Sandy & Verne Down Under travel blog

Lady Knox Geyser

Lady Knox eruption

Another morning run!

Today is the start of our second week. We took inventory of our favorite and least favorite things so far. We all agreed the Duck was the WORST!

Verne’s favorite was the dolphin experience in Bay of Islands. Peter was the bungee swing because if Verne had not been with him he wouldn’t have done it. Ali’s favorite was the Glow Worm cave because she doesn’t really care that much for caves, but she was “wowed” by this one. I have enjoyed learning about the Maori culture but chose the Bay of Island dolphins as that is something I would do again!

Headed towards Napier. We leave Sheila in her box for the moment; we don’t need her until it is time to find the hotel! Our first stop is Wai-O-Tapu (the sacred waters) Thermal Wonderland. We headed down to see the Lady Knox Geyser erupt at 10:15, a bit skeptical as yesterday our Maori guide said the put laundry detergent into cause it to erupt. Apparently the geyser was discovered by the prisoners working to plant the trees when they put soap in the hot pool to take a bath and it started spurting. They now add surfactant to cause it to erupt but believe if let on its own it would erupt every 24-72 hours. Not quite as cool when it is initiated. We walked around the thermal and mud pools and craters with the many different colors from the minerals. It was very hot and interesting. Our first waterfall of the day was the Lake Ngakoro waterfall.

Next stop was the Huka Prawn Park… a prawn fishing park where a 47cm prawn was caught in February by a Finnish woman. Peter and Verne tried the hole in one golf contest of trying to hit the balls into nets at various water holes to win money…Peter came close but no luck. After a prawn lunch it was time to head onto HUKA FALLS.

At the first lookout point we meet some New Zealanders and Canadians wearing of the green so we had to join in. Huka Falls are rapid moving waters falling at a height of 9 meters and 200,000 liters/second, enough to fill 5 Olympic size swimming pools per minute. The water flows from Lake Taupo as the Waikato River, cutting a gorge that continues to erode. The water was a beautiful aqua blue like you see in the Caribbean.

We have been traveling in the 4th largest man-made forest in the world. The mountainous hills are dotted with sheep! Again another long and winding road.

20km from Napier we start to see the “winyards” and orchards.

We arrive in Napier and head out to the 2 Irish Pubs into to celebrate St. Paddy. Rosie’s Irish Pub is filled with locals and a younger crowd so we went to the Brazen Head. Met up with Chris and Steve, couple of locals, and have a lovely chat with them! No Guinness on tap, only bottles, Verne has to make another choice.

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