Saturday, February 17, 2007

New Zealand: Waimangu - Huka Falls - Taupo

Photo gallery: Waimangu - Huka Falls - Taupo

Early morning we went to Waimangu Volcanic Valley for a spectacular half-day trip including a hiking trail along a crater. The valley is made up by seven craters formed during eruption in 1886 (this is the world's newest geothermal eco-system). We walked around the craters and explored volcanic lakes, thermal springs, old soil layers and many other interests of the local flora and fauna.

During the journey to Taupo we visited Huka Falls, the largest falls on the Waikato River. The river, normally up to 100 metres wide, abruptly narrows to just 15 metres as it crosses a hard volcanic ledge. The impressive view of the "chute" with 220,000 litres of water per second is enhanced with incredible blue and green pool under the falls. The water is really clear like a crystal!

At the end of the day we spent several relaxing hours in the Taupo Hot Springs Spa where we played around in 35-41°C hot thermal pools as well as many times slid down the Giant Dragon Waterslide :)

In the evening we built up our tent in a camp in the highland near Lake Taupo.

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