So we packed up the car and headed south out of Auckland. Our first stop was the town of Rataruri which is supposed to be the Maouri cultural center, uh, not. we had been warmed that the hole town smells like sulphor and you know what? They were right. Stopped in to Hell's Gate (Sulphor pools, waterfalls and boiling pits) because it sounded so cool and it was not quite as cool as we thought it was. Stuck my toe into one of the little streams and yes, it's some hot stuff. As soon as I figure out the loading of the mpegs you guys should get a chuckle out of the site.
From there we headed further south to Lake Taupo and just outside of town we made a stop at Huka Falls, this joint seems to pruduce 15% of the energy for the entire North Island, not to bad for the size. But we didn't stop for that, we stopped for the free hot spring. After a 45 minuete hike along one of the clearest rivers I have ever seen. We finally came across this little bridge that people were hanging out at and realize that the little stream that ran below it and into the river was the hot spring, and yes, it was hot. This was definetly one of the natural highlites of my trip so far in NZ. The River was at a out 22 degrees celcious and the stream was about 44. It was just like a proper hot tub.
From there we booked to Lake Taupo to make sure we got our accomadtions and as we came over the hill we saw the town and lake just appeare before us. It was definetly the first time that I was excited about getting into a town. But time is not with us so we have to hit the road tomorow to head down to Wellington and get a Ferry at 3am to the South Island and Pictin. Sometimes traveling is not as relaxing as some think it is.