Stunning scenery

The scenery here is simply out of this world. The picture above is the view from the Mount Victoria lookout point overlooking the capital city of Wellington.

Below is a Goblin forest nestled in the foothills of Mount Taranaki. It rained that day but there is a Kiwi saying that if you don’t do an activity in the rain then you probably won’t do it all.

The trees are mis-shapen and resemble weird creatures like this…

But most are covered in a type of moss which makes the whole forest look furry

Taranaki itself is a perfect cone volcano. We didn’t get a great view due to the aforementioned rain. And apparently there is still snow on the tops. You can just about make it out through the clouds here

Next up was a fairly long drive through the countryside. These pictures don’t really do the splendour justice.

Beautiful forests of silver cloak the slopes.

Breathtaking valleys under rolling clouds

Until we reached the shores of Lake Taupo

I was stunned by the iridescent blue in the waters of the Huka Falls (which were free to visit)

But perhaps most impressive of all was the ethereal sight that greeted us at a place called Craters of the Moon

This is an area of geothermal activity where fumaroles or small fissures in the ground breath hot sulphurous steam gently across the landscape in soft billowing puffs. There were fewer people here (£4 entry charge) so it was more peaceful and almost felt as though we had stepped into an alien planet. I half expected to see Dr Who around the next corner.

Fortunately the rain held off

Then Hanifa (the mad, reckless fool) did a quick bungy jump (there was NO WAY on earth that I could be persuaded to join in!!!!) then we were done for the day

Everything closes early here. See previous comments about Kiwi Bed Time. WiFi is erratic here and one place we stayed in they actually turned it off at 10pm. I mean why?!?? We needed to message people back in the U.K. but no… Guess it’s one way of enforcing KBT

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