There are two places in New Zealand I consider to be the absolute best. Full Disclosure though: One of them is a well-kept secret. I can describe it to you, but I can’t give away its location. It’s too valuable! However, if I drop just enough clues you might be able to guess where it is. That being said, if my clues aren’t enough and you can’t guess the location, I still want you to be able to experience the best locations New Zealand has to offer. So I’ll let you in on the other one. Lake Tarawera.
Situated somewhere near Rotorua, and surrounding Mount Tarawera, this extraordinary lake has provided me with some of the best memories of my life. I would argue with anyone who tried to tell me they knew of a more naturally stunning place. However, what’s important to know, is that you have to get your visit right. If you’re trudging along at four in the afternoon on a drizzly, windy, foggy day to see the lake, you won’t get much of a thrill. But if you wake up before the sun rises, take a boat out, go and sit on the edge or look down from above, you’re in for a treat. Watching the sun-rise and then staying on the lake once it has, is an incomparable experience.
Lake Tarawera is rich in history also, once home to many small Maori villages and settlements until the Tarawera eruption in 1886, which also destroyed the famous Pink and White Terraces. However, its beauty wasn’t destroyed there; it lives on today, but in a different way. The flat and glassy lake has allowed my entire family to learn how to single-water-ski, get thrown off of the biscuit, watch the sunrise and get freshly sunburnt, all in one day.
But now onto the secret location. The place that sprung to my mind as soon as I thought of my favourite place in New Zealand. My little sister and I go for runs here, there are two different tracks you can take. One leads you to a lookout that looks over the countryside of Tauranga. The other takes you to the enchanting part – a rocky little inlet that you wouldn’t find unless you knew where you were going. It’s mostly surrounded by bushes and shrubbery, so it doesn’t get much sunlight. However, there is a small gap in the greenery above, that opens directly onto the small lagoon and waterfall and when the sun shines through it, it takes your breath away. The water is freezing and the trail there is steep and difficult, but it’s worth it every time.
You’ll have to excuse my secrecy. But after seeing what happened to Blue Springs over the past few years, it’s a secret that I’m just not willing to share online. My old friend from Primary School told me last summer that when she was little, she was amongst a group of people you could count on your fingers who knew about Blue Springs. Now if you go there, you can barely see the lake through the mob of tourists, and you can’t swim in it without being bombarded by kids jumping in, bringing dirt and mud into the clear blue lake.
So visit Lake Tarawera if you can, it will amaze you beyond belief. Once you have, see if my clues are enough for you to figure out the secret location… I don’t feel too bad though. That’s the amazing thing about New Zealand. Every Kiwi Kid knows a top-secret location that’s too good to share with the internet. So hold onto your secret NZ spots, trust me.
Critical Thinking Challenges:
1. Where do you think the best location in New Zealand is?
2. Do you think that locations in New Zealand should remain a secret amongst New Zealanders? Or should we share them with the world?
3. Do you think New Zealand has the best locations in the world?
1. Ask you peers what their two favourite locations are? Tell them one of them has to be somewhere that most people wouldn’t know about… Try and find out if they have a secret one or not?
2. How has New Zealand’s locations been affected by tourism? What do you think caused this… Facebook, Instagram, word-of-mouth?
3. What is your opinion on this article? Do you know a secret NZ spot? You don’t have to reveal it, but if you do let us know in the COMMENTS BELOW.