Last day in Taupo!

Good evening!

Well I just had a little scare… I opened up my blog editor here and started to write, then flipped over to iPhoto to grab a picture from today to add in… only to find that none of the pictures I took were in there! I was 99.98% sure I had already imported them, so I grabbed my memory card and yeah… empty.

So a little irritated (took about 200 pictures today – it was a nature day!), I started google’ing, found nothing. Dove into the iPhoto package in the file structure, wasn’t finding much, eventually did some sorting and found my lovely 800 some odd mb’s of pictures. So… thank you iPhoto for that. Though it was a little bit my fault… I force quit it earlier when I was doing a restart… should probably be a little more patient.

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ANYWAY – as I was saying! Today was my last full day in Lake Taupo, and my time on the North Island of New Zealand is quickly coming to an end. Today I did not want to spend money! Crazy – I know. But I’ve been spending heaps of it recently, so I decided to try NOT to spend money today. So it was a nature day… I started my nature day by venturing to a very well talked about waterfall in the area called Huka Falls.

Now let me just prefix this whole thing by saying – I’ve been to Niagara Falls. Several times. Let’s get real. THOSE are water falls.

But ignoring that, it was very nice, and was actually pushing out a pretty serious amount of water. The only thing is it was very heavily populated by tourists (like I said, very talked up) and I was getting irritated… so while I was walking between lookouts I noticed across on the other side of the water was another lookout, totally empty, obviously not really part of the “tourist experience”.

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Obviously, this peaked my interest. So I went back to the parking lot and tried to figure out how to get there… I saw a kind of beaten path in the “forest” sort of thing (see all those trees on the right? yeah, those) so I pulled my sleeves down a bit (I’d already recently tried some foresting and managed to get pricked several times – I’m learning!) and pressed on. Going over, and under, and through quite a bit of nature I figured out that this wasn’t exactly a path meant to be followed, but I pressed on!

Eventually… I arrived at the lookout! And then I looked behind me, and noticed a path that leads right back to the parking lot, in the open just slightly off to one side. But hell, it was an adventure – the easy way is boring. Right?

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So anyway that was nice, and since today is a nature day I decided to start driving… and see where that took me. I kind of intended to return to the hostel, sort of, but thought I’d just go along without the GPS and see if I could find it. Of course I couldn’t – I’d only driven “to” it once before, so I wound up driving alongside the water which turned out to be really nice. Along the way I found a number of “scenic lookouts” (reminded me of Hawaii!) which provided some amazing photo ops, and turned out to be a good place to just sit and watch the world go by for a while.

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Some really, really, really nice places. New Zealand has no shortage of beautiful landscapes, and Lake Taupo is the perfect place to observe a whole bunch of them. Along the water is really really cool.

I decided to keep driving along the waterfront and see how far I could go… so I kind of reached the “tip” and found myself on a single lane road… I figured it might lead in to a nice spot to stop, so I kept going… past the bumps and all that good stuff… to wind up in someone’s backyard :p so I reversed course pretty quick there lol.

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So it was a VERY good nature day – I saw a lot of Taupo and beyond, and other than food, I spent NADA! Nothing! A very good feeling, especially after spending so much these last few days!

I’ve found that New Zealand has a lot of great things to see and do, but they are all “guide” led, and rather expensive… on top of that, you have to drive everywhere – it’s a huge place. And gas is not cheap. So while this is an absolutely beautiful place to be and see, it’s not cheap, and not easy to stay on a budget.

TDSC05866hat being said – YOU NEED TO SEE NEW ZEALAND AT SOME POINT! (unless you’re already here, in that case you can ignore this).

So that’s my thing for today… as I was saying, today is my last day in Lake Taupo, tomorrow I will be relocating myself back to Auckland for a day, then flying out the following day to the South Island (landing in Christchurch). It’s going to be interesting to see Christchurch, which is still rebuilding itself from a massive earthquake, but apparently it’s very well along and still a great place to visit.

I only have a few days, so I’ll be allocating my time pretty carefully – I think I’m going to try to see Greymouth and Westport (south side) and unfortunately, leave the rest of the island for another time. I’m flying out to Melbourne on Nov 3rd.

Have a good day, night, afternoon, morning – whatever!