Neil and Laura's 2005 Adventure travel blog

Volcanoes at sunset across Lake Taupo - from left to right Ruapehu,...

The Waikato River (New Zealand's longest) where it flows out of Lake...

The river water is amazingly clear and blue

Start of the Huka Falls (actually a long rapid)

And the final plunge at the bottom

Jetboat in the wash at the bottom of Huka Falls

Thirsty work all this walking about

Lookout above the Craters of the Moon

One of the craters - no water just smelly steam belching forth

Occasionally they get very steamy

Lake Taupo is New Zealand's biggest lake - which is saying something as the country is packed with big lakes. This one is so big that it's hard to believe it's not the sea - it's over a hundred miles around the lake shore - and it's actually the basin formed by a massive volcanic explosion thousands of years ago. The town of Taupo has grown up around the tourist industry on the lake.

At the south end of the lake are New Zealand's three main active volcanoes in the Tongariro National Park - Ruapehu (last big eruption in 1995), Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. The Waikoto River, the longest in New Zealand, flows out of the lake at the north end and shortly afterwards crashes through the amazing Huka Falls.

Taupo is also the start of North Island's thermal reserves with lots of hot springs and bubbling mud. We visit a place called The Craters of the Moon where lots of cracks and craters have opened up belching sulphurous steam into the atmosphere.

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