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David’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 28 Feb 2018

Location: Taupo, New Zealand

MapFeb 28th. The day started with a run along Hawke's Bay then into Napier for breakfast and a stroll around the city centre. Napier was rebuilt after an earthquake in 1932 and much of the centre is made up of Art Deco buildings. The buildings are lovely but a bit spoils by modern signs and facings. Drove to Taupo via Waipunga Falls. Great views of the falls and we watched a photographer set up his drone and fly it over the falls! Boys toys!! As we got in to Taupo it was weird to see steam rising out of vents in the fields by the road. Checked in and had a look at how to do the two main bits. Huka Falls and the Maori carvings out on the lake. There was a cocktail cruise on the lake going at 5 which sounded pleasant and left the afternoon for a walk up to the falls billed at 45 min each way - ideal. The walk up was fine along the Waikato River past a hot stream creating a natural jacuzzi although if you swam out into the main river it got very cold very quickly by the sound of those trying it and given the size of the river and the very fast flow you didn't want to cool for too far out!! Got to the falls, very impressive but we were well over time but there was a cycle track back that looked shorter on the map - it wasn't. We ended up on a half run half power walk for well over an hour up hill down dale, one of those nightmares where you run and run and get nowhere and don't know where you are so you just keep moving forward!! The 2 cyclists who passed us twice were very impressed tho - "You guys are really quick!!" Emerged from the forest realising we wouldn't make the boat so rang them to see if they could get us a taxi. The lady running it came and fetched us. Made it with ten minutes to spare. The cocktail cruise was NZ style, they came round with beer, wine, pizza and chocolates at regular intervals. The safety announcement consisted of " if someone falls off let us know and we will get them on the way back" and "keep your hands off the handrails in dock a 25 ton manicure can be severe". The carvings are recent but very impressive. The lake is beautiful and apparently the same size as Singapore. Got back to the site around 8 pm and fell into the thermal plunge pool - much needed. A pretty full day in the end!