Sunday morning and we set off away from lake Rotorua onto the next stage of our trip, lake Taupo. The road (an A road highway) took us up and over the mountain ranges, beautifully scenic, as the rest of New Zealand has been.
We chose the camp ground in Taupo that has a huge reputation – DeBrett’s. With a water park, massage and spa resort, I think I will be happy here! First step – book the massage! Even have a view of the lake, which is so big it looks like the sea!
After some discussion and deliberation over how best to use our limited time remaining, we decided on kayaking, and a craters of the moon geothermal walk, combined with some pool time. Wanted to hike the mountain ridge and see some sow, but we didn’t have the time, or the cash remaining!
Craters of the moon
A short trip back out of Taupo took us to the geothermal park. Another twisty windy road up there, and a small charge but it was fascinating. The whole region is geothermal, steam vents everywhere, the ground was warm to touch in most of the area, and the walk way was a raised wooden path. It seemed they simply replaced or built extra bits when new steam vents sprang up. Some huge craters, more mud pools, lots and lots of steam vents, and a steep steep path up to an excellent vista view. We could see from the seat at the top, the path where people had to choose easy (stay at the bottom) or the difficult path, and very few followed us, we had little bets as each group got to the junction!
The great thing about a camper van is you can sit in the lounge and make lunch anywhere, and that is what we did before we left to drive back to the town.
Our camp site has a thermal spa, which mark wanted to try out, so we planned to do that for the rest of the afternoon. It was well hidden down a steep road behind the reception building, and contained a huge slide and kiddies area, as well as several thermal pools of varying temperatures from 26 degrees to 40 degrees, spas, etc, bliss! The water was geothermal, and out of the ground nearby: so hot that it had to go through a cooling system before it was pumped into the bathing pools! It was green in colour, had a very faint sulphur like smell, but not unpleasant. It did seem strange to be sitting in outside pools in water as hot as that! Very relaxing though, but gosh it was effective at lifting nail varnish!
We didn’t fancy driving to find dinner, so we decided to go to the hotel restaurant next door.. The Hilton no less!
Beautiful food, posh and stacked into piles (haha) worth the extra cash, to round off a truly beautiful day.
Then the freaky thing happened…..
We had happened to decide on this camp site in Taupo today. We had per chance decided to go out for dinner at the Hilton. We had by chance decided on this particular time of the evening… Then I spotted fellow GB triathlete Jackie Phillips and her husband on a nearby table! She was as freaked out as I was when I went and revealed to her that we were there! Then we found out they had a camper van too, and had pitched up in the site right opposite us!
New Zealand is full of triathletes at the moment, you can’t go anywhere without bumping into one!