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There is a very large lake in the central part of the North Island called Lake Taupo. I struggle a bit with the name because I have been quite firmly told that it is not pronounced the way it looks. Forget how it is spelled and say Toepaw and you’ll fit right in.

So, said lake is actually the caldera of a super volcano. 22,000 years ago it blew its top, ejecting around 750 cu km of ash and pumice. By comparison Krakatoa spit out a mere 8 cu km. Taupo last erupted in a big way in AD 180, causing red skies noted in Rome and China.

There ends the geology lesson provided by my resident geologist.

Nowadays the town is a vacation hot spot with water sports and bike trails and lots of ways to amuse.

We amused ourselves with a sailing yacht cruise in the late afternoon. Pizza, beer, sailing and sunset. All good.

Just enough clouds to make for a brilliant sunset.

Before the sun went down we sailed around to see carvings on a cliff face.

I like that picture with the shadow of the sails, but here is a better one of the face.

There was an opportunity to go swimming, but only one brave soul took the opportunity.

And the morning after – not a cloud in the sky and a perfect reveal of the mountains. Even at the height of summer Mt Ruapehu maintains some of its snowy cloak. It is one of the world’s most active volcanos.

After a long evening sail the stars began to come out. Since most of us were from the northern hemisphere Captain Dave decided to stay out a little later to ensure that we could see the Southern Cross hanging in the sky. I got that one checked off the bucket list finally!

Author: Sharon

I like to make things. I like to travel. I like to talk about what I'm up to.