Where am I?

Right on My Way Home

May 12, 2006 at 11:06 PM | categories: New Zealand | View Comments

No, this post isn't about Wellington, or about my first steps on the South Island. I'm out of time, and I'm heading north again. There's no loop to make, so I drive back the way I came. This time I'd like to spend the night at Lake Taupo (not in Lake Taupo, thanks just the same). Then I'll drive all the way back to Auckland for an evening flight home.

On the way back to Taupo, I notice some beautiful scenery - and maybe some logging debris? By mid-afternoon, I'm back at the lake.

road to taupo logging? it's a big lake

What now? I need a hotel for the night, but I don't feel like looking for one yet. There's a sign for Waikato Falls: let's go see what that looks like.

waikato falls sign waikato rapids waikato river

Hmm... more of a rapids, really. It's nice, but I've seen a larger one, somewhere, haven't I? Oh well - there's still daylight. Let's go look at some volcanic activity! Everyone says to visit Rotorua for volcanic activity, not Lake Taupo, but I'm stubborn. I think I already mentioned that Lake Taupo was formed by a giant volcanic explosion, and there are still lots of reminders in the area. You can drive along the highway and see plumes of steam rising in the middle of a sheep pasture. I suppose it keeps the sheep warm.

Just across the road from the Waikato Falls overlook is a narrow lane leading to the Craters of the Moon, run by the NZ government. Most of the volcanic areas seem to be private.

crater of the moon sign fumaroles volcano trash Nice fumaroles - it's a shame about the trash. I suppose a private park might pick some of that up, but then again maybe not. At least there's a wooden footbridge. But there isn't much else: the vulcanism consists mainly of holes in the ground, with steam rising up. The steam carries minerals, I suppose, and also harbors some interesting flora. Hey, there's a fantail! That's probably the best picture of a fantail that I have: they're too fidgety. footbridge crater vent crater's edge fantail mud bath? Ah, it's good to see that Americans aren't the only ones with bad taste.

barbie van

The sun is setting, so it's time to find that hotel.

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