John & Sasha's Round world Trip Oct 2005 - Oct 2006 travel blog

Us before we went on the Huka speed boat

Close up of the Huka boat we went on

View of the rapids that came into the river where we went...

View of the rapids and woodland near Taupo

Taupo, North Island, New Zealand

Wednedday 8th March

As we drove from the thermal town of Rotorua through rolling green farmland, we approached the town of Taupo. Just outside the town, we came to the Huka River, where a company ran adventure jet boating trips. We decided to stop and take part in a jet boat ride, which was expensive but something we both wanted to experience. We were geared up in waterproof poncho`s and life jackets and boarded one of the jet boats with about 10 other people and a driver. The driver explained a few safety tips and how he was going to signal to us when he was going to do some spins on the water, then we were off. The Jet boat works by sucking water into the engine then pushng it out very fast to propel the boat, to turn the boat you just turn the flow of the water that pushes out. The boat rises out of the water when going fast and is able to do fast stunts and spins. It was soo great, the driver threw the boat around in 360 degrees spins at hihg speeds, it was very scary but great fun. We had to hold on really tight so as not to be thrown out of the boat! The trip took us up the river to a dam which we got to see from the boat, then back down the river to the Huka Waterfall, a huge volume of water that is squeezed through a 10 meter wide gorge over a cliff and down 15 metres into the river below where we were jet boating. We got to look up at the water fall from below it, but couldnt get too close as the boat would have been sucked in. The trip was great and worth the money, and we all ended up pretty wet from the spray off of the spins. We dried off back on shore then drove another 5 minutes into the town and found a hostel to stay in for the night. Being quite late we didn`t have much time to cook dinner so popped to pizza hut and had their bargin buffet meal which was cheap and had unlimited Mountain dew to drink bargin!

Thursday 9th March

We made ourselves some breakfast in the hostel kitchen which was big and well equipped, then packed up our bags again after only one night at the hostel, loaded up our car and had a brief drive around the town and its` lake before heading south out of the town on a long 6/7 hour drive to the capital city of Wellington on the south coast of the North Island. The drive took us through beautiful snowy volcano and mountain scenery of the Whakapappa Ski Resort and mountain region of the Tangariro National Park. One if the volcanoes topped with snow was the one used for Mordor in Lord of the Rings (please see pics). Upon approaching Wellington the highway took us through a more temperate climate similar to home and along the coastline where we could look out to sea at a few rocky islands, but unfortunately could not spot NZ`s South Island.

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