Yesterday was so culturally enriching, that today was a much needed change of pace. After a long night of soaking in the hot tub and roasting by the fire, I finally went to bed around 1am. We all woke up around 0800 and had breakfast in the dining room before we left the Tamaki Maori Village and headed back into Rotorua to pick up the rest of the passengers that did not stay overnight.
We had three options of activities to choose from including the free walk through the Redwood Forest, a tour of the hot springs at Te Puia, or a walk around Rotorua town. I chose the Redwoods walk along with a handful of other kiwi passengers, including my fellow American friend, Melanie. We got dropped off at the park and enjoyed a nice quiet walk through the huge trees. These California Redwood trees were imported from the US and they’re not quite as big as the ones back in California, but it was still a nice leisure walk through the forest.
After the walk we started our drive to Taupo and I took a nap since I was still tired from staying up last night. Right outside of the town, we stopped at Huka Falls for a short break while a small group of passengers met their bus to connect with their skydive. Huka Falls is a powerful river with water that is a glacier green-blue color and there was a little waterfall at the end of the viewing platform.
When we got to Taupo, I had a little walk around the town and to the lake. The lake is actually the crater of a super volcano, according to Jared, which last erupted 1,700 years ago. In the background, you can see mountains and somewhere on the horizon you are suppose to be able to see Mount Ngauruhoe, which is where they filmed Mount Doom in LOTR.