Sunday, November 01, 2009
These holiday posts aren't going to be in any sort of order; sorry about that. If I'd done them at the time it would have been different, but not having my laptop with me (by choice) I'm forced to pick up on them later, and that's usually not very successful.
Anyway, the Huka Falls. As I mentioned in another post I went up in a float plane last Monday while in Taupo. While I was flying, I saw the Huka Falls below, and later in the afternoon, my wife and I decided to go and see them close up.
We got to the starting place, walked over the bridge from the parking lot, saw a lot of rushing water beneath us, looked at the sign ahead of us, and, for some reason known only to the Universe, we ignored the sign that said '1 minute' to the left, and took the sign that said '1 hour' to the right.
The one hour walk proved to be at least three-quarters of an hour, and it was up hill and down dale, and across a couple of little bridges and so forth. Very pleasant, and it would have been well worthwhile if it had actually led to the Huka Falls. Instead it came out at a bridge where some teenage boys were jumping off the railings into the water below. Other people were lying around in the water, which turned out to be warm from the steam given off further up the hill. None of these people had come there to see the Huka Falls.
Finally we asked a couple where the Falls were. They pointed back along the path - about an hour that way....
After a short rest, back we trudged. How we'd mistaken the sign I have no idea, but sometimes it just happens. We were somewhat footsore by the time we got back to the original bridge, and went on for the hundred metres of so to see the famous Falls we'd been chasing for the last couple of hours.
They were certainly worth seeing, but not quite as remarkable as I'd thought from the air. The drop is about seven metres, but you view that from above, and so you don't get that sense of the water falling down towards you. Never mind, we have a memorable walk to record in the holiday diary instead...!
My daughter has just informed me that a float plane engine 'exploded' (as most of the news reports put it) over Lake Taupo this afternoon. Since there are only two float planes operating on Lake Taupo it could well have been the one I went on. Here's the report - which is pretty identical everywhere you look, making it rather seem as though the whole thing was a bit overblown...
A scary experience for the pilot of a float plane while in the skies over Taupo this afternoon: a full emergency response was initiated when the plane's engine blew up.
Police say members of the public who were doing a spot of weekend fishing on Lake Taupo telephoned police after seeing a smoke trail coming from the back of the plane.
The float plane managed to land safely on the water at Tokaanu Bay. No-one was injured. The Civil Aviation Authority is investigating.
The photo of Huka Falls was taken by someone who goes by the nom de plume of 'weir thru a lens' on Flickr.com