With only about 3hours sleep again it was early to rise to eat some breaky and get back on the bus to head off to Rotorua. The plan for today was to do some white water rafting with Kaitiaki Adventures. Unfortunately the river was too high so we were unable to raft, so the Stray guys came up with an alternate plan; hit up Hells Gate. About a month or so ago I hit up Hells Gate with Michelle, so I knew what we were up too. We took a tour of the park and all of the geothermal activity and then hit up the mud baths and spa pools. I was pretty stoked to be back in the spa. It is definitely a must do if you make it too NZ.
After a couple hours in Rotorua at Hells Gate we headed down the road to Tongariro National Park. While passing through Taupo we hit up Huka Falls. It was pretty incredible. At the Huka Falls the Waikato river (The Waikato river is one of New Zealand’s longest rivers and it drains Lake Taupo – the largest freshwater lake in all of Australasia), which is normally 100 meters wide, forces it self through 20 meter wide gorge and over a 20 meter drop. Every second up to 220,000 litres of water gushes through the gorge and shoots out over 8 metres beyond to create a beautiful blue/green pool.
After viewing the Huka falls we headed into Taupo for some lunch. The bus dropped us off in the center of town and we went our separate ways to get a good feed. Taupo is definitely a place I want to come back too. It looks like it has some pretty cool hiking trails and ive heard that they have some mountain bike tracks that rival Rotorua. So Ill be back to ride those.
After lunch we boarded the bus for the rest of the ride to the National Park. We were staying at the Park Travellers Lodge. I stayed here when I was on my Spaceship trip so I knew what to expect; a great facility with clean rooms, hot tubs, great location and amazing staff.
This time I stayed in a smaller 4-bed room, unlike last time where I shared a 6-bunk room. I really like the 4 bed room and would recommend that over the bunks. In all honesty I was just happy to not have to share a room with the snorer of the trip – thank god. After unpacking we headed to the bar for dinner and some drinks. After dinner we had our court session for dick of the day and met with our guide from Adrift Guided Outdoor Adventures. The next day we had planned to do the Tangario Crossing but unfortunately it was looking like the weather wasn’t in our favour. That being said everyone kind of cut loose and it was another full on night of drinking. We headed down to the local bar where a couple was having their wedding reception. The drinks and shots were flowing like water and we shut it down around 4:30am again. So far the trip has been one epic night after another!