It was an exhilarating start with a visit to the spectacular Huka Falls, about 10 kms away from Lake Taupo which is in the centre of the North Island of New Zealand.

It’s hardly surprising that Huka Falls are New Zealand’s best-known and most photographed falls. Not far from their source in Lake Taupo, the waters of the Waikato River rush at almost 250,000 litres per second through a sudden chasm and leap over an 11 metre ledge to foam in a deep semicircular basin. A bridge crosses the chasm just above the falls and there are several other great viewing platforms from which you can watch not only the rushing water, but also the jetboats that zoom about in the area.

Lake Taupo is Australasia’s largest lake and is surrounded by stunning volcanoes and bush-clad mountains. The lake was formed by a massive volcanic eruption some 26,500 years ago. The explosion blew a 660 square kilometre hole in the earth and sent ash flying all over the world…even China felt the blast. Must have been a damned big bang!! LOL

After lunch we decided to try our hand at the Hole in One Golf Challenge across Lake Taupo. The idea is to try get a hole-in-one by hitting a golf ball out into the lake to try to hit a pontoon moored some 110 metres offshore. We were hopeless of course, but it was good fun!  Apparently on average, one person gets a hold in one every two weeks…..blimey!  You would absolutely LOVE it here Daniel….jetboating, golf AND snow!!

Later in the afternoon we took a drive further south to the Tongariro National Park, which is a World Heritage area, to view the spectacular volcanic peak of Mt. Ngauruhoe (2287 m) which is still covered in snow.