Home > New Zealand > The Thermal highway – Taupo

The Thermal highway – Taupo

November 12, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Taupo was the next stop from sulphurous Rotorua to Napier. Situated on the shores of the largest lake on north island, the obligatory first stop at the tourist office confirmed our worst fears that everything was geared to tourists and therefore everything was geared to extracting the maximum pain from your wallet.



we found the queen bee!

With a mischevious yearning to avoid the tourist trap, we planned a trip to the bee hive (free), a visit to Huka Falls (free), via the bungee jumping to watch the idiots (free) to the hot pools by the lake (free!). Apart from a lack of idiots, the plan was perfect, and whilst not well advertised, the bee place was sensational and in our opinion is definitely Taupo No:1 attraction. We left clutching a pot of honey, licking honey ice-cream, much more clued up on the life and times of north Italian honey bees.

Huka Falls were spectacular for their colour as much as the drama, but after Iguazu, waterfalls will never be the same, nonetheless, we stopped, we watched and we duly photographed. We lingered slightly longer at the beach on the lake after finding some hot sand heated by semi-extinct volcanoes, and stood there admiring the view with our feet buried in coarse black volcanic sand – NZ is never far from some good old fashioned magma.

lovely warm sand - it was raining at the time

possibly the most beautiful drain covers anywhere

Leaving Taupo and the fabricated tourist attractions behind, we head down what must be the straightest road in NZ. It is like the Romans have been with mile after mile of straightness. You have to have navigated Coromandel in a van to appreciate how exciting this was for us – and honestly – it was exciting. Taking in a couple more falls, we camped down in a national park in the middle of nowhere about half way between Taupo and Napier.

parked up by the river - volcanic pumice is everywhere

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