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Waiotapu Thermals, Rainbow Mountain and on to Taupo!

NEW ZEALAND | Monday, 12 May 2008 | Views [2317]

Amazing view of the crazy landscapes from Rainbow Mountain!

Amazing view of the crazy landscapes from Rainbow Mountain!

This morning I was off driving to Taupo, which is very central in the north island. On route I stopped in to visit Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland. This place kicked the ass off of Te Puia for natural beauty and value for money for a visit. There is lots of activity here under ground and it has hot pools of various shades of red, blue, yellows and greens, lots of mud pools and geysers galore! It is also very smelly of course... but I'm getting used to that now that I've been in this area for a while. I spent a few hours here and got to see the Lady Knox Geyser still going, although had I arrived earlier it would have been higher in the air!

Next I drove to a little mountain track that I'd read was quite good, and climbed Mt Rainbow. This is only 734 meters to the summit, but with plenty of moisture still on the ground after the recent rain, it was an interesting climb. The path had some huge steps in places, and had not been modified by man as much as some of the others. It was very enjoyable though, even with a few slips on the mud here and there. The effort was paid off as is usual when you hike up a mountain though! At the summit I met two Scot lasses who'd made the climb before me. We sat and chatted for half an hour about Oz and NZ and swapped some tips on where to visit. They made the descent about 15 mins before me, and I actually tried to catch them up by running some sections, but only managed to get to the carpark as they were climbing in their car... those Scots move fast!

I drove on to Taupo, stopping about 3 km's outside to take in the magnificent views from the raised road in of the lake and mountains in the background. After driving on into town I grabbed some supplies at the supermarket and found a good campsite to stay at for a few days. I wanted to watch the highlights of the final day of the premiership on TV tonight, but getting up to the TV room 10 mins before it started I found to old fogies watching a trashy movie and when I asked them how long it had left to run (thus giving them opportunity to ask me if there was something I wanted to watch) I was met with miserable faces and the answer that it had only started 20 minutes ago... ok then, no footy for me, lol!

Pictures of Waiotapu and Rainbow Mountain are on facebook...

Tags: mountains, on the road, sightseeing, the great outdoors, walking


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