Huka Falls & The Honey Hive
Moving further into the center of the North Island, we continued our light speed traveling to Taupo. We wanted to get to our host in Hamilton with plenty of time to spare before we leave New Zealand, so we scheduled only one night in Taupo at a hostel. As nice as it is to have all our time to ourself & not work for a host, when we take these ‘mini-vacations’ we always feel like we have to cram as much sightseeing into one day as possible. Then we wear ourselves out and can’t really take in the local vibe. And of course, if the weather decides not to cooperate that day, you don’t have another shot later in the week. (Oh, that’s right. That’s how vacations work for most people. No wonder we all need a ‘vacation from the vacation’ after we get back! :-P) At any rate, we had a very nice time in Taupo seeing beautiful Huka Falls and learning about bees at The Honey Hive.
Huka Falls really isn’t that impressive as a waterfall by itself. It’s not all that large, but the force of the current and the gorgeous color of the water that made this an entirely worthwhile stop.
The massive Waikato River is sourced from Lake Taupo and runs north through the Waikato region until it empties out into the ocean near Auckland. 13% of the entire country’s power comes from stations along this river! 200,000 liters of water make the 9 meter plunge over the rock face every second (that’s enough to fill 5 Olympic swimming pools every minute). The amazing shade of blue is a result of the air bubbles created during the plunge that reflect the sunlight.
After the falls we decided to check out The Honey Hive. It seemed pretty ‘touristy’ when I read about it, but I saw they offered free honey & mead tastings, so off we went! I read about mead in a magazine article recently and really wanted to try some. Forget wine & beer–mead & cider are the way to go!
We also spent quite a bit of time reading about bees at the Honey Hive, which are fascinating! One bee visits thousands of flowers in it’s lifetime and only produces 1/2 teaspoon of honey. And yet that honey holds amazing nutritional and healing properties. Honey is naturally antibacterial and contains powerful healing enzymes.
Moving on from Taupo, we spent one night in National Park Village near Tongariro National Park. It wasn’t the best of decisions, but hindsight is 20/20. More on our nearly doomed trip soon!
Check out more pictures of our time in Taupo on Facebook!