It’s time to talk, Taupo. I finished Monday’s post off with a little cliffhanger about the most disappointing thing in Taupo. Today, we’re talking about it. If you missed that blog post, then check it out >> HERE <<. But for now, let’s get into today’s post.
Wai-o-tapu has to be one of the most highly advertised tourist destinations in New Zealand. That iconic Champagne Pool is plastered across every billboard, in every leaflet and on every advert. So as you can imagine, I was dying to try it out. Having been to Te Puia before, another very famous geyser park, I had high expectations for Wai-o-tapu.
Upon arrival we were told the Lady Knox Geyser was closed that day. This was not reflected in the price as we still had to pay full whack to get in… baring in mind entry fee is $32. When purchasing your ticket, you’re handed a map outlining the three different walks. Walk 1 is 45 mins, walk 1 & 2 would take 1hr and all three walks would take 1.5hrs. We began our walk, eagerly anticipating the Champagne pool. We stopped, admired what looked like a smaller version of the Champagne Pool then went on about our walk. Very quickly we realised we had nearly completed all three walks & made it back to the car in 45 minutes… not at all close to 1.5hrs. It wasn’t until we came back to where we started that we realised the ‘smaller version of the Champagne Pool’ was actually, the Champagne Pool. For the price you pay to get into Wai-o-tapu, I would highly suggest giving it a miss. Spend a little extra ($50 entry fee) and head to somewhere like Te Puia. Unfortunately, Wai-o-tapu was one big miss.
Moving on from this disappointment… We woke up super early, left Rotorua and drove to Taupo. We head through Taupo and around the lake, making our way up to Mount Ruapehu. Having never been there, I was desperate to visit before my time in New Zealand came to an end and at this time of year, you’re almost guaranteed to see snow. We arrived at the Chateau in the hope to scale the mountain further, however they had closed the road and the ski slopes due to poor weather conditions. We played around in the snow, took some pictures then decided to head back down. At this point, it was getting pretty cold anyway.
On the way back down, we took a little detour and visited the waterfalls just as you enter the Mount. Again, another very cold walk but well worth it to see this beautiful piece of nature. I’ll tell you what, I’m a sucker for a good waterfall. This time for real, it was time to jump back in the car and make our way down the mountain. We battled wind & rain but finally made it to the bottom. Finally, we were back in Taupo.
No visit to Taupo is ever complete without stopping by Huka Falls. Probably the most famous falls in New Zealand and for good reason. We took one of the many walks that surrounds the river, enjoyed a bit of relaxation time before it was time to head all the way back to Auckland.
I know I keep harping on about it but it still feels so strange to be leaving New Zealand. I look back on my journal or even on my insta stories and just see how unhappy I was when I first arrived here. How regretful I was of my decision to come to New Zealand and how lost I felt. Fast forward 10 months and I’m about to pack up and move to Australia to start a whole new chapter of my life.
This was for me, was the perfect final trip in New Zealand.
| By Harrison |