Trip Start Dec 24, 2009
69Trip End Apr 02, 2010
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Woke up to a beautiful sunny day and blue skies. Set off early to Orakei Korako – a hidden thermal Valley where they filmed 'Walking with Dinosaurs' and you could really see why. When we arrived, there were only a couple of other cars and no one to be seen. Across the lake we could see the steam rising everywhere and a little boat took us across this stunning lake to a jetty on the other side. On this side of the jetty was a button to push when we wanted the boat to come and pick us up! It took us about 1 ½ hours to walk around on sturdy walkways right to the top of the volcanic area, hardly seeing another soul, amidst chaotic thermal activity, looking at boiling pools, thermal springs, mud pools and spouting geysers and everywhere the weird sound of a washing machine in full flow. It was quite scary in parts, especially the signs that kept reminding you that you were there at your own risk and basically anything could erupt at any time- lucky for us it didn’t!!
In the afternoon we walked into town from our hotel around the lake which took 2 hours there and back. Of course we stopped in town and had a beer and a bite to eat overlooking the stunning lake. It was very hot and everyone was swimming in the lake and sunbathing with the snow capped mountain in the background and there were lots of water skiers and parasailing and an amazing competition inviting people to hit their golfballs from the promenade at least 100 metres onto a small pontoon situated in the lake, the challenge being ‘to get a hole in one’ – fascinating!!