First rainy day

Trip Start Nov 09, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  , Auckland,
Wednesday, February 8, 2012

friday 27th

we headed off to lake Taupo first stop was the aratiatia rapids here the river is damned by the power station but four times a day they open the gates to let the water flood out just for the tourists to see..our arrival time was perfect due to robins new zealand guide and the purpose built  viewing platforms were already quite full..but we managed a good view and it was amazing  to see the water go from nothing to about 15ft deep gushing over the huge rocks at tremendous speed creating temporary rapids....

we decided to stay here for lunch but as we ate the rain started to fall and fall and new plan shopping... Taupo town has quite a few shops and we explored them all gathering up gadgets to make our van life easier...!!

the rain stopped about 5pm so off we went in search of our place for the night... we ended up in a marina car park awesome place overlooking the boats on one side and the lake on the other great stop...

saturday 28th

we woke up to a lot of hustle and bustle outside and soon discovered it was power boat racing championships weekend...awesome... people were unloading these huge powerboats the likes of which i had never seen before... some looked like jet planes wings obviously...others just strange shaped boats with engines...all colours , gleaming in the sun with loads of mechanics fiddling with spanners...honestly it looked like the pits at a formula one race meeting... awesome to see.. we were able to get close to them and have a few pics.. today was just practice day so no racing but they were zooming up and down the lake...

robin went off to look and came back saying we were off on a three hour cruise on a sailing boat previously owned by eroll at 10.30am we set sail with 8 other people and the captain on this 35ft twin masted sailing yacht... it was fantastic the recent new owner had added an electric engine so for 3 hours we had no noise just the sails blowing or the lapping of the lake water..the sun shone and we had a good view occasionally of the power was so restful and calming yet interesting.

.we saw bays and carvings in rocks only visable by boat. we also saw sky divers being dropped out of planes over the lake and again i thought of Ian, who on his world trip 2 years was here at taupo doing the freefall tandem jump, a copy of which i have on facebook...!! it looked scary but Ian said it was the best adrenaline rush he had ever had..... neither robin or I had ever been on a sailing yacht before so sitting on the deck, sun reflecting in the water we enjoyed every minute...brilliant..

back at the van by 2pm and time for lunch.. the mechanics were still fiddling and more power boats had arrived so after lunch more pics and more investigating...

 then a walk along the lake front, which actually was a very windy one... we saw " art in the park" and the famous "hole in one" challenge..where for $1 a ball you try and get a hole in one onto the pontoon floating in the lake ,it is about a 120yd pitch... there are three holes actually.. the blue hole is $10,000 prize the other two are just vouchers for adventure trips on the lake... such as the aforementioned sky dive...

after having a few last looks at the pwer boats we decided not to stay for the racing tomorrow but to continue our journey down south...we headed into the national park and found a caravan park in the middle of nowhere with more , less elegant, hot springs and mineral baths which we again enjoyed..

another gresat couple of days...

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Pat Foster on

Dear Robin and Annie
New Zealand looks amazing and as Robin knows I have always wanted to go there please bring me a bit back. Try and put the views in a bag for me, and I have never seen Robin look so happy or healthy.
Love Pat

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