Monday, 31 August 2009

Capt. Cooker

Huka Falls, downstream from Lake Taupo

Capt. Cooker?
Yes, whilst driving from Taupo down to Turangi earlier today we noticed a small black pig up on on the side of the hill above the road (SHI). It was dislodging rocks down onto the highway! According to Google this was likely to be one of the so called Capt Cookers or decendants of the pigs introduced by Capt Cook or other settlers. Apparently they live all over the islands these days.

This has been a very wet day in central North Island following a very storming and wet night. We checked out from the CedarWood resort in Rotorua this morning and made our way down the SH1 towards Taupo. Just before Taupo we saw the signs for the Huka Falls Jet (boat) and the Prawn Park.
The Huka Falls jet boat is a national institution over here, so we had to have a go. 40GBP for 30 minutes of sheer exhilaration! The small, 12 seater, twin engine Buick powered jet boats reach 80km/hr along the Waitaki river between the dam and the Huka Falls. The driver causes the boat to turn in its own length and skim passed rock faces at high speed, whilst the passengers get soaked. Great! The journey was delayed by torrential rain. The boat cannot run whilst it is raining. Not because you wil get wet, but because at 80km/hr the rain really stings.........
Boy, did those black swans have to get out of the way in a hurry and the guy in the front of the boat nearly had duck pate for breakfast! Feathers don't taste at all nice!

Afterwards, the big plate of warm, fresh water prawns was delicious. These are bred in open tanks, heated by thermal water, and located next to the jet boat terminal.

Later in the day we travelled down to see Mount Tongariro, 20km south of Lake Taupo (Mount Tongariro and its surroundings are also one of the several locations whichPeter Jackson chose to shoot the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.)

So, this is as far south as we come on this holiday vacation. Tomorrow we head back to Aukland.

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