The Huka Falls jet boats are out in full swing as it's yet another gorgeous day. This boat drives right up to these waterfalls and does spins and hard reverses and hydroplanes whilst slingshotting squealing passengers around like mad. We watch from above in amusement as these banchees scream and squeal and get absolutely soaked. I am still struck by the color of this water. The water is flowing hard now and the sound soothes me into a trance. We just look at it for a while, basking in the good fortune that led us to New Zealand.
At Craters of the Moon, we take a fun walkabout. Again, the earth is hissing and sputtering as the steam jumps out of the fumaroles that dot the park. There is a planked walkway throughout the 45 minute walk, and the lack of side rails just begs to be violated. We walk a bit on the hot ground, but eventually get back to the planks. I still haven't seen Lord of the Rings, but this place has been described to me as looking like Gollum's Lair. Is Gollum that creepy wrinkly looking guy? If so, I'm not trying to be his houseguest, so we make our stroll fairly short. Like most of Rotorua, this place is captivating and absolutely begs to be just stared at in awe. Giant holes in the ground with black inky pools of 200 degree boiling mud are strange, as is the rising steam in every direction that sort of gives you a hug as you walk by. After our steam embrace, we are off to Taupo.
We drive right to our hostel, the Urban Retreat, and check in. After we shuck our things, we go to the isite visitor's center and find something to do with our afternoon. Lake Taupo glistens just a few blocks away, so the Barbary sailboat excursion is the perfect find. For $35 bucks, we get wine, a sausage sizzle, and three hours sailing on the lake. The draw here is the Maori Rock Carvings. Oh they are ancient I'll tell you - a whole thirty years ancient. In 1980, a couple of artists decided to use the blank canvas of a very large lakeside rock to carve an absolutely stunning face of a Maori god. Aside him sits two tuataras and a slew of other things that I did not catch from our captain. Jana and I were too busy dragging our toes in the cold water and sleeping on Holly in the sunshine. It seems the three of us have the same ideas about travel...it should be slow and indulgent, with occasional bursts of adventure. The adventure will come tomorrow in Tongariro. For today, we are just going to sail. Cheers to Easter break.