Today is a day to visit a couple of the natural spectaculars which New Zealand has to offer. The “volcanic highway” leads the route of of Napier towards Taupo although there is not much volcano until we reach Taupo which is situated on the shores of Lake Taupo. There was a massive volcanic eruption here in 186 AD, so massive that its effects were noted around the world (it is recorded in Roman and Chinese annals) and this contributed towards the creation of the lake which is truly massive.
The Craters of the Moon Park is actually a park full of active fumaroles.
Covering a few acres, a managed trail takes you around the park and explains how and why there are fumaroles and their impact on the flora.
The fumaroles are places where water heated by the underlying magma of the volcanic region reaches the surface
Within each fumarole crater is a micro climate which would normally be hostile to any life but over time, ferns have adapted and thrive.
Some have bubbling super heated mud at the bottom. The
whole area is quite impressive and has a slight “gas works” smell for those who remember such things.
The nearby Huka Falls are an impressive demonstration of water power.
200,000 litres of water per second from Lake Taupo pours down this gorge and over the 9m waterfall at the bottom
Whilst town itself is a mecca for outdoor sports and lake activities, for us it is a place on the way to the Forgotten Highway.