Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Taupo - our adventure break

Taupo, also happens to be on the Geothermal Highway like Rotorua, so en route we decided to visit the mud-pools.
Felt oddly soothing watching it bubble away...

...and watching 
Do not be fooled by the name. this is not one of those places where your can soak yourself in - unless you prefer your look well-done. But the pools are definitely surreal. The smell of sulphur is really strong, and they are constantly bubbling and popping.
The Mud Volcanoes in Buzau, Romania are far less active, but you could go right up to the craters there.
...and watching...
Taupo also happens to have a fantastic Promenade by the lake.
Watching storm clouds gather
The walk along the promenade is a must-do, whatever the weather. We spent quite a happy evening there looking for black swans and climbing trees.
This was was almost the size of child 2 and rather blaze about all the picture-taking
We also had to visit possibly the only McDonald to have an actual plane within the play area (come on! It was a  plane! IN McD!)


Speaking of planes, both the Baa-Lamb and self wanted to try our hand at jumping out of one, so basically that's what we booked ourselves in for the following afternoon. Tandem skydiving. That left our morning free to explore the Huka Falls and the Aratiatia rapids.
a rainbow at Huka falls

the bridge across Huka

Fierce Huka
Huka Falls was beautiful - it was more fierce than Okere, but I did love the serenity of Okere more. We also waited to watch the release of water at the Aratiatia rapids. We somehow thought it would be more... sudden (I guess that's a side effect of watching all those disaster movies), but it was no less dramatic as the water came gushing down the narrow gorge.
The first gates open at the rapids

The moment when the second gates open

the gorge floods

beautifully filling up...
Right. Skydiving. We chose to go with Skydiving Taupo- it was a fabulous experience with began with being picked up and taken to our site in a limo. I could've done with a glass of bubbly too, to complete the experience, but I guess you need your wits about you when you're about to jump out of a plane.
limo rides for us all

taking off in the plane, looking slightly worried that the doors haven't been shut yet. 
 My instructor was a dread-sporting, grinning giant called Herb. He was great - he made sure I not only felt safe, but enjoyed my entire experience. I don't think I've ever felt so exhilarated in my entire life! I'd probably want to jump out of another plane at another location at some point again. I think that's probably the best way to see the place- it was that much fun.
(I could probably put in a generic picture of the view of Taupo here, but, 1. We decided to opt out of the video filming. and 2. I wasn't about to risk my camera while diving out of the plane.)

The evening's entertainment consisted of more sedate walks along the lake and an early dinner. It was time to hit the road again the following day - we were headed to the South Island by way of Auckland.
Beautiful Taupo

A Tui keeping us company during our walks
A quick note about that - if you're ever in Auckland and are craving for some good, old fashioned Indian street food, head on over to 'Jai Jalaram Food Centre'. Not only is the food yummy, The owner (his son, actually) is a fantastic, warm soul who is happy to help out - with directions, local know-how, even a bit if techie stuff thrown in for the benefit of child 1. 

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