Sunday, December 13, 2015

Exploring the volcanic zone

The knitting adventure continues!  Keiko! You were right! I really did need to have a simpler knitting project to offset the very complicated double knit lace project, so I succumbed to buying yarn for a much simpler project...socks... We took a wrong turn out of Kawakawa, and came across the "Crafty or Wot" shop at a farm on Highway 1 ( and I found some lovely NZ sock yarn. What a relief! Some knitting that I can carry along with me!

As opposed to the more complicated double knit lace...progress to this point:

We are now making our way further south towards our ultimate destination of Wellington on December 19, but meanwhile we had a most enjoyable couple of nights on the Coromandel peninsula. On Friday we borrowed a spade and went digging on Hot Water Beach. About two hours either side of low tide, hot water (as high as 64 degrees C.) bubbles up. You can dig your very own hot pool to soak in, but we were scheduled for an outing on the water in a glass bottom boat ( so we didn't hang around long enough to actually dig something we could sit in. 

We went along the coast into a marine reserve. Since the reserve was established in 1992, the number of fish and other marine life has vastly increased. We saw snapper, red moki, blue cod, and more through the bottom of the boat. I could have watched all these beautiful fish for longer. Almost more fascinating were the gannets diving for fish. They circle up above and then suddenly dive, folding their wings into their bodies just before entering the water, popping back up with little fish in their beaks. Apparently they die of blindness because of years of plummeting into the water.

We are now at the Huka Falls Resort for 4 nights very close to Lake Taupo. Yesterday (Sunday) we had a nice wander along the river to the falls, visited the Volcanic Activity Centre which is a great little museum explaining the Taupo Volcanic Zone, and finished off the day at "Orakei Korako". This is a thermal area a little off the beaten track. Access to the hot springs area is by a little ferry across a lake, and then the walk through and around is on well-maintained boardwalks. Twenty million litres of hot water bubbles up and flows over silica terraces every day.  

And mud bubbles up too.

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