Chip & Bere Tour to New Zealand and Australia – New Zealand Day 05, 06 and 07

Southern Africa Conservation and Communities Tour to New Zealand and Australia – July and August 2011

Sunday 4th July – Rotorua and Lake Taupo


Boiling thermal lake in Wai-O-Tapu

We went to Wai-O-Tapu, meaning  ‘Sacred Waters’, New Zealand’s most colourful and diverse volcanic area, it truly is a thermal wonderland.  It has the largest area of surface thermal activity in the Taupo volcanic zone.  Covering 18 sq. km the area is covered with collapsed craters, cold and boiling pools of bubbling mud, water and steaming  vents.  You truly experience the raw beauty and sheer power that Mother Nature offers.  We went on a walk where we witnessed the immense geothermal activity taking place.  Boiling lakes and mud pools with names like Devil’s Home, Rainbow Crater, Thunder Crater, Artist’s palette, a panorama of hot and cold pools and steaming hissing fumoles with an amazing variety of ever changing colours, The Primrose Terrace, The Sacred Track, Champagne Pool, to name a few.

Volcanic area in Wai-O-Tapu

With colours of green, orange, purple, white, brown, red, yellow and black, all natural due to different mineral elements.  Because it is a Scenic Reserve all native flora, fauna and geological formations are strictly protected.

Lake Taupo with Rapeku snow covered mountain in the distance

From Wai-O-Taupo we drove to Lake Taupo.  This region is made up of diverse landscapes of mountains, geothermal hot spots, serene lakes and striking volcanic terrain.  Lake Taupo is the biggest lake in Australasia and was formed by a massive volcanic eruption some 26,500 years ago.  The explosion blew a 600 sq km hole in the earth and sent ash flying all over the word – even China felt the blast.

From the viewpoint at the top of Taupo, you can see the snow covered Ruapehu Mountain.  New Zealand is in the Pacific Ring of Fire, and Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe are a trio of active volcanoes in the Central Plateau area of the North Island.  The three mountains are part of the Gonariro National Park, which has dual World Heritage Status.

Huka Falls

Not far from the Lake, we visited the magnificent Huka Falls with almost 250,000 litres of water per second thundering through a chasm and leaping over an 11m ledge to foam in a deep semicircular basin of aquamarine water.   We saw it from the bridge above and then went on a boat, Maid of The Falls, up the river to where the falls thunder over, such different perspectives.

We then left Taupo to drive through to Havelock North where we are staying with Veronica’s parents.  A weekend spent absorbing the true magnificence of nature in an environment that is respected and well cared for by the surrounding communities.


Monday 5th July

We spent the day working, catching up on emails that have come in from around the world and generally getting up to date.  We discovered that Chip and Bere have become ‘celebrities’ with over 1000 people following their travels on our blog on the Environment Africa website.  We also did more work and editing






  1. Hi guys, looks and sounds amazing, well done, huge amount of work involved i can see…
    Happy fund raising, good luck all round.
    PS dont forget them to come to African via African Fusion Travel

    • Hi there,My name is Laura De Villiers. I have been a Registered Veterinary Technician for 9 years, ESL teacher and a Practical Nurse (waiting rrtestiagion exam). For the past 9 years I have been overseas in countries such as South Africa and Taiwan running Human and animal NGO’s and teaching English. I have a strong passion for travel and welfare work. I am looking at relocating and New Zealand has caught my eye. I just thought I would enquire about any possible opportunities in health care, media or veterinary medicine.Thank you for your time.Kindest Regards,Laura De Villiers

  2. Innocent Hodzonge says:

    I see the team is doing amazing work for Zimbabwe and Africa. You are great ambassadors keep up the good work. I hope more people will feel compelled to travel to Africa and those that cannot travel to contribute in one way or the other to its cause. Pamberi ne Environment

  3. Justin Wynn says:

    Great blog guys. You’re opening peoples’ eyes to some important issues.

Speak Your Mind