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After a leisurly morning, I catch the Stray bus from Rotorua at 12.30pm and head to Taupo. The bus makes several stops on route, including a visit to the mud pool which I had visited yesterday, and a stop at a hot spring.
The hot spring was just by the side of the road where two rivers meet. One was clearly a normal cold stream, but the other was hot! If you sit in the right place between the two you can find a good temperature, but if you want it hot you head up the hot stream. It was very relaxing, though a bit muddy, and I was surprised at how few people off the bus jumped in. About half the people only watched or just dangled a toe in.
Nearing Taupo we stopped to see the amazing Huka Falls. In this place a huge volume of water crashes through a narrow gorge creating rapids which have been declared unraftable! Apparently the water which flows through here in a second is enough to fill two Olympic sized swimming pools!
Arriving in Taupo we quickly checked into our accommodation for the night before heading out to Taupo airport for some skydiving. I chose to jump at the higher 15,000 feet for some extra free-fall time. This meant that I had to wear an oxygen mask in the plane for the final bit of ascent. When we went up in the plane it was a beautiful sunny day, but by the time we got to 15,000 feet 25 minutes later the cloud had closed in. Strapped on tightly to my expert, I didn’t really have any choice in jumping out, and soon found myself hurtling towards earth at 200+km/hr. After a few brief flips we settled into our terminal velocity which felt really peculiar. Aside for the massive amount of wind blowing into me, it didn’t feel like I was falling at all. Of course, soon the cloud came up and overtook us, the parachute came out and we were floating above Lake Taupo with views all around.
Watch the video of me skydiving!