This time, on our stop over in Taupo, we are staying at the National Equestrian Centre for three nights. There are power sites available at reasonable rates, and vans have been coming and going. Surrounded with lots of mature trees, which means plenty of birdlife around, much to Gemma’s delight. How she would love to get outside and catch one!
There is a huge indoor arena so I went to see if I could take a peep inside. No horses being worked inside today, but I’m sure it would be a very busy place when competitions are taking place.
National Equestrian Centre
The rain hardly stopped the previous day, and it was great to awake to blue skies today, so we decided to make the most of it and do some exploring. First, a trip back to town (Taupo), taking a road which Robin wanted to travel as he wasn’t sure he had driven on it before. Top up the diesel, and we were good to go. Taupo is part of the volcanic area in the North Island of New Zealand that has been active for the past two million years and is still highly active. So today we took a walk through the “Craters of the Moon”, a geothermal wonderland, full of steaming craters and vents, roaring steam fumaroles, and bubbling mud.
Boardwalks and graveled paths made walking easy. It was interesting to see birds and insects flitting around and the ground cover was mostly flowering manuka bushes.There were information boards dotted around, and for the weary (or elderly) plenty of seating to sit and enjoy the views. There were plenty of tourists wandering about, and it was great to hear their travel stories, where they had been and where they were heading to next. They seemed to be interested that Kiwis, like us, also like to visit these attractions.
Walking around the track, we heard the roaring of boiling hot steam escaping, and peeping over the edge of the large crater, we could see small pools of liquid mud, plop plopping away. A reminder of just how active and unstable this area is.
Boiling hot steam roaring out
Boiling mud in these small holes
It had been some years since our last visit, and it was certainly worth a return visit, especially since we qualified for senior discount. Lunch was next, and we took another return visit, this time to Lava Glass, glassblowing, gallery and café. No photos were allowed to be taken in the gallery, so many beautiful pieces of glass on show, but well out of our budget. We enjoyed a nice relaxed lunch, then made our way back to the camp.
Tomorrow we are moving on to meet up with the ICA members for their Christmas Rally at Ohakuri Lake. This will be a new experience for us, our first time meeting this group, and our first time visiting the lake.