• Travel Savvy Guide

Van'mad Diaries Lake Taupo

This is that to be continued read, that one read which I have no doubt that you have been having sleepless nights over, pondering what on earth went on in Taupo.

Well wait no longer, it's here.

Hukka Falls

Not too much drama this week, however, just one of the best days of the year, you know that one that everyone spends weeks preparing for! CHRISTMAS. Well Merry Christmas to Everyone, I hope everyone had a wonderful time, as no doubt you all deserve it.

As you all read in the last post our plans had to change sadly due to the weather but luckily for us Lake Taupo has lots to do.

The great Lake Taupo, is roughly the size of Singapore, and is the crater of one of the largest volcanic eruptions earth has seen in the last 5000 years (this scared the heebygebies out of me once I discovered this information, which is fair enough as 'The day after tomorrow' seems to be looming). It is also the largest freshwater lake in Australasia, so of course I enjoyed a lovely swim. So here's what we've explored and have been getting up to so far with our #vanlifenonsense


Matamata. The Alexander Farm also more formally known as Hobbiton. Hobbiton stretches over 4.8 hectares and has 44 hobbit holes, there's funnily one fake tree because Peter Jackson (director) didn't like any of the trees in the area so had one created, do you know which one it is in the film? Secondly those plum trees in the film's, they are actually apple and pear trees, just the fruit was replaced with fake plums, as plums trees would have been too big for the hobbit scenery. That scene where Bilbo and Gandalf are watching the sunset from inside Bilbo's house, the thing is it's east facing, therefore it get's sunrises not sunsets, therefore they filmed it at sunrise and played the footage backwards, it took them 7 sunrises to get the scene just right.

Best pint I've had so far in the 'The Green Dragon' (pub in the hobbit) definitely a must see if you're visiting NZ land I would say.

Creators of the moon thermal walk. Interesting.

Rotorua is most definitely better to see thermal activity this was just watching steam coming-out of the ground. Good job Rotorua is next on our trip, it was an unnecessary experience of the thermal (gone of eggy) smelling puffs of steam.

Hukka River

Aratiatia Rapids (releasing of the dam), what's that a free attraction, oh yes please. This attraction is referred to as a unique display of man vs nature, the gates open for 15 minutes and you observe thousands of litres of water being released from the Aratiatia Dam creating a spectacular flow of water through a narrow gorge. Well worth a watch, fascinating.

Exploring Lake Taupo's Honey farm, Huka Honey Hive, another free activity including lots and lots of honey tasters, Lily and I were most definitely on a sugar high after that! And best of all we learnt lots and lots about bees!


Hukka Falls

Hukka falls is the most visited natural attraction in New Zealand, making a very good spot for people watching . This river system is one of New Zealands major electricity producing rivers, supplying 8 hydroelectric stations and produces 15% of New Zealands electricity. With around 200,000 litres of water plunge through Hukka Falls every second, thats enough to fill five Olympic swimming pools every minute.

Steam boat exploration, of course this was a paid excursion but did include pizza and beer so that makes a HAPPY Lucy. This boat took us around part of the Lake to see some of the natural attraction, the Maori carvings. Before embarking, we all thought we were off to see some old and cultural carvings, but actually the carvings around only 40 years old, a granny had told her grandson to do something with his time and this is what he did, it's now one of the must see's and tourist hot spots in Lake Taupo.

I hope thats one proud granny.

Also a fabulous way to spend Christmas Eve.

Lake Taupo

We did so much more, but our best past time was the people watching, Lake Taupo brings all the tourists in, from all walks of life and it is absolutely brilliant to sit and watch the tourists and see all of their peculiar behaviour. We watched two Chinese people crawling around on the floor for at least 45 minutes trying to take pictures of ducks, absolutely ridiculous.

Us Vanlifers got together for Christmas drinks and a mess around, what started off as a very chilled evening took a very funny turn. A local van lifer was offering around some space cakes, two of our group ate some and it was truly hysterical to sit watching it all unfold and all the campers around us seemed in slow-mo, watching them trying to walk around the camp was a true spectacle to see!


Thank you for taking the time to read this and follow us on our exciting adventures, sadly it was raining on Christmas Day, so not to dissimilar to British Christmas's but hay ho, boiling weather on Boxing Day so we were all happy, especially I cannot complain for I went for a Boxing Day swim in Lake Taupo.

Stay tuned for some more exciting adventures to come, but for now stay,


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