The next must see was the geothermal 'Craters of the Moon’. Walking between holes and craters of boiling water and bubbling mud was a great experience, even if we stank of hydrogen sulphide for the rest of the day
. A top tip, from the previous night, from two newly qualified German doctors was to avoid the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and go to the free version 10km north as it was better. Luckily for us, the Germans had certainly done their homework and we found the most fantastic place and the biggest bonus of the day was the site was free of German towels reserving the best spot.
The joke photo title is ‘Getting used to the glacial waters’, but in fact that the water was so hot, it was almost unbearable. Despite this being a little chunk of paradise, K still had whinged she smelt of rotten eggs – there really is no pleasing some people. Funny thing was, when we arrived in Rotorura, the whole town stinks of hydrogen sulphide so there was no escape.
The usual friendly info sharing communal spirit of freedom camping gave us a few ideas of what to do en-route to Rotorura. As New Zealand sits on the edge of the colliding Pacific and Indo-Australian plates, thermal activity is very common, and there are plenty of nature's interesting geo-thermal activities to view. We skirted around the east side of Lake Taupo and made our first real stop at the Haka Falls. Lake Taupo over flows to create the start point of the 425 Km Waikato River which narrows to a 200 metre long 15 metre wide shoot and has the actual 10 metre falls at the end. Reports suggest mad canoeists have paddled this and the outcome was not always good.