Blogs from Taupo, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 62

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo February 17th 2006

Today we do the Tongariro Crossing, a 17km hike through some active volcanos! Drove to the end of the hike at Ketetahi to meet our shuttle bus which would take us to the start at Mangatepopo, allowing us to hike back to the car at our own pace. The morning is cool and cloudy but this is to our liking as the going is tough to start with with steep climbs through the rocky terrain up to Mount Ngauruhoe volcano, also known as Mount Doom in Lord Of The Rings. It is a perfectly cylindrical cone, a classic comic-book view of a volcano. As the clouds disperse and some blue sky appears we can see the summit up ahead, although we don't have time to climb it. We carry on through a large flat expanse of ... read more
Climbing to the base of Mount Doom
Paul with a cloud covered Mount Doom in the background
Walking through a crater

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo February 16th 2006

Woke up about midday with a bit of a hangover. Can't really blame us with all that free drink. Went for a walk in town, ate some lunch, slept some more, then arranged a trip to the Tongariro Crossing for tomorrow with the nice people in our room; 2 German girls, Anna and Isobel, and the owner of the car, Bram, otherwise known as Dutchie. No prizes for guessing where he's from :-)... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo February 15th 2006

Skydive! Had to wait until 3pm as it was so busy from the previous day when nobody could jump because of the weather, but today is a perfectly clear day. First we went for a long walk to see more of the Huka Falls, past the Taupo Bungy platform which neither of us fancied doing. Isn't a Skydive enough for one day!? Back at the hostel we get the bus from Freefall skydive to Taupo airport where we are suited up ready to jump and are briefed by our Tandem jump professional. Louisa goes on a different plane and jumps first, then it's my turn. The trip up to 12000 feet on the small plane is relatively relaxing and smooth with great views over the lake. Then it's time to JUMP! The immediate feeling of noise, ... read more
Louisa in her jumpsuit
The plane
Wheeee!

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo February 14th 2006

Been a while since a major update so me and Kim are both writing entries at the same time. After traveling to the Bay of Islands we set off in our 'dented' back to Auckland briefly to drop Jo off who was going to meet us in Rotorua the next day. Driving in New Zealand is very different from driving back home, endless countryside and hardly any people and lots and lots of sheep!! Took about 3 hours driving to get to Rotorua all the time we could hear part of our damaged car scraping along the road everytime we hit a bump (women drivers!). As soon as we entered the city (which is by British standards would be a small town) you could smell the sulpher comming from the many volcanic pools and geysers that ... read more
Zorbing baby!!
Trevor and Kim in Wonderland
Volcanic River

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo February 14th 2006

Today we move further south to the city of Taupo, although a city in New Zealand may only have a few thousand people. On the way the driver gave us quite a lot of local information and stopped at the Huka Falls which has the highest volume of rapids through the smallest area anywhere in the world. One guy who thought he could swim through the rapids didn't reappear at the other end for 3 days! So strong are the undercurrents. We checked into the very nice Rainbow Lodge where we contemplated doing a skydive as Taupo is one of the cheapest, safest and best organised places in the world to do one. However today the weather is cloudy with a bit of rain and we also need to get extra insurance so we wait until ... read more
Lake Taupo
A pair of ducks

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo February 11th 2006

I've had a pretty exciting last couple of days. After leaving KeriKeri, I dropped Geshe off in Auckland. I was pretty stressed about the traffic, but all went well on our drive, and I dropped her off in Parnell (a suburb of Auckland). I then decided I would bypass Hamilton because there's nothing there of much interest to me, considering it's a university town. So I took the bypass and headed to a destination and mecca of many Lord of the Rings fans, Matamata. Or as we geeks call it, Hobbiton! I looked around town for a good place to park my home on wheels and found a nice quiet parking lot close of course to the public bathrooms. I really wasn't great weather, it basically rained all night. I was hoping that it would be ... read more
Hobbiton
Hobbiton 2
The Party Tree

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo February 9th 2006

WOW!!! Where to begin.... I've been in New Zealand for 12 days now and I am having such a great time. Within the first 5 minutes of leaving Auckland and heading into some of the New Zealand countryside I could see why my dad loved it here so much. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and everything I've seen has my dad written all over it! I arrived in Auckland on January 30 and left right away the next morning to start exploring New Zealand. The first day we traveled to Whitianga where we did a bit of sea kayaking around Cathedral Cove. The next day we headed for Rotorua, but stopped off to hike up to Wairere Falls. Once arriving in Rotorua we headed out to the Tamakiki Village for an unique Maori cultural evening. This ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo February 1st 2006

hey everybody, again, its been a while since the last post. people have been asking daily for pictures and wanting to hear stories of the last 3 weeks. so we decided to wait and make one big pic post of some of the most spectacular things weve seen, which have happened the last little while. through fire, rain, sand and ice, weve experienced more than we could have asked for in New Zealand. PICTURES as you all know, we spend a while in the city of Queenstown. we did finally leave and made our way up what is supposed to be the most beautiful part of new zealand: the west coast. we headed back to Wanaka through the Crown Range, (a twisty turny uphill road, recommended to us) and stayed the night at a familiar spot, ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo January 30th 2006

Well, Hello Much news from down under Have i mentioned how great this place is?? Perfect So i will start from where i left off.... My last day in Rotorua i was walking down the street , just minding my own business, minding my own business right, yeah.... and .....just kidding ( eddie murphy comedy cd) I was walking back from a run in the domain (park) and i heard this music. It was chanting, native music. My heart lept and i walked towards the sound. As i got closer i knew it wasn't Navajo but from the continent. In this central plaza area there were two girls dancing their native dance (healing dance) (Cree from the northlands of Canada) It was so cool to see and it made me miss the Navajo land and people ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo January 24th 2006

So we got back to Taupo yesterday from our 3 day tramp on the Northern Circuit in Tongariro National Park. The entire park is a World Heritage Site. Aside fron the first day of the hike, which takes you up and over a volcano, the second two days are pretty flat or as the brochure describes (undulating terrain). We did do the hike with 40lbs packs on our back, so I feel a nice sense of accomplishment after this hike as well. Also most people just do the one day crossing, so they get to carry light packs. The scenery was very odd, almost felt like being on another planet. Since I just posted another blog I am just gonna post alot of pictures in this blog. Even though they don't do the scenery any justice. ... read more
And we're off
Still Smiling...
On the first day.




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