So here we are, I hope you all had a great Christmas Day! What better way to nurse the hangover than to read all about Part 2 of The Plentiful Road Trip. If you missed Day 1, then check that out >> HERE <<
Today we were up early and off down to Rotorua. This was Alex’ first time and as you know, not mine. We made our way from Taupo to Rotorua, heading down The Thermal Express Highway, stopping at a couple of places along the way.
// Road Trip Day 2 – Kerosene Creek \\
The first stop on the tour to Rotorua was Kerosene Creek. Having been recommended by our Airbnb host, we head down the gravel track onto the Creek. Kerosene Creek is heated by the natural, thermal activity from the ground below. Take a dip in the still water lakes or head down to the waterfall and join the crowds in bathing in the bubbly hot water.
Having never heard of this place, I was expecting it to be quiet. However, I think I was the only one to have never heard of it as Kerosene Creek was a very busy location. It was a welcomed stop on the road trip, however everyone had the same idea. I would recommend getting here early in the day to beat the crowds and enjoy the creek on your own. As our Airbnb host liked to point out (I think she thought we were a couple), Kerosene Creek is a pretty romantic place.
// Rotorua \\
Time was of the essence on day 2 of the road trip. The weather was a little off so we wanted to get into Rotorua, before the rain came in. On the approach to Rotorua, the smell of sulphur gets stronger and stronger. By this point it was midday, so naturally we were hungry, so naturally it was time for a McDonalds. We stopped for a spot of lunch at The Lake before making our way to Kuirau Park. As mentioned in a previous blog post, this is a free park within the centre of Rotorua, where you can view some epic thermal pools for free! Luckily as we got back in the car, the heavens opened!
We then ticked off a few other stops on the list such as the several lakes, Okere Falls and The Redwood Forest before jumping in the car and heading back to Taupo. Another full on day of exploring, dodging the rain showers and for me, playing tour guide to Alex. However, the day wasn’t over… we still had a few stops on our list as we made our way home.
// Road Trip Day 2 – Wai-O -Tapu \\
Wai-O-Tapu is a pretty famous thermal park on the outskirts of Rotorua. Famous for its orange thermal pool, due to the attention it gets across social media, Wai-O-Tapu entry is pretty hefty. However, avoid that cost by heading to the free mud pool you pass on the way in.
This is just one mud pool but it’s a pretty huge one. As I mentioned, it’s on the drive in to Wai-O-Tapu and signs will direct you. It’s one of the most active mud pools I’ve seen on my travels and what’s even better, it’s free! If you’re wanting to do things on a budget, I’d suggest stopping here rather than paying the $35 to get into the main area of Wai-O-Tapu.
// Road Trip Day 2 – Aratiatia Dam \\
Then finally we returned to Taupo and before heading home, we went to Aratiatia Dam. Probably the first dam I think I’ve ever seen. 4 times a day, this dam is opened and the water comes rushing down to fill the creek. We were lucky enough to have just got there in time to watch the dam be opened. Watching such powerful water come gushing beneath you is such a thrilling feeling.
Both early morning and evening, the dam is such a good place to hang out. It’s so calm, a lot of travellers hang out here and the dam itself is so vast to look at. Again, something I had never heard of but so glad we took the time to visit.
By this point, we were ready for dinner and ready to grab an early night. Another early start was calling as this time we were checking out of our Airbnb and making our way to another town. Find out where in the final part of the road trip! I’ll see you back here on Monday.
| By Harrison |