Day 7 – Haka’s & Geysers

Where to start today. This has been the best day so far (apart from time with little Reilly). Firstly we took a walk down the road to Whakarewarewa, a living Maori village built on the hot springs, lakes and geysers in Rotorua. Before the tour we were allowed to take a short walk to see some small boiling mud pools and hot lakes. One glimpse of this and we knew this was gonna be a great trip. The tour took us around the village giving us an insight into how the Maori’s live and how they use the natural hot water pools for cooking cleaning and bathing. It seems impossible that anyone could live here with steam vents all over the place and the chance a new one could start from inside your house, but live here they do and very well too. In the village itself are pools and rivers scattered amongst the houses. To the top of the village are 3 active geysers. The smallest is ‘Kereru’ which is very unpredictable and can go days without showing but we were in luck today as just as the guide was telling us this it fired from the side of the rock and started a superb display for approx a minute before dying back as if nothing had happened. On the top of the large rock plateau is ‘Te Tohu’ also known as ‘Prince of Wales Feathers’. This was pretty much active the whole time we were there and fired a plume of water and steam around 20 feet into the air. Finally there is ‘Pohutu’ which erupts approx every 45 minutes and just as we reached the lookout at the top of the village it sprung into life for us almost as if they had flicked a switch, which we were guaranteed they couldn’t do lol. It shot a jet of water around 60 to 70 feet straight up looking spectacular. Id always wanted to see a geyser fire like that and today i wasn’t left disappointed. After the tour we were taken to a marquee with a small stage inside. Here, the Maori people put on a show consisting of the Haka, some Maori songs and dances and the playing out of a Maori love story. Thoroughly entertaining and at the end we were allowed on stage to have photos taken doing the Haka with them. From here we then set off around a 2km walk through mud pools and thermal springs/pools which are all behind the village. This was quite peaceful and quiet but also spectacular. Boiling lakes covered with steam and a stunning green lake that was so clear you could see the stones down 20 feet as clear as if they were on the top.

After grabbing some lunch we made our way further down the road to the Redwood trees that dominate the landscape beyond the thermal area. There are tree top walks which cost to walk but we plumped for one of the many free trails as we didn’t have too much time before we needed to hit the road again. The walk was around 2 miles and took us past stunning trees that stretched so high into the sky you struggled to see their tops. The ferns in here are also huge towering over us at around 10ft high. The other amazing sight on this short walk is a pool that you would swear had no water in it, its that clear. Even my photograph of it looks like some blue leaves on the ground but these were actually around 3 foot below the surface. Breathtaking scenery and a stunning day out.

Reluctantly we then had to get back on the road and set off for the journey to Lake Taupo. On the way Linda noticed in a guide book something called Huka Falls so we detoured slightly and found a 5 minute trail walk to a stunning water display. It was a gorge that carried gallons of water and then opened up into a wider river. The force with which the water moved was incredible and it created a thunder like sound. Stunning little find. Back in the car to Taupo and Linda found us a motel to stop in which is really nice and after some brilliant food and beer we took a short walk along the lakeside with views to the Tongariro mountains. These were meant to be our destination today but the 20km walk was called off due to severe weather on the track. We could see across the lake that the weather down there was bad, but we couldn’t complain with the alternative day we’d had. This will live in our minds for years as one of the best experiences ever. A truly magical day.