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Published: August 9th 2017
Geo: -38.6866, 176.07
From Waitomo caves we made our way south-east to Rotorua. Rotorua is known for it's volcanic activity and thermal villages. We arrived around midday and took a tour at Whakarewarewa Thermal Village. Here we got a great perspective of how local people lived and live by using the natural environment around them.
After the tour we treated ourselves to a private pool in the towns Polynesian baths. It was so relaxing and it was a perfect day to enjoy the views and escape the bus loads of South Korean tourists.
That evening we had decided to travel up to the coast to a small town called Muteka. There wasn't any reason for visiting but we were sleeping there and it was a nice little coastal town with a relaxing feel.
The following morning we thought that Tauranga would be a nice place to see but after seeing that it was rather industrial we ended up just driving through and continuing back through Rotorua to Wai O Tapu.
Wai O Tapu is another thermal park which has some nice looking attractions and quite colourful.
We continued on from Wai O Tapu down towards middle earth to Taupo.
Taupo is a great town and there
is plenty to do there. There is a small area on the north of the town, along Waikato River, called Reids Farm which allows free camping. Here we set up base for a few nights. We went for a walk along the Waikato river up to Huka falls which took abourt 2 hours. It was a stunning sunny day and once we had got to Huka falls I tripped on a rock and broke one of my thongs meaning we had to resort to hitch hiking back in to town.
There is also a small area at the bottom Spa Thermal Park where natural hot water comes from a small waterfall in to the river and is popular among the backpackers.
It was a hot day anyway and we had seen previously on the walk to Huka Falls a little area away from there to have a dip in the refreshing Waikato River.
That evening we made our way to another free camping spot near the mountains as we were to walk the Tongariro Crossing the following day. We arose very early to be able to meet a bus which we had booked a few days before. The bus picked us up
at the finish car park where we left our camper. As the sun was rising we saw the looming mountains and commenced our 19km trek up the moonscape mountains, and past mount doom. It was a perfect warm and clear day and we had a perfect trek with stunning views including the infamous crater lakes.
It was a good decision to park the car at the end as most people had to wait for a bus. Once we had finished we were able to leave straight away.
It's an amazing day walk and highly recommended.
Taupo is a great place to visit and one of my favourites in the North Island.
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