Next up, Lake Taupo...
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Goodbye Rotoroa and Hello Lake Taupo...
Next up, Lake Taupo...
I caught the intercity bus line and arrived in Lake Taupo at 10 a.m. I checked into one of the best hostels I've stayed in so far, Blackcurrant. I had a big comfy bed and room all to myself. The room was "dorm" style ie. shared bathroom, but the space was great. As soon as I was settled, I walked to the lake harbour and booked a Sea Cruise to see the famous Maori carvings. I picked a larger boat because the lake looked a little bit choppy and I didn't want to be sea sick.
Lake Taupo is the largest lake by surface area in New Zealand. The surface area is 625 square kilometers. Lake Tahoe, which is my frame of reference, has a surface area of 495 square kilometers. Yes, this lake is B-I-G! The lake was formed by a supervolcanic eruption approximately 26,500 years ago. Both the Chinese and the Romans recorded an eruption as the "days of nights" when 1200 cubic kms of matter caused global darkness for 3 days! According to Maori legend, the lake was originally discovered by Ngatoro-I-Rangi of Te Arawa Conoe. He named the Lake, Taupo Nui A Tia = The cloak or shoulder of mat of Tia (a lesser High Priest of the canoe). The white caps of the water represent the white feathers of "the cloak". The lake waters originally did not support any sea/lake life. In 1898, rainbow trout from, of all places, California's Russian River were imported along with German brown trout. The lake now boasts some of the best trout fishing in the world. Trout are not allowed to be bought or sold in New Zealand and they can only be caught and taken by sports fishermen.
The Maori rock carvings were commissioned by the Queen Elizabeth Arts Council in 1980. They feature mostly Taniwhas or protectors of the Lake, whose power extends to include the Island of Motukaiko where tribal chiefs are buried.
Our boat tour was nice and yes, it was choppy. One poor guy lost his lunch overboard! I had to move away from him otherwise, I was next. I chatted with a couple ladies from Australia and really enjoyed being on the lake. The backdrop to the lake was "Mordor" from Lord of the Rings which is located in the Tongariro National Park.
I saw this pretty Black Swan at the Harbor. I don't believe I have ever seen one in person and in light of the movie, I had to take a photo. I took this photo right after a little duck got too close to the swan and the swan opened its wings and whacked the duck away - no joke! The black swan lived up to its reputation!
Posted by Patricia Joanne at 11:10 PM