Day #77 - A Totally abZorbing Day

Remember that lakeside view we went to sleep beside last night? Well it was even more magical this morning.

Those that have done camping, will know there is something quite special about waking up (usually early) and being surrounded by nature and spectacular scenery. We were also surrounded by about 20 other campers - tents and vans - but we'll overlook that!

The lake was very inviting (for James!) and so a morning swim was in order. He told me it was very refreshing and wonderful and while I could see the joy, I could also feel the cold water, so it was a solo swim for him!

However our next activity was very much a joint one. James had booked us in for a Zorbing experience. Zorbing is something I have never done before and so I was looking forward to trying it out. A zorb is a giant inflatable double walled ball that you climb inside and roll down a hill in. Very childish but very fun (zorb  = zooming in an orb). They put some water inside the ball which means you slip and slide your way down the hill. 

Luckily for you, James braved damaging his phone and captured the experience for you!

Afterwards, thoroughly soaked, we relaxed in the wooden hot tubs provided which was lovely. We were the first and only guests at the facility (because we booked the first run of the day) and so it was lovely just relaxing in the morning sun.

Next up, a drive to Orakei Koroko Geothermal Park. You can't visit New Zealand without going to see some of its famous geothermal activity. You will recall from Hawaii, how much James loves volcanoes and all things apocalyptic. 

The park lies on the edge of a lake and we had to take a short boat ride across. The area had been laid out very well with raised wooden walkways to keep us away from the scolding hot water bubbling up from the ground. The smell of sulphur hung in the air mixing with the sound of gurgling. It was quite an eerie landscape. 

There was also an awesome cave as well as some bubbling mud pools too. 

Following this Marvel of nature we then headed off to another - the impressively dramatic Huka Falls with its beautiful turquoise waters. 

Our drive towards our campsite for the tonight allowed us to travel through part of the Volcano National Park which afforded us some spectacular views. 

We also stopped at the town of Taupo, on the edge of Lake Taupo. This was a lovely town that we fell in love with and the lake was spectacular with the mountains in the distance. 

Lake Taupo

It was then on to our campsite in the town of Ohakune which again we loved since it was quite cute and had a surprising amount of restaurant - although most were closed for day and we were being self sufficient and cooking our own meal tonight. 

Once again, James was in charge of the BBQ and he rustled up some lovely tacos and made enough for lunch tomorrow. 

As we settled down for the evening (watching a cheesy romantic Netflix Christmas film) this siren went off. Not a car alarm siren, or a burglar alarm, but a full on emergency "everyone get out of here" siren! Needless to say, we were a little freaked out since we were staying at the base of a volcano (remember James loves all things volcanic!). 

Our fellow campers didn't know what to make of it either and we spent a few minutes wondering if we should muster somewhere or pack up and go. The alarm stopped after a short while and we were still none the wiser. Without the glow of encroaching lava on the horizon we deemed it safe to return to the van and get some sleep. Quite an end to another great day! 

We found out later that the alarm was something to do with the local volunteer firefighters. Why they couldn't use a WhatsApp group to get them all to report for duty I don't know!