Taupo’s most notable feature is the lake. It would be a shame to just see it from the shoreline, no?

I took a sailing trip aboard the Barbary, an 80+ year old sail boat that had just in the last year gone under a complete retrofit – including changing the old, noisy diesel motor to an electric. In other words the ship was silent running at all times, a pretty cool thing. We didn’t need the motor much anyways, the wind and weather was excellent all round.

The tour was a quiet one today – only myself and 4 others, and then the captain. It allowed us all a lot of room to move around, stretch out and enjoy the passing scenery and glorious sunny day. And make good use of the supplied bean bags cushions.

Looking back towards the town of Taupo, you can see just how much Mt. Tauhara towers above the surrounding area.

This wasn’t just a simple tour out in the middle of the lake though. About an hour of sailing got us to our destination, the Maori rock carvings.

The main carving is over 10 meters high and on a naturally flat wall of rock. The thing is, looking at it you might assume it’s hundreds of years old. In actuality, it is very new – it was done in the late 1970s by a Maori master rock carver. It took 4 summers to complete the work, and now it’s a really neat place to visit. There were smaller rock carvings nearby that were worked on when the weather was too poor to work on the main carving.

At that point, the captain turned the Barbary around and pointed us back towards Taupo. The sun remained splendid, the wind warm and healthy and the water calm. We all capped a very enjoyable journey off in true sailing fashion, with a beer. NOT a bad way to spend an afternoon at all!

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