Blue Lake and Redwoods Forest
We’ve already been in Rotorua a few weeks ago, to visit its amazing geothermal wonders. But bad weather and job research didn’t allowed us enough time to visit everything we wanted. So, now we both have a job, we enjoy a couple of days off for Quentin’s birthday to drive back to Rotorua and its rotten eggs smells. The lake lying at its feet still sparkles eagerly, thanks to the perfect weather.
We start our day by a 1:30 hour walk around a little lake with a promising name : Blue Lake! The place is very nice and quiet (if one omits water skiing amators who from time to time makes some merry rounds in the crystal clear waters of the lake). Along the banks, the delightful trail is filled with a delicious woody smell from the surrounding forest. The high pines and fern-trees are silhouetted against the turquoise blue of the lake.
Our second trip takes us into the magnificent Redwoods Forest, mostly composed of towering redwoods of California. The forest floor covered with soft spines gently resonates under our feet. We choose the « green » path, also 1:30 hour. It winds peacefully between the trees and crosses the path of a fascinating volcanic river which acidity has given extraordinary colors to the plants and roots that are prisoners in the river bed.
Then we drive to the charming and peaceful campground in Lake Okareka, where we’ve spent the night last time we came (DOC campground : 10$/person). Indeed, it’s cooking time! For his birthday, Quentin choose one of his favorite recipe : grilled chicken breast with blue cheese sauce. On the campground, we meet a few other travellers from Canada, Quebec and England. We invite them to join us and share with them the birthday cake (a Stöllen, a german chrismas bread) while they all sing « Happy Birthday »! Then Mother Nature offers us an amazing red and orange flamming sunset. Thanks you guys for this amazing night!
Okere Falls and Hamurana Springs :
In the early morning, a urging need drags us out of our comfy bed. The sun is not up yet, but dawn lights have already washed the stars. An impressionist fog plays on the calm waters of the lake bluring its outlines, in a mysterious atmosphere that make us doubt of beeing fully awake. Ducks snore gently, head under the wing. The day start well! The chilly sun (it’s 4°C) chases gradually the white scarf off the lake which happilly turns blue.
Our first visit of the day will be dedicated to Okere Falls, north of Rotorua. The short 30mn walk take us along a few lookouts that allow us to enjoy beautiful views over the rapids and falls. With Eddie (a young and energetic canadian guy that we’ve met yesterday at the campground), we venture off the track and go walking close to the rushing waters.
We then head to Hamurana Springs. The place is simply enchanting! In a stunning purity, the 70 years old water comes out straight from the bowels of the Earth from a 15m deep spring, in which some enormous rainbow trouts are seeking tranquility. Tranquility that we soon disturb, yielding to the charms of the miraculous waters. Despite their 10°C, we dive into the depths of the source for a refreshing bath. Purifying, and invigorating ! A little further, in the shadow of magnificent redwoods, the waters of the spring come out of the riverbed and make dance the white sand. Some fern-trees looking like palm trees add to the landscape a postal card look.
Unfortunately, it is already time to come back in Taupo, but really, what a great birthday weekend !!!
See you soon !
Tintin & Riette
Bonus ! Discover, with music, the « Dancing Sands » in Hamurana Springs. This source is situated under the riverbed, and when the water comes out, it makes the sand dance !