A Travellerspoint blog

Life in the Land of the Long White Cloud

sunny 30 °C

In the past week we have driven well over a thousand kilometres and have arrived in the centre of the North Island - known as the Land of the Long White Cloud by the Maoris. We are staying by New Zealand’s largest lake – the pristine Lake Taupo – where we took a cruise on this replica steamboat…
Lake_Taupo_Cruise.jpg
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Driving in New Zealand is easy. Most motorists are courteous if not downright cautious – although these may be foreigners unused to driving on the left or scared of the many roundabouts, (which James loves). However the roads are generally quite narrow.
If the Canadians, Romans and Sicilians had built New Zealand’s roads they would be wide, straight and peppered with tunnels and bridges – but they didn’t and they aren’t. New Zealand must hold the record for the world’s twistiest switchback highways – no hill is too small to weave around and no mountain too high to climb. The roads are well marked, but there are unusual signs like: “Report falls, slips and spillage.” Another sign saying “Watch For Kiwis” could refer to either locals, birds or fruit, however we are sure that “New seal” means that it has recently been re-surfaced and has nothing to do with a cuddly young seal pup.
This is the famous Huka Falls at Taupo…
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The Lake Taupo shoreline is a favourite holiday area for locals and foreigners alike and is very similar to the lakeside resorts in central British Columbia. In fact, West Coast Canadians will find little here that is unusual. The houses are largely timber framed with wood siding, (albeit predominantly single story), and while prices fluctuate due to age, condition and location, it seems to us that they are less expensive here. However, lakeshore properties with sunset views like this aren’t cheap…
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Logging is a major industry along with fishing; power is produced by hydro dams, (together with geothermal generators); pretty much all the goods in the stores are instantly recognisable, even if some of the brands are different. However, we’ve never seen a Canadian store giving free fruit to keep the kids quiet while mum shops…
Fruit_for_Kids.jpg
Prices here are quite similar to Canada in general, although books are probably twice the price as is gas (petrol). At nearly 2 dollars a litre it is closer to European price.
Some tourist attractions seem to be expensive. On the other hand, prices include taxes, car parking, toilets and, sometimes, even drinks and cookies. The Mountains of the Moon park at Taupo cost only $8 each and gave us our first close up look at the active fumaroles that spew superheated sulphurous steam. ..
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Next stop: Rotorua to wallow in the natural hot baths.

Posted by Hawkson 23:42 Archived in New Zealand

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Comments

Of course I am the first to comment. It is only 3am..I just love seeing the places I have been in New Zealand and seeing changes since I lived there in the seventies. I am almost packed and ready to go to visit Kelly in Colombia. I am sick of being cold and rained upon. love

by Jean McLaren

Good morning: what a trip! I feel like I am there. Just read an email from Jenn Innes and friends are enjoying an exceptional trip and in the same area. Who knows. You may spot them amongst the kiwis. Love your travelogue. Xoxo

by Trudy

Your trip brings back many memories for me. Thanks for sharing.
Sandra

by Samchow58

Stores in Canada are adopting the fruit for kids instead of cookies too. Probably fresher fruit in NZ though! I have heard about the similarity to Canada before. Keep on trucking friends!

by Joyce

Ah, you might see Jennifer et al. They have just arrived in Taupo. From there they go to kayaking off tip of south island. They are having a great time in what looks like a fabulous country. I, too, am enjoying your travels--from afar.

by R and B

Sounds relaxing. Very preiiy.

by Sue Fitzwilson

looks lush and lovely.

by Janet

How I would love to visit NZ again one day

by Kelly Waugh

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