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Anna's New Zealand adventures

Top times in Taupo and Tongariro

NEW ZEALAND | Friday, 29 February 2008 | Views [891] | Comments [2]

Quite a lot to catch-up on, though we haven't moved around much in the past weeks. Spent about a week at the campsite in Taupo as we loved it there... I felt quite a part of the family as the owners were so friendly and were pretty much responsible for my most amazing experience to date- skydiving! It was a pretty last minute thing; I'd threatened to do it a few times while we were staying and just happened to mention it to the old guy who ran the campsite when buying an icecream. He said that the day before a 68yr old woman who was scared of heights had done it and loved it and so would I- when did I want to book it for? So I did and after a moment of 'why am I doing this?' climbed into mininbus to airport.

Was the most amazing experience ever- was terrified just before jump but somehow when you are out of the plane it is so awe-inspiringly beautiful you don't notice the fact you are plumeting to earth! The guys were very proffesional and I felt totally safe. Had 45seconds freefall before he opened the parachute and then you just float down. Was on a high for about a day and a half after too!

Anyway after that I was pretty much adrenalined out, so spent rest of time in Taupo going to museum and sat on lovely yacht on a trip to see some impressive Maouri rock carvings on the cliff of the lake. We spent a night on a free campsite but soon realised why it was free after having a look at the long drop! We moved on swiftly in the morning after having breakfast in a cafe so we could use the facilities and get out of the drizzling rain which was the first we'd had since being there.

Unfortunately the rain continued for a few days and put a hold to our plans to do the Tongariro Crossing, one of the most famous walks in N.Z. across and around the craters of 3 volcanoes and absoultely spectacular. However when it did clear we were able to set-up camp at Whakapapa which acts as a base camp for walk and we booked onto the first shuttle bus which takes you to the start. We were warned it gets really busy so we got up at 5.30 and were on the bus for 6.00am, even so it was quite full and we had a bit of overtaking to do before we were able have the walk to ourselves. After the steepest climb (well named as 'the devil's staircase') the boys decided they wanted to go on a climb to the summit of Ngarahoe... Clare and I looked at the near vertical scree slope and decided we'd carry on thank you! As much as I'd love to have seen right into the crater I think we made the right decision as we stayed ahead of the crowds and had the walk pretty much to ourselves arriving at the end point before everyone else bar one couple. The boys said it was amazing at the summit but spent the rest of the walk in a convoy of people. The walk is worth the hype and was amazing how high up we got and how far you could see- we even spotted Mt. Taranaki (Edgmont) which is right on the far West Coast.

After that we packed up tents from Whakapapa- a nice place but I was quite ready to move on as it was pretty chilly, especially in the night and I hadn't slept properly at all- even our post walk celebratory drinks didn't help!

We are now in the much toastier Napier, heart of the Hawkes Bay wine growing region. I'm making up for being cold by relaxing in the sun like a lizard as much as I can! The town is rather lovely if a little strange as it was rebuilt in the 1920s in art deco style after an earthquake devastated the area. Yesterday Clare, Tom and I went to the national aquarium which was fun- it had a rather large croc and we even saw a kiwi in the kiwi centre... Just a shame we haven't seen one in the wild but it is unlikely we will as they are extremely rare and shy. Pip is planning on getting a job here and I think James may stop and do a bit of grape picking too but I think I'll be ready to move on in a few days... this means the group may split for a bit, which was inevitable as everyone has different demands and time constraints but a bit sad too.

Anyway, better be off as I'm meeting others for lunch soon,

lots of love to you all,

missing and thinking about you lots- honestly I nabber about you all all the time (my poor fellow travellers)!


Tags: Adrenaline




Wow! Mind the Dangerous Sports. I hope you checked the pilot and the parachute checker before you went! Both sober and of responsible disposition! Love the pictures. Keep it up, it could make a film - "What Anna Did" with a sequel of "What Anna Did Next!"
All the very best.

  Mead43 Mar 8, 2008 5:47 AM


Hi Anna,

Have just had a very entertaining time catching up on your journal.

I have heard that the famous Red Devils are looking for their first female recruit. Looks like you are suitably qualified!

Looking forward to the next exciting episode,

Dee xxx

  Dee Wilkinson Mar 26, 2008 3:42 AM

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