Sean Mc on Skynet

Rotorua to Taupo

From Rotorua we returned to our favourite haunt, Taupo. Along the way we stopped at a place called Butchers pools. This is one of many natural hot pools in the area but what makes this one different is the setup. Most of the pools are just hot pools by the roadside or a deeper part of a river where you can sit on the rocks and relax, but at Butchers pools the council have installed changing rooms and floodlights. They've put in a car park too and made a 'proper pool' of the hot pool with decking and in-water seating. You'd expect with these additions that there'd be a fee to use it and that it would be crowded with people but no, it's FREE and most of the time only 1 or 2 people are there. We'd heard about this place before but had never visited, our only disappointment is that we hadn't visited before now. After a relaxing soak it was onwards to Taupo for a night.

posted by SeanMc @ 12:18 AM, ,

From the end of June to the middle of July we had a visitor, here's how it went.

For the next 3 weeks we were away from work and touring again with Clare’s sister Susan. There was to be no time to get over the jet lag from the long flight before seeing the sights of New Zealand, we did start slowly though and stuck to Auckland. There were a few sights in Auckland that we hadn’t got to visit yet, two of them being the tunnels at Northhead and the inside of the Auckland Skytower. The tunnels at North head are tunnels that were built into the hillside as part of a defence battery for the NZ armed forces during WWII. The tunnels are well preserved with some of the large guns still remaining for visitors to see. As well as being of huge historical importance the are provides a good view of the Auckland city skyline and the whole harbour area, and unlike other parts of the city you’re not in traffic struggling to sneak a look at the view.
The Skytower is the tallest building in the Southern hemisphere and like any skyscraper it provides 360degree panoramic views of the greater Auckland area, we were there on a fine day so we cold see a good distance. The views are good but I think the views from any tall building will be spectacular simply because they’re a scene that you don’t get to see everyday.

After Auckland we went to Rotorua via Hamilton to catch up with some friends. It had been a while since we’d been to Rotorua so it was good to revisit some of the places we’d seen way back when we arrived in NZ first. Rotorua is famous for the large amount of geothermal activity in the area and the smell of rotten eggs that is caused by such activity. We visited the Blue and Green lakes just outside the town, these aren’t much to look at individually but when you stand on the hillside between the two the contrast is fascinating and hugely noticeable. The blue lake is a popular venue for rowing and sprint kayaking regattas as it provides ideal racing conditions with no weed growing in the lake. Our favourite activities in Rotorua are Zorbing and the Luge track. Both of which we’d done before but were more than happy to pay to have another go.
More to follow....

posted by SeanMc @ 11:00 AM, ,

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