Oh dear, as lovely as that camp site was, the half a dozen or so cockerels running loose around the site kept awaking us throughout the night. At least two took it upon themselves to perch right by the back door! By 5 am the kettle went on, tea drunk and off to the shower block for a very early shower!. By 8 am we were away, back to Huka Jet boats because we couldn't get their video to upload. Anyway, we got the video, unfortunately too long to put on the blog, but I do have the photos they took.
|We are at the back to the right. I have my arms in the air.
One thing mentioned whilst on the Jet boat yesterday was a must-see experience at Aratiatia Rapids. A sluice gate is opened for twenty minutes at 10 am, 12 pm and 2 pm and thousands of litres of water are released from the Aratiatia Dam creating a spectacular flow of water through a narrow gorge. Filmed here was the barrel scene from the Hobbit, the Desolation of Smaug.
Leaving the Jet boat centre a tad before 10 am we knew it would be a race to try to arrive before the sluice gates were shut. Only just missed it by minutes but Ian still got some spectacular video footage of the amount of water flowing over the rocks.
I took stills of during the flood and after. So look at these two photos. One was as we arrived, I took it from the bridge overlooking the river. The second is from the identical place but a good 30 minutes later. It doesn't even look the same but if you compare the rock to the left on both photos you will see it is.
|Look at the large rock centre left and the markings
|And the rock on the left has the same markings
This is a wonderful place to visit, and we may come back on our return from South Island because I would love to see the moment the sluice gates open and the canyon fills with water.
|This from the midpoint lookout. You can see the sluice gates at the top. The rocks in the distance were covered when we arrived.
It was then another mad dash to Huka falls to see the jet boat.
Gosh so much rushing about it was nice to set off towards the Forgotten Highway. Its on SH 43 and although this was done back in 2019, it was still a Must-do again in our book. This from newzealand.com
New Zealand’s oldest heritage trail, the Forgotten World Highway is remote, mysterious and scenic.
Travel along the 155 kilometre-long highway and venture through landscapes and the many historical and natural points of interest.
Whether you experience the Forgotten World Highway as a 3 hour scenic drive or stay for a long weekend getaway, you’ll be treated to an adventure like no other.
For a lunch stop, we made a detour to Kinloch, pretty place next to Lake Taupo.
Taumarunui the Forgotten highway begins. It's 148 km from there to Stratford, a wonderful road with great scenery, gravel tracks and a Hobbit Hole tunnel
|The yellow sign is a warning not to loiter or stop due to falling debris.
Back in 2020 we stopped at a lookout called Taharoa Saddle. Then we witnessed a strange colour to the moon on the horizon. It was due to all the bush fires in Australia that year.
This was where we stopped again. In the distance was the Lord of the Rings Mt Doom (Mt Ngauruhoe)
So very quiet here, hardly a vehicle has come past. I'm hoping for a very restful night.
And quirky signs on this highway
Tomorrow we leave New Zealand, for a few hours anyway!
|A wild goat.