So after the amazing day at Franz Joseph scaling the glaciers we had to start the arduous task of hotfooting it back up to Auckland to catch a flight because we didn’t really think of flying out of Christchurch. If you are going to be traveling NZ - fly into one airport and out of the other!
So after a super long journey involving a stopover in Picton a ferry journey to Wellington and another long assed journey we finally settle after two days in Taupo. Most definitely the best destination on the North Island – Busy, well laid out and extremely quaint; as far as towns go in NZ this has got to be my fave!
The town is packed out with Easter celebrations and we struggle to get a campsite for the weekend but finally manage a nice one outside of town. We start of by heading to the tourist info centre to see what we can do on the cheap – Craters Of The Moon is cheap so naturally – is our first destination.
Craters Of The Moon is a slightly less impressive version of Wai-O-Taupo but also a quarter of the price. I think that it is a volcano – there is steam and puddles of acid in every direction. It reminds me of that weird 80’s sitcom with the dinosaurs. If you do go here – do walk up to the viewpoint – it is a bit of a trek but the scenery is immense.
The next day we want to explore Taupo some more so we head to the infamous Hukka Falls. It is a gorgeous turquoise river that has a mouth way where all of the water gathers and creates waterfall that is so fast – I have never seen anything quite like it. Hukka Falls are amazing however they are also a tourist hot-spot with every tour bus in the country turning up – and is home to half of China’s snap happy population. It became so overcrowded that it slightly ruined the falls.
The real gem in Taupo comes at the end of the Hukka Falls walk. None of the tour operators do this walk it is a local secret and in no tour guides.
Ok – so go to Hukka Falls – get obligatory photo – bring swimming costume (no matter what wether) take a right at the falls and walk for about an hour. The scenery along the river is idyllic however at the end there is the Hot Water Stream. A small spring running down from a nearby volcano the water is really really hot. Imagine chilling in clear turquoise – green volcanic waters out on a river front with amazing woodland in the background – and a beer- well that is what awaits you here. This is a real Kiwi experience not the tourist trap at Hukka Falls. The night here was absolutely incredible.