On Wednesday, at 9.30 a.m., I suddenly took it into my head that I wanted a long drive and by 10.30 a.m. I was out of the house and on my way to Lake Taupo. I would have been out earlier if I'd managed to contact three different holdiay home booking places. I figure everybody in New Zealand was home watching the Americas Cup races (as was confirmed to me later by all three holiday home booking people).
In Taupo I went for a dip in the hot spring at Spa Park. See above photo. The spring is completely in its natural state and is on the edge of the Waikato River. It's at the next turning after the bungee jump on the way out of town. Below is a photo of the Waikato River that runs through Taupo.
I've been to Lake Taupo in Summer when it's crammed with tourists and I've been in winter when ski bunnies fill the place. But in September (spring) it was virtually empty. Like a ghost town, especially from about 3 pm onwards when folk who are passing through - and have had their lunch and a quick look around just disappear back again onto Highway No 1.