I've had time to catch a few more epic sunsets from my house.
My flatmates call it "the Wow". When we're hanging out in the living area together we wait for The Wow. Then we rate it and compare it to other sunsets.
Frankly, I think they're a bit spoiled. Lol. Can't blame them, it's far too easy in NZ.
A few weeks ago I drove 10 minutes out of town to a place called Craters of the Moon, http://www.newzealand.com/int/feature/craters-of-the-moon/ another geothermal site. It was a nice little walk but basically it's just steam coming outta the ground. It's pretty cool tho.
|Steamy ground at Craters of the Moon|
I can see its steam plume from my deck every morning. It reminds of days when I could see the Lake County geyser plumes from Santa Rosa.
|Craters of the Moon|
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_TauharaI finally had a morning off, where the weather was nice and I wasn't feeling exhausted from my 50+ hour work weeks. So I drove 15 minutes to Mt Tauhara.
I have been wanting to hike up it since I first arrived in Taupo over a month ago.
|View of Mt Tuahara from Craters of the Moon|
|Mt Tuahara from the start of the hike|
The hike was awesome! Fairly easy and very scenic. I took my sweet time and took lots of photos. I felt like I was playing hookey because I finally had some free time to do something fun. The hike starts through some hilly pastureland.
|Shouda taken that right atAlbuquerque|
|Stepbenches. How the NZ trails are connected through pastureland|
Then through some awesome jungle.
It was so nice to take my time and just take it all in. I haven't been out to do anything in so long.
|Random jungle bench next to a vista|
For the most part, it was easy going. Plus I took lots of breaks for photo ops.
|Parts of the trail were very narrow|
I wasn't sure what the summit was going to be like. So I was really stoked when I got there and found that I had a 360* view from the top.
I wished I had more time to hang out there, I could've stayed there for hours. It was awesome. After working so much, and not traveling, or getting out and about, it was like "oh yeah.... THIS is why I'm in New Zealand..." Very cool to have that feeling back.
|The summit rocks were covers in cool orange/red lichen|
|View from the summit, looking south onto Lake Taupo and the Tongoriro Mts beyond that|
It was a nice perspective shift that I hadn't even realized I needed. I had to leave before I wanted to, so I could get to my bar job on time. But it's only 15 minutes from my house so I'm sure I'll hike it a few more times while I'm in Taupo.
|Pssssst! Help me! Everywhere I go this crazy goofball follows me....haha|
|The town of Taupo is visible in the bottom right next to the lake|
Next week I have 2 whole days off from work. I have a few hikes I hope to do, and I'm pretty sure it's time for me to visit Hobbiton. I can't leave New Zealand without first having a pint at the Green Dragon Tavern.