Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Week 31: Maunga and taniwha

We had the most beautiful weather driving up the Desert Road to Taupo and the maunga (mountains) stood out dazzlingly against the clear blue sky.

Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro slumber peacefully by the lake, and on a day like today it is hard to believe they are mighty powerful volcanoes.

The Ora (well-being) garden won gold at the
Chelsea Flower Show in 2004. It is reconstructed outside the Taupo Museum and features and features 1000 native plants 'selected for their culinary appeal, cultural significance and traditional Maori medicinal properties'. It is guarded by the moko waiwera, or hot-water lizard.

You can almost smell the suplhur in the steam rising out of this photograph at Wairakei Thermal Valley.
At the Huka Falls, around 220,000 litres of water per second gushes through a 15 metre wide canyon as the Waikato River squeezes into a foaming frothing mass of blue bubbles.
All of this natural thermal energy is converted at the Wairakei Geo-thermal power station. There is a strange beauty in the lines and curves of the pipes.

At Orakei Korako we thought this was funny. Childish I know, and it doesn't work in an American accent.

It's colourful even in wet weather, but make sure you stick to path!

The walk around Lake Rotopounamu is beautiful and calm.

The rain is waiting for us back in Wellington, but we are farewelled with a rainbow.

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