September 8, 2017
Some more facts about the east coast of the North Island: The number one industry is timber and not tourism. Near Rotorua is a large redwood forest which was a joint project between the US and NZ at the turn of the century. The NZ trees grew 3 times faster than those in the US. Other trees do the same in NZ. Thus, they log the trees and replant so that they are sustainable. We see evidence of this all over. We literally have been living in a crater that had 3 volcanos in it. There has been so much rain this year that they are draining the water from the lakes daily. The problem has been the warm water near Australia.
Today we have had mostly sunshine with intermittent rain. We are very happy that we bought “beanie” hats yesterday as the wind is really gusty. We walked from camp to the Huka Falls, NZ most visited attraction, following the east bank of the Waikato River. The river flows from Lake Taupo, NZ largest Lake. Downriver the canyon narrows from 100 meters to 15 meters creating a falls flow of 220,00 liters per second. Amazing! Nice 5 mile walk. We didn’t do the Spa Park Hot Spring at the beginning which was quite small. Not a secret as folks were there!
Had some lunch at camp. I tried loading some pictures in to the journal which is PAINFULLY SLOW. Then went to Pac N Save for groceries. We thought seafood would be more reasonable but it’s not. Doesn’t even look good other than the wonderful NZ mussels. Bob found bagels so he is happy to have with smoked salmon and cream cheese.
We had planned to go to the Wairakei Terraces for the thermal health spa but it was almost 4:00. Opted for the very large heated pool and Jacuzzi at camp instead(Vegas size and style!). Hardly anyone there. Was a windy 59 degrees outside and surprised I did it!
Bob read for an hour and I cooked steak goulash stew with sour cream and horseradish noodles. Lots of steps but I had fun. 2013 Ka Tahi NZ merlot Malbec from Hawkes Bay. Should be interesting!
Tomorrow off to Napier. Still ahead of schedule.