Oceania Travel

Wellington to Taupo

2 January 2012

The sun was finally shining this morning. It was glorious. We went for a quick wander down Cuba Street again but remembered it was another public holiday today and nothing would be open. At least next time we’re in NZ we’ll know what to do.

We began our drive on one of the first freeways we’ve seen so far. The freeway in Wellington is interesting because it was built following a fault line.

The drive to Taupo took less time than we planned. We even saw a suicidal hedgehog on the road. It was very cute. On the way we came across Desert Road, which was ridiculously amazing. The scenery transformed from typical NZ hilly countryside to what appeared to be a dry, ruthless desert. In the background we spied Tongariro National Park, aka Mordor, which presented us with gratifying snow-capped peaks.

We soon had arrived at Lake Taupo, the largest lake in NZ, previously a volcanic crater. The North Island’s peaks were generally formed by volcanoes, whereas on the South Island, it was due to the tectonic plates. It was a glorious day. We parked the car in our own private shore and took a wade in the chilly water. We rested in the sun for some.

We continued our drive and found our hostel. We headed to the busy part of the lake in town, which was very full and felt just like a beach, only with little sand and more rocks and grass. The sun was still warm although the water was a little chilly.

Back to the hostel to get our bathers on. We headed towards the hot springs which were very lovely. As it was a warm day it was a little difficult adjusting to the 40 degree water, but once we settled in it was nice and relaxing. We also went a few times on a really big waterside which was a lot of fun.

We came back to town to have a proper dinner. The city looks very nice but again, most shops were closed as it’s a public holiday. We ended up finding a nice little place and having a cheap but filling dinner. Content, we headed back to the hostel to make the most of the TV in our room.

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