Taupō. A place of extreme activities comparable to Queenstown. Skydiving. Bungee jumping. Kayaking. Rafting. Quad biking. Mountain biking. Helicopter rides.
Just not when it’s raining.
We arrived in Taupō the day after our Tongariro Alpine Crossing, exhausted, wet, and in need of a bed. We’ll explore tomorrow, we told ourselves.
But the next day came, and, apparently, there aren’t too many extreme activities to do in Taupō on a rainy day. For safety, obviously. We met a pair of girls who had been waiting 3 days to go skydiving because the clouds were too low, hiding the safe landing targets from the sky. Not the best conditions to skydive in.
Instead, Simon and I explored Huka Falls. From the Spa Thermal Park, we walked about an hour through bush and along the Waikato River.
When we reached Huka Falls, it was beautiful. According to the info plaque, about 200 000 litres of water plunge nine metres every second down the falls.
As the water crashes down it picks up a lot of air bubbles, giving it it’s beautiful colour and its name “Huka” meaning foam in Maori.
The strong undercurrent created by the forceful flow of water makes this section of the river dangerous. This didn’t stop a few thrill-seeking explorers, who bush waked to the bottom of the falls and attempted to creep behind the crashing water, much to the amazement and fright of us on-lookers.
I’m pretty sure we all thought these guys were crazy, mixed with some envy, for they were able to source their own thrill for a rainy day in Taupō.