Woke up with the sun right on Papamoa Beach, there’s not any satisfaction quiet like the one from when you stumble upon a beautiful accident. We breathed in as much of the morning dew as we could and were back on one of the magical roads of New Zealand.
Drove down to Rotorua and went to Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland, saw the famous Champagne Pool and did the full walk around the park. Wai-o-tapu is one of those places that photos can’t really capture its uniqueness, the smells, the texture of its foggy air. Other than the postcard Champagne Pool, Lake Ngakoro was my favorite part of the park. Although we originally had debated on the $25 admission cost, the Thermal Wonderland was worth it because it was something different from anything I’ve ever seen before, and that’s what traveling is all about. You also cant be to sensitive to smell, with all the geothermal activity the scent in the whole park is straight sulfur.
Taupo was our next stop to see Huka Falls. Ice blue water barreling through a narrow canyon from Lake Taupo. You can actually feel the pressure of the water being forced down the canyon by mother nature. The viewing area was a little congested for our taste so we pressed on without hesitation.
Before the sunset we made it to Waitomo and signed up for Black Water Rafting. Had dinner at the only place that was open, The General Store, which was also an actual general store. We stayed at Juno Hall that night, $16 a person for our “campsite”, which was just a parking spot on their gravel driveway. Complete rip off. Just to be able to use their facilities, shower, bathroom and living room.