Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rotorua and Lake Taupo - New Zealand

A very warm welcome to you.

This is the last episode of the New Zealand series. The pictures are of when our friends Michael and Ellen took us to Rotorua and Lake Taupo in the middle of the North Island. It’s a bit of a bumper issue with more photos than I usually post.

We stayed in a beautiful retreat sanctuary called Tauhara Retreat Centre. It was autumn, and for us, living in the tropics, the blazing colours of the trees was a real treat. Do consider staying there if you go to this part of New Zealand.

Rotorua and Lake Taupo are in an area where the earth’s volcanic activity has been extreme and even now it is bubbling away just under the surface.

Rotorua is a thermal wonderland. It is known affectionately by New Zealanders as “Rotten Rua” because of the strong smell of rotten eggs that pervades everywhere. While we were there we went to a geothermal park called Wai-O-Tapu, which is Maori for “Sacred Waters”

Here’s something interesting. Lake Taupo is a very big lake. The population of New Zealand, according to their population clock is 4,267,562. The population of Singapore is about 4,600,000. The size of Lake Taupo is 616 km² compared to Singapore which is 707.1 km² . So you could pretty much fit Singapore into Lake Taupo.

There are not many people in New Zealand, but they have a lot of space!

On 26 June Daniela and I fly to the UK to visit family and friends. I will do another posting just before we leave. We will be away 3 weeks.

I hope you enjoy the photos.



Early morning departure from Waiheke on the
car ferry to go to the North Island

Arriving in the glow of sunrise on the North Island

Michael walking in Wai-O-Taupo, near Rotorua.

Artist's Palette

I guess some need to be told......

Fying Pan Flat

Devil's Bath....but we couldn't see him....

Champagne Pool......

..........incredible colour

Artist's Palette at dusk

Tauhara Retreat Centre

Early morning view of Mt. Tauhara from the
retreat centre

I'm a really beautiful mushroom but I'm very dangerous!
I'm an amanita muscaria the quintessential toadstool.

View of Lake Taupo from the Retreat Centre

Another one

Lots of confusion here...Am I a swan or a duck?

I think I'm a swan....but then....

We're definitely cormorants!


Hot thermal waters pour into parts of the lake

Picture postcard

The cleanest water we have ever seen.
In a natural park near Rotorua. On
the left side is a Waka, a traditional
Maori canoe

Maori carving on the Waka

Now some fine specimens of New Zealand
animals. How about this beautiful pig

And of course the classic sheep.

And handsome heads. First let me introduce you
to Gertrude

And here is "simply gorgeous" I have no idea
what kind of bird he is. Can anyone help?

And finally "mirror, mirror on the wall, who is
the most beautiful chicken of them all?"

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