We were up early and checked out of our motel as we had to be at our Zipline Canopy Tour at 8am. We arrived a little early, got checked in and geared up and jumped in a bus with eight others and two guides. We drove out of Rotorua for about 10 minutes to Dansey Road Scenic Reserve.
This is the only ziplining tour in NZ that goes through a native forest. It was beautiful! We learnt a bit about the different plants including the famous Silver Fern and these little bright blue mushrooms as well as the conservation being done which mainly involves pest eradication. Because possums have no predators in NZ they grow to about twice the size of our sweet little ones in Australia and instead of eating vegetation go all carnivorous and eat birds and eggs! Stoats and rats are the other two main introduced mammals that cause NZ to lose a minimum of 70,000 native birds per night!
We zipped six lines and walked two swing bridges with the longest line being 220m long. Dad even went upside down on the last line! It was chilly in the morning and in forest but when we emerged 3 hours later it had warmed up a bit (19°C). We returned to Rotorua in the bus and then started driving south towards Taupo.
We called in to see the bubbling mud one last time on the way. Taupo is about 80km south of Rotorua. When we arrived we went straight to the one and only Huka Prawn Park, Shawn's home turf. We bought our tickets and went on the 1pm tour where we saw the man himself, Shawn, although I was a little concerned that he was only one and a half years old (last time I saw him it was 2013...) and we also saw the hatchery where we got to feed the baby prawns and yes it was just as exciting as last time.
We then had lunch at the café, Dad had curry prawns and I had battered prawns, both were delicious.
After this it was time to get serious so we picked up a couple of rods and some bait and made our way to Pond 1. First drop and I was on, "reeling" in a prawn straight up! Considering I didn't really catch one last time this was both surprising and exciting. About three casts later Dad hooked one too (a smaller one hehe) and that ended our streak of good luck. We stayed on fishing for a while longer but never got any more. It's so much fun though.
With not long until the park closed we did Shawn's Walk around the park, feeding the trout and visiting the Waikato River. After leaving the park (no amount of time is enough) we headed a little further down the road to Huka Falls where a furious rush of water ploughs down a narrow pass ending in the falls that send enough water to fill five Olympic swimming pools over the edge per minute! The water is a beautiful aqua colour to top off the magnificence.
Next, we ventured into town and found our motel which is right on the lakeside. Tomorrow we will head down to Tongariro National Park for a look at the mountains (volcanoes) and the desert.