, is a small stretch of water which is ANGRY! You would not want to be in that water. It’s force is incredible, and from what I can remember, this 100 odd metre stretch off water is responsible for 1/3 of New Zealand’s hydro power, equaling around 5% of New Zealand’s over all power.
So after approx 1200 km of driving, 2 planes, a wedding, champagne, vodka, friends, family and lot of scenery later, we concluded our whirlwind New Zealand trip. And three days later I was in Sydney! 2011 is going to be a busy year, with so many exciting events to come. We’re not even past January and I’m tired already! But with a big smile on my face