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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Saturday 11 March 2023

The impressive Huka Falls

 March 11th

Groan...more bites to contend with. Chatting to another British couple this morning those nasty evil sandflies made me their prime target for a meal. Half a dozen or so all congregating on my feet and. ankles. One even got me on my instep, the bastard! I'm now covered in anti sandfly and smelling awful not just to them, but anyone that is within sniffing distance!


The river first thing this morning.

So those rapids, we walked to the viewing platform about 10 minutes away. Got myself a a good vantage point and waited for the fourth siren to go off. The dam sluices opened, they could only just be seen, gosh it was even more impressive from where I stood.



Fifteen minutes later those gates shut and slowly the water started to recede. We may walk once more tomorrow to an even higher viewing point, this would mean all areas will then have been recorded and the trip from Wellington to here will have been justified.

Went into Taupo later for a haircut. NZ too has walk in hairdressers, I was to be disappointed because the hairdresser, like so many of the hospitality services over here, have been short staffed since Covid and for some reason finding it hard to employ people. Another walk-in hairdresser was found in Rotorua, I phoned to see if I could make a definite appointment but, no, walk-ins only so I must take pot luck. It's quite a distance from here, roughly 75 km, a long way to go just for a trim! And before I hear "what about those hairdressers where you can make appointments", all were booked, they don't open on a Sunday or, for that matter, a Monday! 

Back to the car park at Aratiatia Rapids just in time to take the 2.30 pm Huka Falls Riverboat Cruise. An eighty-minute cruise along the Waikato River, the longest river in New Zealand. Loads of photo opportunities and managing to stand right at the front, got some spectacular footage of the amount of water cascading over the top of Huka Falls especially when the captain drove the boat to almost touching distance. Put it this way, I got wet!

Remarkably clear water and apparently fit for drinking!


Another of my recommendations. Cost was $42 each and well worth every penny. Captain was very informative too. Told us that 65000 litres of water pours through those sluice gates to fill the gorge every second!  Waikato River falls naturally through 28 metres in the space of one kilometre.This natural drop had been harnessed for environmentally-sustainable hydroelectric power which is why the sluice gates are opened 4 times a day. The water is diverted through a tunnel to the power station. 

Oh and the Huka jet was about too. Those 360's are just so much fun!

We like it here, may stay another day, Craters of the Moon to do and a sculptor garden with a glass blowing demonstration to see.

And wildlife,

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