Taupo's Drain, a Hiding Spot, and a Hidden Valley


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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo
December 4th 1994
Published: July 21st 2008
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Rainbow TerraceRainbow TerraceRainbow Terrace

Orakei Korako
Note: This is a journal entry from when I was an exchange student in 1994-1995. The photos have been scanned from the original prints.

I went to Hamilton for the weekend to attend a wedding with my host family. I drove up with my host sisters, and we made a few stops on the way there and back at places they thought I would like. It was an awesome weekend.

Going to Hamilton, we stopped on the way at Lake Taupo, which was misty and magical looking. My host sisters thought I should see Lake Taupo's 'drain' as well, so we went to Huka Falls. The huge volumes of water in such a small space were incredible!

We pulled over at Hatupatu's Rock, where the legendary Hatupatu once hid from the bird-woman that was following him. He ordered the rock to open up for him, and it did, providing a nice spot for Hatupatu to wait until the bird-woman passed. That's one of the things I love the most about New Zealand--all the little legends that come to life if you know where to look, or if you are with the right people.

On the way home from the wedding, we went to Orakei Korako. It is a thermal area nestled in Hidden Valley. We chatted with some Canadian tourists before taking a boat across Lake Ohakuri to take the walk around the guysers, hot pools, boiling mud and even a cave. The guysers and silica terraces were beautiful, but my favourite was Ruatapu Cave: Aladdins Cave. It is a deep opening in the rock, and at the bottom is a hot pool. If you put your left hand in and make a wish, the wish is guaranteed to come true, unless you tell someone the wish.

I did make a wish, and I wrote it in my diary. I don't know if that is why it didn't come true, but fourteen years later, I can safely say that it was a silly, school-girl wish anyway!


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Diamond GeyserDiamond Geyser
Diamond Geyser

Orakei Korako
Rainbow LookoutRainbow Lookout
Rainbow Lookout

Orakei Korako
WaiwhakaataWaiwhakaata
Waiwhakaata

Pool of Mirrors in Ruatapu Cave
Artist's PaletteArtist's Palette
Artist's Palette

Orakei Korako


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