One hour and 7,345 pictures of mountains later and we arrive in Taupo. After spending a week in two big cities, we’re excited to see the other side to New Zealand – the proper sexy side you see on films and postcards and Google images when you want to know what New Zealand looks like after booking a trip there. We aren’t disappointed, and step off the bus to this:


On our first morning in Taupo we head to the harbour for a sailing trip to see the Maori Rock Carvings out on the lake. It’s bright, sunny, and 6 degrees, so we feel right at home on our walk down to the boat. As we leave the harbour the tour guide tells us about the history of the lake, but it’s before 10am and I’ve not woken up yet so I respond in the same way I did with my university lectures; by listening intently, taking a bit of it in, while telling myself I’ll Google it all again later.

taupo lake

maori rocks

The next morning we’re up early again to go kayaking down the Waikato River. It’s just us and two American girls on the tour so we have the whole river to ourselves, which is good because otherwise I think I would have accidentally decapitated someone with my oar. (Cold weather and poorly co-ordinated limbs aside I actually thought I did pretty well, but in the one photo they took of us I’m stuck in some bushes at the side of the river, so maybe not).

We planned on going to Huka Falls afterwards (I don’t know how you pronounce that and I’m not going to attempt it) but run out of time, so we pack up our things and catch the bus to our next stop, Rotorua, also known as the smelly city. Or something like that.

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