. the campsite prices were very expensive. Not having the best first impression of Taupo we decided to cut our loses and head straight to Waitomo instead. But first we wanted to visit the towns best known waterfall, Huka Falls. Even though it had rained all day as we pulled into the carpark the rain stopped at we got to see the falls in relative dryness. As soon as we saw the falls we both agreed that it had been worth coming all the way to Taupo just to see them, they were brilliant. The waterfall is made of a huge lake being channelled down a small inlet which has been carved into the rock over thousands of years from the weight of the water. The force of such a big lake going down a small steep channel in the rock produces lots of foam and dangerous waves. At the end of the channel the water goes over the edge of a cliff and into a lake at the bottom. The best thing about Huka Falls was the colour of the water, it was an icy spearmint blue. Since we've been in New Zealand I've seen some of the clearest and most amazing coloured water I've ever seen, but this was the best. It was so blue it made you shiver, the only way I can describe it is to say it was like the colour of spearmint gel toothpaste... sounds stupid I know, but it really was.
After Huka Falls we got back on the road again for another 3 hours and headed to Waitomo. We stayed in a campsite that was next door to, and owned by, the local bird and Kiwi sanctuary. As we checked in for the night, the owners told us we would hear the Kiwi bird singing during the evening. We probably did hear it, however neither of us knows what a Kiwi sounds like so we couldn't tell it apart from the dozens of other birds that were singing all through the night!
We were leaving Rotorua this morning to head to Waitomo. Waitomo is known for 3 things: caves, glow-worms and adventure sports. We knew we were going to spend a few days there so we decided to have a little detour first and spend the day in a place called Taupo. Taupo is supposed to be lovely if you get it on a nice sunny day, with some of the best waterfalls in the country and some great views of the lake and mountain range, the largest of which was used in the Lord of The Ring films as Mount Doom. However as we left Rotorua the heavens opened and it continued to rain all the way to Taupo. When we arrived we couldn't see anything and the town seemed very gloomy. We headed straight to the info centre to find out what we could do here and as entered there was a stack of leaflets entitled "Things to do in Taupo on a rainy day." We weren't exactly overjoyed when one of things on the list was "Visit the public conviences". So we decided to find ourselves some accomodation for the night, however we quickly learnt that you pay a premium to stay in a place with such splendid public toilets..