When travelling you need to be flexible, because no matter how much you plan something or how much you want something, sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
For me the whole purpose of this trip, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing was not possible due to weather during my stay in Taupo. It was frustrating and sad but it is no reason to ruin my whole trip. So instead of focusing of what I couldn’t do, I started looking for things that I could do, and places that I could go even in bad weather.
I got up on my third and last day at Taupo hoping to see places I could walk to from town in a day and so I came up with the following
1. Spa Thermal Park
It’s a natural hot spring where you can bathe on and the best part, it’s FREE!!! It’s about a 30 minute walk from Taupo. I heard there were no places to change so I put my bathing suit under my clothes and was ready to jump in the water. However, when I got there it was filled with people! I guess Sundays is the day when local families as well as tourist come to enjoy it as well. Needless to say I felt too self-conscious to swim by myself.
If I’m not mistaken it is a place where the warm water from the volcano meets the river, so it’s just a small section where the water is warm, so if you are picturing Japanese style hot springs it’s a little disappointing, but hey it’s free.
2. Huka Falls
From the Spa Thermal Park you keep walking for 50 minutes onto Huka Falls. The walk up to it goes alongside the river so it’s a really peaceful and relaxing walk. And you can take some really good pictures too. I thought that this was maybe the best part of Taupo so far!
Look at that cute tree stub just admiring the river from up there!
Arriving at the Huka Falls I found there was a lot of people. But I was warned though because apparently this is the most visited attraction in Taupo. Although the “waterfall” is not so big in height it actually makes up for strength and beauty.
This pictures have no filter or anything, the water was really that turquoise blue color. A friend I met back at the hostel called it "Tiffany" color. You know, the jewerly box.
3. Craters of the Moon
Now this was borderline too far to go walking from Taupo. After walking all morning long I was already tired and when I saw that I had to walk yet another 1.7 Km, I was starting to think it was better to turn around. But as always I had some this far anyways so I walked on.
Entrance was $8 and I think it’s cheap for such spectacular views. And it takes about 1 hour to walk it all. I could tell why they call it craters of the moon. There are holes, sorry craters, everywhere! And hot steam is coming out of them. It’s kind of scary too because it’s an active volcanic site and no one knows when anything can happen so it’s an “enter at your own risk” kind of place.
Seeing the mud bubbling in one of the craters was really cool!
Even though the weather forecast was cloudy and rain, all day long I had been blessed with amazing sunny weather, and then as soon as I finished seeing everything in the Craters of the Moon and got safely under the gift shops roof. BAM!
Rain, heavy stormy rain…Obviously I didn’t want to walk home in that rain so I went to the cashier and asked if there were any buses or taxies to take me to Taupo.
There aren’t any buses, but they were happy to call a taxi for me. Except the couple that was buying something at the next cashier heard my conversation and offered me to take me to Taupo.
They were heading there anyways so they were happy to help!