In every town I visit, I wish I could stay longer.
Taupo was definitely one of those towns. I arrived in Taupo by bus from Tauranga on Monday 10/5. I knew I needed to get down to the south island as soon as possible so I started planning out my ferry tickets.
When I was researching Nakedbus trips and ferry trips, I realized that they didn't work out with the times. I wanted to stay an extra day in Taupo to do the Tongarriro crossing but I decided to start south instead. The Tongarriro crossing is a bit dangerous this time of year and you need a guide that will provide you with equiptment like crampons and an ice pick. The cheapest one I could find was NZ$170 (there were no discounts for backpackers). I knew it would be amazing; it's considered in the top three day treks in the world. However, I knew I wanted a full 2 weeks in the south island so I decided to book my tickets.
The next day, my Nakedbus to Wellington wasn't until 3:30pm so I decided to do some exploring in Taupo. I took a public bus to Huka falls and walked back to town.
Huka Falls is a must-see when visiting Taupo. The power of the water is mesmerizing.
About 200,000 liters of water plunge nine meters over the great rock face of Huka Falls every second. All of that water rushing so fast creates a dangerous undertow at the bottom of the falls. I read that this has claimd the boats of many river users foolhardy enough to try to navigate the falls. The falls pick up masses of tumbling air bubbles which create breathtaking colors and give the falls their name, after the Maori word for `foam'.
As I walked upsteam back to town, the Waikato river looked crystal clear and reflective. The flow over the falls is so strong it prevents the upstream migration of trout and native fish such as eels which is why there are no eels to be found in Lake Taupo.
I heard in town that there were thermal hot pools on the way back to town from Huka Falls so I brought my bathingsuit just incase. Thank goodness I did because the hot pools looked irresistable.
The pools were so warm and inviting. I just relaxed for about an hour.
I got back to town in time for my 5 hour bus ride to Wellington, the capital. I stayed in Wellington for probably a total of 12 hours because I had my Interislander Ferry from Wellington to Picton (south island ferry terminal) the next morning at 9am. I do wish I could have stayed longer in Wellington. Apparently the nightlife is amazing. However, I was extremely tired and really needed a long shower after my day of walking. On the bus, I met a girl named Holly who was born in England but now lives in Wellington. She graciously offered to give me a ride to my hostel because it would be dark by the time we arrived and it would have been a 20 minute walk. I truly have not met one mean or ignorant person in New Zealand. It's very refreshing.
Check in for my next post about the ferry ride to the south island and my adventures in Nelson/Abel Tasman Costal Trek!