Home > New Zealand > Day 8: Taupo

Day 8: Taupo

Wednesday, 07 April, 2010:

It’s gotten cold.  Up until now it’s been 75 during the day and around 60 at night.  Today, though, it didn’t make it past 55 during the day, and it’s going into the 30s tonight.  For once I won’t be burning up while I sleep!

This cold weather will make tomorrow a bit difficult.  I’m planning to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a 19.2 km hike that travels up and around Mt. Tongariro and Mt. Ngauruhoe.  It takes 6-8 hours and reaches a high point of around 1800 m, though there’s an optional 3-hour addition that goes the rest of the way to the ~2250 m peak of Mt. Ngauruhoe.  I’m hoping to do the extra if my ankle is feeling up to it.  I have a shuttle schedule to pick me up at 6:15 am, so I should have plenty of time.

Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park. The mountains (Tongariro and Ngauruhoe, among others) that I'll be hiking tomorrow.

The fire alarm in the hostel went off in the early morning. Luckily I was already awake, but most people weren’t that lucky.

I hung around Taupo today, taking a short walk on the lake front in the morning.  I also got to see the Aratiatia Dam let the flood gates open to let water flow down the Waikato River.  It wasn’t as dramatic as I was hoping—I was picturing gushing, killer water.  Instead, it was just a small flux that slowly raised the water level over the course of 15 minutes.

Aratiatia Dam

The Aratiatia Power Station, on the Waikato River, releases water three times a day.


Two sailboats on Lake Taupo

Fall is Coming

Just off the east coast of Lake Taupo. It still catches me off guard that spring is coming in April, especially when I see the trees changing.

Picnic Table

Also taken in the picnic area from above.

Red Delicious

Found near a mini-golf place in Turangi

I checked out some DOC camp sites down near the walk I’m doing tomorrow and saw some sites near those.  I walked across the viewing bridge for the Pillars of Hercules.  While I don’t really know what I was supposed to be looking at, the bridge itself was impressive, a ~100 ft. long suspension walking bridge 150 ft. above a river-filled gorge.  I wouldn’t like to fall down there.

I ended up ditching those spots for a semi-secluded spot on the side of the road.  The biggest advantage is that this spot is only 3 minutes from my pick up location tomorrow, instead of 30.  Though I will admit, I’m a bit creeped out being the only one around.  I’m close by a fairly major road, but it only provides access to the National Park.  Since no one goes there at dark, it’s deserted.  No cars have passed in at least two hours, and I feel so alone out here.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard it this silent.

Full Set: North Island

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