Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Taupo and Waitomo

Phew! We had an unexpected interruption to life around Brisbane with another flood. Thankfully, this one was not as severe for us as the one in 2011. We still had flooded roads around us and some homes and businesses are starting the smelly cleanup of their properties now but there are much fewer impacted properties this time around. Our phone line and internet went down for a few days but we kept power. Other areas in Queensland were not as lucky and the flood had a worse impact on them. Right now, it looks like its Sydney's turn for a drenching.

We got internet back this morning so I'm going to go ahead an put up the last post on our holiday.

The final leg of our trip seemed to be on fast forward. We were there for a total of 13 days and after the 7th day, it felt like each day was passing faster than the one before. From Napier, we drove to Taupo, the town on the shore of Lake Taupo. Formed by a series of volcanic eruptions, this is the largest freshwater lake in New Zealand and is about the size of Singapore. It is in this region that there are three active volcanoes, including Mt Ngauruhoe, better known as, Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The middle one is Mt Doom. To the right of it is Mt Tongariro which erupted in November 2012. It was smoking the entire time we were there but....no action.

While in the Taupo area, we visited Craters of the Moon, another geothermal site. This place was incredibly cheap ($12 for the family) to get into compared to where we went in Rotorua. It only had mud pools and steam vents but in a way, it was more exciting because the mud was bubbling more furiously and the steam vents were actually hissing. It was also a much smaller area so the children had a lot more fun exploring without getting worn out.

And finally, the last big touristy place for us was the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. The main tour company here has been operating since the 1880s and they get up to 2000 visitors a day. We chose to go with a smaller tour company, Spellbound, and they were great. With the group size at 11, we didn't have to rush to get to the front in order to hear the commentary and we got to know our fellow tourists a little bit.

Adrian was absolutely thrilled because he got to wear a hardhat with a torch on it.

I didn't bother taking many photos because they would have turned out like this. 

This is one of the souvenir photos that Spellbound emailed us after the tour. They send it out to everyone since most people aren't able to capture photos of their own. Its not us in there but thats what we were doing. The place was of course completely dark and once our eyes adjusted, the entire ceiling was dotted with the glowing behinds of these fly larvae. 

The End. Thats it for our New Zealand North Island holiday. I'll definitely go back to New Zealand in the future, next time to the South Island. 

Back to blogging about daily life from now on. The school term was supposed to start today but the schools are closed due to the floods. So instead, we'll have a free day of doing nothing. 


Mike said...
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Mike said...

(spelling correction)

No pictures of the boys playing in the nice hot mud pools? Moms can be killjoys sometimes.