Sunday, 26 August 2012

National Park & Blue Duck Lodge

National Park
After Rotorua we went to Taupo for a night. Taupo is beside the world’s largest Crater Lake. We really liked Taupo but it wasn’t photogenic so we caught up on some laundry and in the evening our driver took us to an amazing natural water fall hot springs. There were two guys including Jeff, and 12 women making for a fun night. We brought beer and glow sticks to light up our grotto.
The following morning we drove from Taupo to National Park. We were interested in doing the Tongariro Crossing but this was closed due to recent volcanic activity. The photo below of Mnt. Ngauruhoe was taken across from our accommodations; which was used in Lord of the Rings as Mount Doom.

Blue Duck Lodge
The weather started to turn around and we were off to Whakahoro, (pronounced: fuck-a-whore-oh). Our next stop was Blue Duck Lodge, a great big plot of land where the owners and volunteers are working hard to promote bird conservation. Mostly they are focused on the conservation of the Blue Duck...hence the name.
On the way Jeff and our driver stopped to checkout some bee hives. Standing so close Jeff could feel the vibrations of their wings. The honey made from the pollen of Manuka, (tea tree), is very sought after for its medicinal qualities.

The cool part about New Zealand is that all mammals are pests brought from over seas, so you are allowed to hunt wild goats, wild boar, and wild deer at Blue Duck Lodge. We were unsure whether it would be worth the expense to hunt, but we ran into a couple of guys who went goat hunting and some of the guides brought back a wild boar. If we have the chance to go back we will because it was a reasonable price and sounded like a great time. We ended up skeet shooting instead of hunting and we were both happy to hit our targets half the time.

A small group of us walked to a near by water fall and on the way found many sheep and lamb covered hill side. We aren’t veterinarian’s, but we came across the sheep pictured below and are sure it was in labour.

Our next stop is Wellington and across to the South Island.

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