Kia Ora from Lake Taupo

Kia Ora! I keep forgetting to use this in blog posts – I apologize. It’s quite late, but Kia Ora is a Māori language greeting which has entered New Zealand English. It means literally “be well/healthy” and is translated as an informal “hi”.

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SO – what did I do today? Well I left my cozy little hostel in lovely Rotorua, New Zealand and began to make my way to Lake Taupo (or just Taupo), New Zealand which is about an hour away. On the way I decided to make a little stop and try something created in New Zealand… Zorbing! Basically for about $45 NZD they will put you in a giant plastic ball and throw you down a hill! (I know, some of you are saying you’d throw me down a hill for free – thanks)

Anyway this was absolutely a lot of fun – they strap you in quite tight and push you over the edge, at which point you bounce around all the way down. I think from top to bottom it was about 20 seconds, I felt weightless for what seemed like much longer and I’m pretty sure I wound up bouncing and then landing upside down lol. It was great – if you ever see an opportunity to do this… do it. It’s worth the money.

There is another version you can do where you get in an enclosed ball filled with warm water (or cold water during the summer) and you are not strapped down, so you get to go down a less steep hill almost literally like a hamster. So that one would be amusing too… today was a bit chilly, so I wasn’t really in the mood to try that one.

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Anyway after wrapping up that I quickly visited a couple other local attractions and set off for Taupo! The drive was about an hour and a half, and it was an amazing drive. If I haven’t mentioned, the scenery around here is pretty breath taking… you really do have to focus on driving if you’re not used to it lol. Everywhere you look there are mountains, more mountains, amazing greenery and sheep. So it was a fun drive.

Also to mention – speed limits here are very generous. Typically, you’re going at 100kph. Sometimes in a city it gets low, but usually not for very long. So you’re zooming.

Arrived in Taupo to more amazing sights – found a nice little lookout on my way into town and snapped a few pictures. There is apparently a great waterfall which I’m looking forward to seeing tomorrow. The city itself is great – right on the water, so really really nice. The hostel is very nice actually, it’s a chain and is really active, clean, and just generally cool. Great location, right in the middle of the city, a 20 second walk from the water.

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So it’s been a bit of a chill day – travel days typically are for me. Luckily there is HIGH SPEED (like 120kb/s – wooooowie) internet here, and it’s cheap, so I’ve been able to update some apps on the laptop, iPhone, etc, do some FaceTime’ing, etc. which is quite handy. Hopefully I’ll get a good sleep tonight, NOT forget the shampoo (did I mention that I managed to hang on to the bottle today!? GO ME!) and do some exploring tomorrow.

Ok… so that’s about it. It’s about 7:30pm here, it’s Saturday so I think I should probably go get some food before everywhere closes. My time on the North Island is quickly coming to an end – the south island has been widely talked up to me, so I’m looking forward to checking it out. It’s supposed to be absolutely amazing from a scenic point of view.

Have a good day… night… whatever it is where you are.