Travel Elysium

New Zealand – Day 6

Travel teaches us to make time for serendipity – Zachary Johnson

The next morning we set off fairly early as we had a long drive from Ruapehu to Rotorua. I also wanted to go through Lake Taupo again because it was so pretty and the morning we left was gorgeous.

From whence we came

Just for the sake of it, I wanted to check out the McDonald’s that was located in an aeroplane! Unfortunately we did not stop to eat there 🙁

Would have been exciting though…

We then made our way towards Huka Falls. Which has more than 200,000 litres of water rush through the narrow passage every second. You can find the falls 1.6km north of Taupo, which has an easily accessible carpark for cars and busses. We had originally planned on walking from Spa Park walk along the Waikato River, but somehow managed to drive straight to the car park before realising we missed the turn off.
Visiting the falls is recommended though, it’s a truly amazing sight.

Top of the falls.

So much water!

Just across the road is a little souvenir shop, which I had a little squiz in, but to be honest it wasn’t that great. It was an outlet store and the prices were not great for the quality of product.

Souvenir shop

From here, we continued our drive to Rotorua, making plenty of little stops along the way. We found a few lakes to walk down to, and a few look outs.

Blue Lake

We drove right down into Blue Lake to begin with. This is ‘named as the place where the daughter of a high born chief lost her sacred greenstone neck ornament (Tikitapu). It is 150 hectares in size and the deepest point reaches 27.5 metres. It is turquoise blue from above due to reflection from white rhyolite and pumice from the bottom.’


Next we headed up the look out where you could stand between the two lakes looking down from above. The above image is the blue lake from the lookout and below is the green lake. The colours are much more distinguishable in person than on my phone.


This is the ‘named lake of the shellfish (kakahi) and is 440 hectares in size and the deepest point is 32 metres. It is emerald green from above due to its shallow, sandy bottom. This is a privately owned, sacred lake.’

Next we stopped above another lake at Tuhourangi and from here you can also drive to the bottom, where there is a little cafe. We did not dine here though.

From the bottom of the lake

From the top

It’s probably not worth the drive down to the lake unless you’re desperate for a cuppa. We stood at the lookout which had a monumental Waka (canoe) to honour the chief who occupied the surrounding lands.

The Waka

After this we went into Rotorua and found our accommodaton (Sudima Lake Rotorua) and man does this city stink! We did a bit of wandering around the city, figuring out what we were going to for the next couple of days. The lady at the information centre recommended we try the Redwoods Tree Walk. We purchased tickets to both day and night which was around $35.

Here is our walk through the trees during the day:

The information centre was a great place to find out all the attractions at Rotorua (obviously). We also found a pamphlet for a Mongolian BBQ buffet, which turned out to be a super popular place, and we got a soft drink voucher with the pamphlet. It was an interesting place to eat, food probably wasn’t GREAT, but it was still good, and a fun way to create your own meals and have your food cooked in front of you.

Mongolian BBQ

We then returned to walk through the trees again that night, and this was probably the better of the two experiences.


Apologies for the quality of my phone with night photos.

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