Hello my dear travelers. Today I’m writing to you, not from my living room, were I’ve been spending all too much time, but from a little cafe in Taupo. I’m the first customer in today. I’ve got my chai and am excitedly awaiting my vegan breakfast. Yes, they have a completely separate vegan menu, which I always appreciate.
So, I am spending the next couple of days here in Taupo. It’s a small town about an hour and a half south of Matamata and it’s nestled right at the northern edge of Lake Taupo. This great lake was created after a volcano exploded, leaving behind a massive crater that slowly filled with water as the years passed. A little later I will be out sailing on the lake, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
Sunday was a bit of a crap day. It was the first real cloudy day I’d seen since I arrived and there was 100% chance of rain. So what did I decide to do? I decided to go on a hike.
Wairere Falls is a short 20 minute drive outside of Matamata. My flatmate had gone for a run there the other day, and I recognized the name from an AirBNB listing I had looked at months ago before I moved. My guilt of spending so much time in doors was greater than my desire not to get caught in the rain while climbing up the Kaimais.
So after a bit of a lie in, I got up, laced up my hiking boots, pulled on my rain jacket and headed out the door.
When I arrived, I felt like I had come to the base of some mini Misty Mountains range. The sky was heavy with clouds and some of them sunk right down onto the hilltops.
I didn’t let this sway me. It was actually kind of exciting. Once I left the car park, it became clear that everything about this hike was going to be different. The weather, the terrain, the vegetation, the atmosphere. There wasn’t a hike back home I could compare it to.
I’ll give you a few more of my thoughts from the hike in a bit, but for now, pictures.
This time around I didn’t actually reach the summit, I just made it to the lookout point. But I still got to see the Falls.
Next time I go out I’ll make it to the top.
A few final thoughts. Hiking in a gentle mist is rather pleasant. Hiking in heavier rain after you’ve already let your bare arms get wet and then have to wrap yourself and your slightly stuffed bag in your rain jacket, which keeps getting stuck on your bare, wet arms, is less enjoyable.
It was also interesting taking note of how long it took for my breathing to become really labored. There’s actually air in New Zealand! Or you know, more of it anyway. I also realized there’s something invigorating about having to use your hands while on a hike, even if it’s just to stabilize yourself as you pull yourself up a big step. Even if I was feeling completely worn out, having to do this gives me a new burst of energy. The challenge feels fresh again and I want to keep going. Kinda neat.
At the end of my hike, after the rain had subsided, I found myself thinking, ‘Why did I even bother showering this morning?’
Tune in next time for my adventures in Taupo.