Day 27-Dec 11/22-driving to Wellington

Scotch broom…. Huge problem here as well as at home.

We drive over the top of a river that is 37C.

Apparently there is a power plant that looks like nuclear but is geothermal power plant… not as good as expected. Most power comes from hydro.

Our first stop is Waiorupu geothermal …..bubbling mud. The temperature of the pools is between 60-80 C with the steam being 100 C.

Kaingaroa Forest….2900 sq kms… largest forest planted by hand first by prisoners and later by unemployed. Trees grow really fast because of the ash from the volcanos

Huka Falls….. wow! Spectacular colour.

250 cubic meters per sec (200,000 litres every second).

Taupo volcano eruption was sensed in Rome and China. The worlds largest volcanic eruption in 232 CE created Lake Taupo, a crater lake the size of Singapore….. the largest crater lake in world. It is 169 meters deep. …. Means sacred waters.

Coming to 1st world heritage area.

1100 meters above sea level…. Through “desert road”….. not dry in-fact raining again but the vegetation has changes to scrub brush. At the top there are no trees. It’s basically flat. You can see only about 1/3 of the highest mountain in the north island. The rest is in the clouds. 12-13 C now … patch of snow in distance. As we come down, the hills return, as does grass and some trees

Mountains continue to the north island…for1400 miles from the southern tip.

2-3 earthquakes every day in this small nation.

Wellington Harbour to the left @6pm…. Very large.

360-380,000 population

$10,000 a year for university.

Arrived at our Hotel Naumi about 6:30. It is quite lovely but the mattresses are on top of a painted plywood board. Be careful. Jeanette and I had “THE BEST LAUGH” when her book fell off the bed do she reached over to get it but the whole mattress & pillows slid over on top of her as she went over…. And then she couldn’t get up partly because the two of us were laughing so hard. OMG we just about pissed ourselves. We had just said we didn’t like that the mattresses were too “slippy”!

8533 steps…. I’m surprised cuz we spent so much time on the bus.

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