Land Of The LETS Green Dollar
Copyright � James Taris


Huka Falls generates 65% of all electricity on New Zealand's north island.

9. Wednesday, April 2
(Huka Falls ... Taupo ... Turangi)

90 Million Possums And Huka Falls

We fare welled Ross and Jenny, then headed out for Taupo. Along the road I noticed lots of dead possums.

"Are the possums native to New Zealand?" I asked. They weren't. In fact they were classified as vermin and poisoned whenever possible. But it seemed to be a lost cause. The size of the problem became more obvious when I was told there were 3,500,000 people in New Zealand, 50,000,000 sheep, but 90,000,000 possums! Other imports from Australia which had gained a firm foothold in New Zealand were the magpies, cockatoos, kookaburras and wallabies. But none were welcomed.

For about an hour we traveled through a long, thick fog. "Is this why New Zealand is called the land of the long white cloud?" I asked.

Huka Falls was on the other side of the fog. Pushing millions of gallons of water through a 10 metre wide chasm, Huka Falls generated electricity for 65% of the North Island as it sent water flowing down the Waikato River and through 11 power stations downstream.

Pussies And Hot Baths At Lake Taupo

We stopped at Lake Taupo for lunch. Two young grey kittens peered at us over the cliff edge as their mother observed them from a distance. About 20 ducks hovered around our table as we ate and were rewarded with some sliced bread after we'd finished � but only if they ate it out of my hands, which they did. Then as we left we saw the kittens scurrying under the picnic table for scraps. These were definitely wild cats. They'd be sleeping on the cliff tonight.

We hadn't found time to have a hot mineral bath in Rotorua, so Bryan was pleased to stop at the Taupo Hot Springs and Health Spa. We'd all kept our bathers and towels handy, so it wasn't long before we were cooking in the 40 degree Celsius pools. There were only half a dozen others there, but I couldn't help notice that all the young women had tattoos, one of then with a tattoo covering most of her back.

Tonight would be a quiet night. We booked into Settlers Motel in Turangi and, after another visit to an Internet Caf�, I spent the rest of the night watching TV.

This article is taken from the ebook,
Land of the LETS Green Dollar

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