Lake Taupo
And now we arrive at the shores of Lake Taupo famous for its trout fishing and its adventure sports. I stayed just outside the town overlooking the magnificent lake and it was so relaxing to just go for a walk.

Between wandering along the lake shore, to shopping and chilling out with a coffee or a beer in town, Taupo was a nice, relaxing place. Unfortunately I had to cancel a skydive due to low cloud when I arrived but within a few hours, the blue skies returned. Instead, for some thrills, I went to the Huka Falls - spectacular - and sat upfront for some mad speed-boating! And throw in some 360-degree spins, and you can guarantee a smile ... and getting wet!

Taupo was also my base for the Tongariro Crossing - the 16km day hike through the three famous volcanoes of the North Island - Tongariro (1,968m), Ruapehu (2,797m), and Ngauruhoe (2,290m, used as Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings). Unfortunately for two days running, the cloud came in over the National Park not only blocking the views of the volcanoes but also forcing me to cancel the hike ... a definite must for next time especially since I've got so close now!

And before too long, Taupo and Tongariro were behind me and I was heading south to Wellington ...