Today Franzi invited me to walk down to the hot pools in the evening. This is a really popular activity among tourists and locals. There is a free park, the Spa Thermal Park, where you can go and relax in the hot pools. Although the park technically closes, most people go down at night, bring beer and sit around and drink. However, we were just going for the muscle relaxing benefits of the hot water. The park is about a twenty minute walk from the hostel. Before we left, we were told about a private pool that was up behind the others. We decided to check that one out.
The pools were extremely hot. The temperature of the water depends on a number of factors including water level. There are a number of waterfalls that feed the pools and they are beautiful.
The pools drain into the river. You can go into the cold water of the river and then back into the hot water of the pools. However, the river has extremely strong currents to be aware of.
The area is beautiful and the geothermal activity is fascinating. I am absolutely loving Taupo so far. I have a route along the lake where I run a 5k after cleaning each day. Then I try to wander around in the afternoon, either exploring town or doing local hikes. I am thinking about looking for a second job and staying here through the holidays!