Day 13: Taupo to Himatangi Beach

In the morning we walked through Spa Park to find a natural hot pool underneath a small waterfall on the Otumuheke Stream. The water must have been about 40 degrees so it was a good way to warm up on another fairly cold morning in Taupo.

We then headed to Turangi, a town just south of Lake Taupo, where we had booked to go white water rafting. We were kitted out with thermals and wetsuits and then driven to the Tongariro River. Over the next two hours our boat of 6 (plus 2 instructors) tackled 60 rapids of varying difficulty, though most involved us getting quite wet! For those of us who wanted to get wetter there was also an opportunity to jump off a 5m high ledge into the freezing cold river (followed of course by the usual cup of hot chocolate!).

We had hoped to spend a bit longer in the Taupo area, and in particular had planned to tackle the 19km Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Unfortunately there were severe weather warnings in place for the next couple of days and so we were advised against it. We decided to cut our losses and start the journey towards Wellington where we’ll be taking the ferry to the south island. We did just over half of the journey and then stopped for the night at the Himatangi Beach Holiday Park.