NZ Day 5 – Rotorua to Taupo

Hi friends!

Coming to you right now from Taupo. It has been a beautiful day. We woke up in Rotorua with the sun shining, which was a nice change from the last few rainy ass days. It was a relatively early start. We drove a few blocks up the road and parked outside the council building where we had to wait for our white water rafting guides to pick us up. Parking in Rotorua is metered, but it is like $1 an hour so it isn’t too bad. The guides picked us up in the skainzy old bus, but they seemed pretty cool so it was all good. They said that it was a 50 minute drive..we were like whattt, but that went pretty quickly. When we got there we got into the wetsuits – this is the second time this trip I’ve had to wear one of these heavy ass and uncomfortable wetsuits, they’re pretty good though and protect you from the cold quite well. After chuckin on the wetsuits, we drove another 10 minutes to the river. There were 6 of us per raft. Aimee and Vincze sat up the front, then Bec and I and then a dutch couple were behind us with the guide, Tom, at the back. Tom was from Tasmania and was a pretty cool guy, he was funny and good.

Aimee was sat in front of me because she had the GoPro on her helmet and I could switch it on and off from behind her. The first part of the rafting around the first two corners was nice and calm and then we stopped and Tom informed us that the biggest rapids were about to occur – so early. Anyway, he said the biggest rapid on the river was called Geoff’s Joy. He stated that the reason that this was is they used to have a photographer that took pictures of rafters on that rapid. One day he thought the people were further away and he starting giving himself some “Self-love” when the people came rolling overt he rapid and caught him out, so they named it after him hahaha. The rapid was fuckin wild, no-one fell out but we got smashed in the face about 3 times in a row and thrashed around. There were some more good rapids, but none as good as that. Aimee and Vincze got soaked the most because they were at the front and there was about a 10 minute float during it that was just quiet and relaxed. The scenery was amazing too. I don’t have any pictures because they’re all in the GoPro footage that I’ll put together when I get back.

Following the white water rafting they drove us back to the changerooms where they bought us all fish and chips to eat. It was our first fish and chips in NZ, something that I know is a staple of NZ culture and that I have wanted to try since coming here. It was pretty good – not too different from Australian fish and chips, but nice nonetheless. After we got back from the 50 minute drive back, it was straight back into the car for an hours drive back the way we came to get to Taupo.

Our first stop in Taupo was Huka Falls. Huka Falls is a super powerful rapid that is made up of turquoise coloured water. It is powerful and beautiful. I don’t think photos do it justice, i’ll put a few here anyway, but it was actually pretty stunning and I was blown away by it.

Huka Falls – powerful!
Bottom of Huka falls – beautiful

After Huka falls we got to and checked into our AirBnB, this is probably the worst of the AirBnBs we have stayed at. I mean, its still pretty good, but not as flash as the others. We left soon after to go check out Taupo. After some walking around we came across McDonalds which was awesome. Not because of the food (we didn’t eat there) but because this McDonalds has its own fuckin plane – that you can sit inside and eat at! Wild hey? Here’s a pic:
Maccas plane – Arties dream

After that we went and played the Taupo Hole in One Challenge. This is a floating island out in the middle of the great Taupo lake that has a few golf holes on it. You crack the balls out onto the island and if you get a hole in one, you get a mad prize – up to $10,000. Of course we didn’t do it, but I was hitting them pretty well, close to the island on pretty much every shot.
Hole in one challenge.

After this we went home and got changed so we could go out for dinner. We went to this nice restaurant next to the lake called Dixie Browns. It was pretty good. Aimee and Vincze ordered steak and ribs and Bec got this massive pizza. I opted for Pork Belly which was well worth it. It was expensive, but we expected that for excellence. We then had a nice look over the lake and rolled on home for an early night. We were supposed to go on our 20km hike tomorrow but the weather has proven to be a miss unfortunately. We have a few other things lined up though which should be equally as fun, but less painful and less impressive. 

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