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New Zealand Geography Expedition – Taupo & Auckland

We started the day after Tongariro Crossing with a leisurely lie in to help recover and give us time to actually get out of bed. After a slow start and a quick bit of breakfast, we headed out to some mystery places that Ms Bielby wouldn’t reveal until we were there.

Our first stop was Huka Falls which displayed some strange features involving a number of river processes and also tectonic features which we have been studying. This waterfall is part of the river Waikato, which is the longest river in NZ, flowing from Lake Taupo to south-west of Auckland into the Tasman Sea.

The second stop of the day was the elusive Craters of the Moon. This was an area of high tectonic activity that is highly active as fumaroles, boiling mud pools and geysers were clear to see. The walk around this area finished our morning activities.

The final mystery installment of the day was a trip to ‘one of the worlds most accessible examples of geothermal activity’ in the form of Orakei Korai. As quoted by Lonely Planet and we all agreed that it lived up to this reputation. We arrived to the site from a small ferry trip across the lake and instantly we were confronted by an array of geothermal features. We followed the track around the site and saw one of only two geothermal caves that exist in the world and generally saw a brilliant example of some of the features we have been studying.

Eventually we left Lake Taupo and drove four hours to the bustling city of Auckland, our last stop of the expedition. After checking into our final YHA, we trekked to the Sky Tower, Auckland’s most appraised landmark soaring above at 328m. Views of the harbour and the skyline were seen from our observation post of 220m. We also managed to capture a daring person making the plunge from the top of the tower travelling at 85km and reaching the ground in 11 seconds! The group was then given free time to explore the city and eat out as this was our last official night.

Today we had an appreciated lie in, as it will be the last time we sleep properly for what is to be nearly two days. We were given the option of a big breakfast to eat up all the food and also to fill up so we won’t be hungry on the plane, with the option of sandwiches and toast a lot more appealing that boxes of food we get in the air. The group then had 3 hours of free time to go and get gifts and enjoy what New Zealand has to offer for the final time before we meet back at the YHA in time to get the shuttle bus to the airport.

As this is our last entry we have all chosen one word to describe the trip and one highlight;
Chris – Sensational (in kiwi accent) – Abel Tasman
Matthew G – Exceptional – Volleyball in the Tasman
Rich – Amazing – Abel Tasman beach
Cal – Superb (in a French accent) – Swimming in the Tasman
Tom – Quality – Spider Bike
Ollie T – Incredible – Taking photo’s of the awesome NZ scenery
Frankie – Fabulous – Tongariro Crossing
Andy – Awesome – Queenstown
Damien (Darren) – Buzzin’ – Tongariro Crossing
Sally (Sue) – Sweet as – Being able to do both Franz Josef and Tongariro due to good weather
Keith (Kev) – Splendtastic – Tongariro Crossing
Jake – Chunderful – Sky Tower
Oliver L – Interesting – Jetboating
Matthew W – Good – Queenstown
Elliot – Smashing – Tongariro Crossing
Sean – Wonderful – Tongariro Crossing
Jamie – Eventful – Jetboating
Adam – Breathtaking- Jetboating
Tim – Alright (shrugs shoulders) – Tongariro Crossing

Add all these words together and what you get is New Zealand.

Ollie T, Elliot and the whole group

See you soon








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