Hotmandarins

By Hotmandarins

Geothermal Day

Our hotel in Taupo didn't do breakfast, and sent us across the road to a little cafe.  We ordered granola and a fruit bowl, and we seemed to wait ages for it to arrive.  When it did it was magnificent - lots of fruit in a bowl, along with some yogurt, and a knicker-bocker-glory style glass with granola, fruit and yogurt in.  We enjoyed it!  We know the fruit was fresh, as we watched the chef pick an apple off the tree next to the cafe.

We were a little disappointed with Craters of the Moon yesterday, so decided to do another Geothermal Park today.  We went to Orakei Korako, which was much more colourful (first extra).  We paid for entry and were then taken across the river on a boat, and we then wandered around the site on boardwalks for an hour and a half or so.  It was very colourful, and there was lots of texture to look at.

After lunch there we drove back to Taupo, stopping off to look at a viewpoint above a geothermal power plant.  This was a mass of silver pipes (second extra) which gather water at 260 degree celsius deep within the rock and use that to produce steam to power the turbines.

We had tea on the lakefront in Taupo then made our way through to Tongariro National Park, and to our hotel at 1100 metres (that's about as high as Snowdon).  The main blip shows one of the impressive volcano cones (Mount Ngauruhoe) visible from the hotel car park.

Before dinner we took a drive up to the village at the top of Mount Ruapehu (altitude about 2000 metres) which is a winter ski resort.  At the moment it was all but deserted but had great views.  The third extra is a view of one of the peaks.

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