Today we started the trip. First we met at the school, and then we drove to Tekapo in two vans. I was in a very quiet one, but that was not that bad. We made a stop at Fairlie. There is the probably best pies shop in whole new zealand. The pies were just perfect. If you ever visit New Zealand, you have to eat a pie there!
Than we went on to Tekapo. Tekapo is a small town at a lake. A pretty big lake. Actually, not so big like Taupo (the supervolcano), but still pretty big. A friend said it looked a little bit like Norway.
We went hiking to a viewpoint at the top of a hill. It was incredible! Really, the lake and all the mountains are so beautiful! Just beautiful! And if you ever go there, look at the stars. They are really incredible. It looks like a picture from Hubble, the space telescope. I was not able to make a picture of that because there was no chance to get the stars onto the photos how they looked like. Probably you know pictures of the sky from years ago, when there was not so much light to cover the stars. It looks like that.
In the lake you shouldn´t swim if you ask our teachers. That´s why we were in Hot springs. Again. It is exactly like Hot water pools. I like it, and it is relaxing, but I guess I was just too often in these pools. But still, the view from these Pools is pretty nice. The view from the Pools there was better than even in Taupo. There you could see over the lake, there were lights. Even that was stunning, but this was even better! You can´t describe that. To understand what I mean you must see it!
All the best, Jana
Te Whakarewarewatanga O Te Ope Taua A Wahiao
Yes, and again it´s about volcanos! Okay, more about volcanic activities, a very interesting topic, if you ask me. No, really! But even more impressive than the volcano are geysirs. They are probably the most interesting thing I saw since I´m in New Zealand.
But first about the place: Te Puia is only the name, which is used for the park. The regions name is Whakarewarewatanga O Te Ope Taua A Wahiao. In the region there are Geysirs, Mudpools, and even a small village of Maori (native New Zealanders). It means ´the gathering place for the war parties of Wahiao´. Long name? Absolutely!
Volcanos, geysirs und mudpools
The former village was built in he crater of a volcano. And there are many mudpools in Whakarewarewatanga, which is shorter Term for Te Whakarewarewatanga O Te Ope Taua A Wahiao. The mud from this pools is used for masks. But you should probably not go and get it for yourself, because the Mudpools are very deep and the mud is like quicksand. Oh, and you would get burned. These pools are almost cooking!
But if you ask me, I would tell you thet the geysirs were the most interesting! I saw two of them. We saw the Pohute, which is after our guide the biggest geysir in the whole southern hemisphere. And the Prince of Wales Feathers-Geysir we saw too. If you see that one it is and indicator that the bigger one is errupting soon. The Pohuto-Geysir can get till 30 (!) meters high, by the way. The Prince of Wales Feathers-Geysir is only getting up till seven meters.
And then there are Maori. Whakarewarewatanga was not the onliest place where we saw things about Maori. We were at the waitangi treaty grounds too. These are pretty popular fields. There one of the most important treats in New Zealands history got signed. Between Maori and europeans. The fields are in the Bay of islands, which are pretty popular too.
Maori came too New Zealand in the 13th century from other pacific islands. They don´t have such a long history like (for example) chinese people, but they have their own language. And a very interesting culture! There are many dances, like the Kapa Haka, a war dance which is still performed by the All Blacks (New Zealands Rugbyteam) before theitr games. It´s very impressive. You should see it!
All the best, Jana