Day 21 & 22: May 9 & 10 – Whanganui to Taupo
This is a stretch of North Island New Zealand that gets pretty mountainous. Highway 1 is pretty busy and highly trafficked and the other roads going through this area are pretty remote. So, I decided to catch a ride with my parents for this stretch and turn it into strictly sightseeing instead of cycling.
We drove the more remote route on Highway 4 and 47 up to Turangi, from there we picked up Highway 1 to Taupo. This was a really scenic drive (especially along highways 4 & 47):
These hills were massive and went on as far as the eye can see!
The white specs on the first hill are sheep
You can’t tell in the picture, but about a foot on the other side of the cow is a cliff. I’m still shocked how a cow was up here!
Some perspective on the side of the hills, in the middle of the frame are some houses nestled in the valley
The town of Ohakune with Mount Ruapehu in the background
We drove up to the ski base area of Mount Ruapehu
And then drove down the mountain a bit, grabbed lunch and hiked about an hour to a waterfall
A loooooooong boardwalk along the hike to the waterfall
On the boardwalk with Mount Ruapehu in the background
Then we headed back down the mountain to our accommodations for the evening, where we were sent on a bit of a scavenger hunt. Our accommodations had a note on the door saying their reception was closed and to go to another hotel in the area. We walked the 1/2km to that hotel which also had a note on the door saying that their reception was closed and gave a couple of numbers to call. Both numbers went unanswered, so we left voice messages. We started walking back to the first hotel when they returned our call, told us the room number and let us know that the door was unlocked and the key was in the room. Oh small towns! lol!
The next morning we continued our drive to Taupo.
A closer view of Mount Ngauruhoe
Mount Tongariro – there is a 19.4km hike that you can take up this mountain, which we decided to skip
A thermal area in Turangi
Areas of these thermal pools were bubbling, but it was hard to capture in a picture. I did get a video of it tho!
Further up the road along Lake Taupo these 3 black swans came to greet us, looking for food I’m sure. It was a little too close for comfort for me, so I made sure I was the farthest away!
And then we drove on to Huka Falls which is a pretty impressive area with some powerful moving water
Some info on Huka Falls. I have to say, since Murchison there have been much more information posted at lookouts/towns/scenic stops about the history and facts of the location
In Taupo we went for a walk along the Lake and came across this golfing challenge
Who thinks they can make this shot?