Waking up early, I grabbed some breakfast and packed my stuff before jumping on the bus for the next part of our journey. The first stop was Karascene Creek, which is a geothermal hot spring in the middle of nowhere. Once we trekked along a short path along the river, we reached a large pool of naturally hot water with a waterfall. With steam filling the air and a distinctive mouldy aroma, we stripped to our swimwear and lowered ourselves on the rocks into the just perfect temperature pool especially we the air being cold. Dunking my head under the waterfall to get a slight massage on my back was just bliss. As I’ve said many times before, I love spas and hot springs.
Unfortunately we didn’t get much time there so we had to leave to travel the road again. On the way to Whakahora, we took a stop break in Taupo, where we put up in a café to eat, get wifi and chill. We also went to a fancy dress store to buy some attire for the evening shenanigans for our first two night stopover. Four of us bought granny pants and fairy wings.
Here, as I was attempting to withdraw cash, my card wasn’t working which made my panic slightly. Back on the stray (bobbilicious bus), we journeyed to a supermarket, where luckily I was able to get some money out. We filled our baskets with food and alcohol for the next couple of days before starting our terrifying drive through narrow, windy, cliff-edged, gravely roads and over bridges. Eventually, whilst looking at the incredible scenery, we arrived at Blue Duck Station, our accommodation for the next few nights.
After a brief talk with the manager about the area, we checked-in and found our beds in the ‘honeymoon suite’. We cooked our dinner and showered before starting on the drink. Putting on our granny pants and fairy wings, as well as colouring our hair with chalks, we were soon ready for a messy night. The night ended up involving playing ‘I have never’, sitting by the camp fire, drinking, wizard sticks, glass spitting and talking. It was one of those random nights, where I subsided to bed some point in the early hours of the morning.
Lazily, the next day with a huge lie in until about 11.30am, I eventually got up. My head was pounding and I was totally ready to do nothing all day, which is pretty much I did: eat, drink coffee, speak to my mum, daze. Others did activities such as horse trekking, clay pigeon shooting, hiking to a waterfall. Unfortunately, it was raining all day so I’m glad I didn’t do too much. Soon enough I was snuggled in my bed, eyes drooping, listening to the girls around me, making me laugh.
An early wake up call got me out of bed, where I did the normal morning routine before mounting on the bus for the part of our journey to the National Park. I was meant to be walking the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which would have been a 20km walk through snow and wind but unfortunately the weather was too much so we had to miss out.
Back through the windy paths from Blue Duck Station, we hit traffic. Not normal traffic though: a flock of sheep surrounding our bus, a herd of cows wanting to get pass, geese crossing the road and diggers maintain the road. Finally, we were back in civilisation with phone signal and straightish roads. We drove to Tawhai Falls where Gollum from Lord of the Rings caught the fish then we entered Mordor, a dark, eerie volcanic plauteau scenery perfect for the movie.
Down to the tiny village, we parked up and entered the Chateux House, We sat looking at Mt Doom whilst consuming a high tea of earl grey tea, sandwiches, scone with jam and cream, cream brulee, macaroons and a cheese cake. I was totally stuff but it was just so good treating myself.
After a couple of hours, we were taken to our hostel where we checked into our rooms. Lounging in the common area, someone suggested putting on Lord of the Rings as we were in the movie set area. I had it on my hard drive so I could share the love with the whole group where we did a mass session of film watching. About half way through, we stopped the film to consume some dinner before starting it up again. It was a great bonding time for us all.
Slowly, people dispersed to their bed but a few of us sat up chatting for a while before heading to bed.