Day 6: Mangaokewa – Taupo
Pouakani Totara, Redwoods forest and Rotorua Hamurana Springs
Once again early morning in Mangaokewa and drive towards Rotorua. There are two things worth seeing on the way, both of them are forests but they are very different from each other, the first one I stopped by was Pouakani Totara tree walk. This is a very easy walk, takes only about 20 minutes and you pass pretty dense vegetation, you hear lots of birds singing all around you an you really have the feeling of going through a wild forest. Really worth a stop to stretch your legs.
The second spot was the Redwoods forest right outside Taupo village. This visit is a bit longer but still an easy one. Vegetation here is not as dense but the trees are extremely tall and its pretty cool to see their red trunk that the forest is named after. One thing worth mentioning here is that there are a few paths and you can go through some of them by horse, which unfortunately I didn’t get to try because I didn’t see any information about horse tours, so you probably have to bring your own horse, but I didn’t have any of mine handy at the moment :(
After the two visits I stopped at McDonalds for coffee and wifi. Every day I plan the next day and it normally happens at some McDonalds because they offer the best wifi connection in New Zealand. During my planing session I met the first person that might become my long term friend on the trip, Dodo, a firefighter from Andorra, super nice guy that was unfortunately in some trouble, but thankfully managed to solve it eventually and we were all happy :)
There was still some time to squeeze one more visit on the day and it didn’t disappoint! I headed slightly north to visit the Rotorua Hamurana Springs, a beautiful place with hot springs and full of swans and ducks. The water coming from underneath the ground was so transparent that in some areas I wasn’t sure if there was water or not.
Tomorrow I plan to do a trek across another amazing area also famous for appearing at The Lord Of The Rings trilogy along with the Hobbiton, Mordor! The drive there was a bit long so I decided to get closer to it before dark driving to Taupo, where I found a great location for sleeping.