While Nav was soaking at Wairakei terraces and thermal health spa, the rest of us went to Huka Falls. It was truly a beautiful sight! The water was so clear and blue. After checking out Huka Falls, we went to Huka Honey Hive to taste and buy lots of honey and mead. We also had some yummy pohutukawa honey ice-cream!
Our first stop in Taupo was the airport because we wanted to skydive. But the weather was too crappy for skydiving so we decided to bungy jump instead! I’ve always wanted to bungy jump and when we saw that we could do a tandem jump at Taupo Bungy, Adrian and I decided to take the plunge together. Of course we knew that by jumping together, our kids could instantly become orphans, but we decided that the risks were very low. So we left the kids with Angie and Nav, kissed them (the kids, not the Lobos) and made our way to the platform.
The Taupo Bungy people were very professional and I felt reassured by their thoroughness. Watching them as they checked and double-checked everything, I had faith in the equipment and was only nervous about the jump. The anticipation is the worst part of it! I kept going , “Oh God… Oh God…” the entire time they were preparing me for the jump and I wasn’t being blasphemous at all but was truly saying, “God, help me survive this!” Honestly, if it hadn’t been a tandem jump, I don’t know how I would have gotten myself off that platform. When we were right at the edge, I was seriously thinking about backing out because it felt like we were so very high up! But before I knew it, we were sailing through the air and the river was rushing to meet us and I was so scared I couldn’t scream for the first few seconds. Then I couldn’t stop screaming. Heh. I’m so glad we did a tandem because I had something to cling on to!
When we finally stopped rebounding, the boat came to get us. My arms and legs were like jelly and my heart was racing. Best experience ever!
I may appear to be writing about a farm tour that we went on but I actually just need an excuse to put up lots of pictures of alpacas! I love alpacas! They are ridiculously adorable. I wish I could have a pet alpaca. Anyway, we went on the Agrodome organic farm tour because Anya had such a great time feeding the animals when we visited the farms on Philip Island and in Melbourne last year.
However, that was half a lifetime ago for her and since then, she has become a little coward who is afraid of farm animals. SIGH! She only attempted to feed the ducks by throwing food at them from the safety of the vehicle. I enjoyed feeding the alpacas though so it wasn’t a complete waste of time! We also got to taste kiwifruit juice, wine and honey.
There are so many fun things to do in Rotorua! After Wai-O-Tapu, we went on the Skyline gondola and luge. They are the same people responsible for the luge at Sentosa. Adrian and Nav went first and then came back up on the chair lift. The last time I was in NZ, I couldn’t do the luge cos I was 5 months pregnant with Anya. So I was very happy to be able to do it this time, again with Anya. We took the scenic route but it was still pretty exciting! Anya was a little nervous on the chair lift on the way up but I think she had fun.
We also went to ZORB! Adrian and Navin did the Zydro together where they sloshed around in the water inside the ball rolling down the hill. Although warm water was used, I think the guys were freezing afterwards. Angie and I did the Zorbit separately. We each jumped into the ball, got strapped into a harness inside, and rolled head over heels down the hill. It was really fun but the Zorbit was definitely a bit scary!
We woke earlier than usual so that we could rush to catch the 10.15am eruption of the Lady Knox Geyser at the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. The geyser doesn’t naturally erupt at 10.15am; a park guide induces the eruption by adding soap (or something slightly more sophisticated, I’m not sure) to break the surface tension. The water shoots up to about 20 metres and it’s quite a spectacular sight. We spent some time exploring the rest of the attractions at Wai-O-Tapu but it was a rainy day so we skipped the furthest track which had a lot of steps. We still managed to see a lot of interesting features though.
One of the highlights of our trip was Hobbiton! It was really amazing to see Hobbiton and we took tons of beautiful photos but we signed a non-disclosure agreement stating that we are not to put these pictures up on blogs, Facebook, etc. so I won’t be posting any pictures of Hobbiton here. It’s definitely a must-do in New Zealand! You can see some images of Hobbiton on the Hobbiton Tours site and here’s the trailer for ‘The Hobbit’.
I love going to markets when on holiday so I dragged the rest to the La Cigale farmers market in Parnell. There was lots to see, taste and buy. We bought coffee, chocolates, cupcakes, sausages, pastries, ice-cream, juices… So nice to stroll around a market in cool weather!