Huka Falls

Trip Start Feb 17, 2005
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Trip End Feb 27, 2006


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Saturday, March 19, 2005

I love Taupo!

I only arrived here with the expectation of staying a couple of nights, but already I've extended that to 4 nights.

The first day here was really cool (despite the weather) as literally within 5 minutes of arriving at Rainbow Lodge, I had seen 2 people who I had met before! The first guy was Duncan the teacher who I went out with a couple of times in Paihia. He was just leaving though but we exchanged pleasantries and it was nice to see him again, albeit briefly.

After putting my stuff in my room, I headed to the huge lounge area and recognised Tim, a guy who I spoke to down in Wanganui when we went out for the night. He was going to be here for a few days and so I spent most of that afternoon with him, just chilling out at the hostel. I thrashed him at pool (!!) and then we braved the weather and went to buy some groceries (i.e. noodles, spaghetti, bread etc).

I had failed to notice that it was Saint Patrick's Day, despite the fact that all the staff were dressed in green and the annoyingly jolly Irish music was constantly playing in the hostel! But apparently virtually everyone in the hostel was going out that night, and so I went against my Bank Manager's advice (if I have a Bank Manager) and went along. It turned out to be a decent night, although it was probably a little too busy for my liking. Still, I got talking to Serena in the hostel lounge (a bit of a cool hippy chick from the US) and so Tim, her and me kind of hung out together all night playing pool and stuff.

The next day was one of my favourite days so far, as I awoke to glorious sunshine! It was such a relief after the constant rain in Napier and on my first day in Taupo. As is often the case when I've been drinking, I woke up early and decided to make the most of the great weather. So off I went walking! The Lonely Planet had recommended a track to the Huka Falls which was only about 3-4 hours there and back, which sounded good to me.

The walk was superb, and the scenery was just something else. The walk was basically along the Waikato River, which had amazing turquoise water. I didn't see many people as it was quite early at this stage, but the people I did meet were incredibly friendly and never failed to say hello. I asked an old lady who was out walking her dog to take my photo...she is so lucky to be able to walk there every single day!

So after about an hours walk up, down and through the forest, I was relieved to hear the sound of water crashing from the rapids and creating the Huka Falls. It was great to stand above the rapids and see how fast the water was flowing, and I saw the Huka Jet just beyond the Falls...I would have liked to do that but they didn't actually go onto the rapids! Luckily there was a small kiosk there and I sat down for about half an hour with my bottle of water, surrounded by tourists who had cheated and come by car! For me, the walk was a lot better than the actual Falls and so I was glad I had gone the hard route!

So soon after, I set off back and took some photos of the views. If this is what I've got to look forward to on the South Island, then I can't wait!

The evening was spent just chilling out and talking to my new room mates. As per usual, we exchanged stories about skydiving, bungy jumping, bungy swinging (and various other ways of throwing yourself off a building). One of the guys was doing a skydive the following day and it was tempting, but I decided to resist and do it in Taupo when I return in about 6 weeks...after I've earned some money!
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