Our Getz takes us there
Thursday 28 February 2008 - Thursday 28 February 2008 21 °C
Today would be spent travelling to a place called National Park via Taupo. We left Napier in the morning travelling along highway 5 which showed a number of small towns along its route. Our car (yes, I’m calling it a car now because I believed it has now earned that title) had ¼ tank of gas in it that was still left from the full tank it had when it was picked up. As the distance to Taupo was 134km, the plan was to gas up somewhere on the highway. Well, you can probably guess that these place names weren’t representing towns but basically road junctions. No towns, no buildings, no gas! I finally realized that there was no gas as we approached the half way point. Funny, but the South Island posted signs indicating that there was no fuel available for distances greater than 100km, but that practice does not seem to be done on the North Island. Anyway, we slid into Taupo to a fuel station, with the needle firmly on empty and the fuel light on brightly. We tanked up putting 34 litre into the tank. Based on the 514kms that we’d done since picking up the car, that would suggest a burn rate of 6.6l/100km. This buggy sips at the fuel! And at almost $2nz/litre, that’s another plus. Anyway, we dodged this bullet. The year of Mike continues.
While in Taupo, we explored the Huka Falls and Craters of the Moon. The falls were OK but not extraordinary. The Craters of the Moon however were something else. This is an area that has a lot of geothermal activity. This means that everywhere you look, steam rises from openings in the ground. If there’s water nearby, it becomes boiling mud. We took the walkway through this area and were instructed not to step off the path, since the ground can be hot and unstable possibly giving way.
We stopped at the Chateau Tongariro and snapped the following pic. It’s pretty much representative of the scenery we’ve been enjoying today.
Tomorrow the plan is to hike the Tongariro Crossing, an 8 hour trek across the volcanoes. This is written up in the guidebooks as perhaps being the most scenic hike in all of New Zealand. Hope they don’t decide to get active.