304 Days on the Road
We don’t think we’ll ever get tired of waking up to the views of Lake Taupo. New Zealand’s largest and most magnificent lake is ever in sight in the town of Taupo, and Haka Lodge‘s upper levels with large balconies and courtyards encompasses those views quite easily. You’ve got the volcanic cone of Mt Tauhara on one side, then on a clear day, you can see the monstrous volcanoes of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro layering each other on the other side of the lake. Then all of a sudden, those mountains can be engulfed by the weather, which is ever-changing around Lake Taupo. The weather alone has been pretty fascinating for us to watch this past week.
But a part that is almost constantly ingrained in the lake scenery, except for during the winter season, is the colourful parachute of Big Sky Parasail. So sure, the views look pretty amazing in Taupo for us ground-dwellers, but imagine what the views look like from up there?! Well, we think you know what’s coming next…
We’re finally doing it: We’re finally parasailing on Lake Taupo!
After days of watching that huge round parachute drifting around 800ft above the lake, we’re finally getting down to the Taupo Boat Harbour to board the Big Sky Parasail boat – it’s like a normal boat but with and nice large carpeted landing pad. We are greeted by the characterful team of Llyodo and Andrew who are an experience in themselves, then we’re pulling out of the harbour.
Capturing the action
The cheerful Lloydo gives us a quick safety briefing while we’re slowly making our way out onto the lake. Plus, he goes through the different photo and video packages the guys can spruce up. They have quite the awesome action camera set-up, with birds-eye-view and selfie-style options while we’re flying in the air, as well as a few cameras facing the landing pad so we can see our take-off and landing faces. There is also the option for some snaps taken with a nice long-zoom DSLR camera. All the different photo options feature one way or another in this very blog post!
Solo, tandem or triple?
As soon as the boat is safely out of the harbour, we’re speeding off onto the great lake! The age range of passengers on the boat is an unexpected five to 30-something, and the five-year-old plus dad are going first. It seems the parasail guys can put anyone in the sky, whether it’s for a solo flight, tandem flight or triple (as long as those weights do not exceed 200kgs).
We get the luxury of watching the father and son flying high in the sky, their bodies are tiny outlines underneath the bright and brilliant parasail. The flight is around 10-12 minutes long, so meanwhile, Andrew is getting us harnessed up and putting our life jackets and helmets on in preparation for the next flight.
Watching the brave go first
Flying high over the great lake
After the flying father and tiny child smoothly land on the boat, it’s our turn to do this thangggg!!
Robin is clipped onto the tandem bar first, being the heaviest, then Laura. We listen to the instructions of Andrew, which is just a simple: “Sit down, legs straight… legs bent…” then we’re smoothly floating away into the sky. Goodbye, boat friends!!!
We knew parasailing was high, but not this high?!?! Robin all of a sudden remembers he is scared of heights. He gets all rigid, holds onto his harness, and continues to make comments like: “The view is nice though… Yeah, the view is nice…” Meanwhile, Laura is making like a seagull, flapping her arms in the breeze. It’s pretty chilly up here, but we have ended up doing the parasail at an awesome time of the day while the sun is setting and casting all sorts of reds across the clouds. The fun part is looking at our feet so high above the water… water that all of a sudden gets closer and closer.
Freefalling with a splash
There is no more tension on the line connecting us to the boat, and we are drifting down toward the lake. Did they forget about us up here?! No, turns out we are on the freefalling part of our flight… At first, we shoot back up as the boat speeds away in the distance well before hitting the water. The second time, that water is getting closer, it’s getting closer, then splash! Our legs take a dip before we shoot back into the sky again. Then one more time back into the water. By not having our shoes on, we were asking for it! And surprisingly, the water warmed our feet up a wee bit after they have been exposed to the cold air all this time.
Now the parasail team bring us back for an easy landing where they tell us to stand on the boat as we get close enough to hear them. Simple!
As the last minutes of sunlight still hang in the day, we watch the final couple take flight, then we head back to the harbour feeling totally pumped and refreshed. It turns out that there’s nothing like a good parasail to end the day.
Cheap eats at the Element Bar
We say goodbye to the team and go grab some cheap eats in Taupo. The Element Bar is a backpacker bar, which we scouted out while staying at Base, with nightly food and drink deals. Tonight is cheap pizza night, so we oblige by getting cheap pizzas: pork belly and pepperoni, as well as treating ourselves to some pub grub starters, like wedges, chicken wings and garlic bread. Beers are also mandatory to cheers to another awesome day in Taupo, New Zealand!
Join us tomorrow where we’re taking a jetboat through the rapids! Yikes!
Flying the skies of taupo!
Have you read the yesterday’s post about trout fishing on Lake Taupo? Or was that the day before? How about these articles:
Until tomorrow’s blog post, check us out on the HerePin app to meet other travellers in your area. We also post travel tips for New Zealand on Facebook, as well as our adventure on Instagram. Join the Facebook Group to find people to travel with, ask us questions, and buy/sell.
See you tomorrow!