"Have you ever been given a key to an adventure?
He can be found at our Farmer's market on any given Sunday...and as it so happens, he just adores hot springs too, or so I discovered during a serendipitous conversation at a birthday party in early March.
And it was during this chat that Gernot told me of the hot springs at Tarawera...Tara-where-a? Well nowhere in particular really, just quite simply a spot halfway between here and Taupo (a two hour drive away). And since that very next week we were to be traveling that very road, I carefully tucked the specified directions into my head and decided to do a little research to see what else I could find out about the Tarawera Springs. I came across some helpful information here and learned that the pools had been officially closed by DOC in around 1985, but as I scrolled down further I came across a story that sent tingles up & down my spine & that I just couldn't get out of my head....
"What a shame that it's been closed!!! I have been trying to find it's location ever since I heard about this amazing event. About 5 years ago I met an Maori man in Waipukurau when we were doing a computer course together. We were talking about our belief in Angels. He told me that about 15 years before he had stopped at the local pub there one day. His, then, 3 year old son wanted to go to the toilet, so dad had stopped and decided to have a bite to eat while they were there. He told me that while he was up at the bar, he meet a old Maori man he asked him why his son couldn't walk. He told him that his son had a crippling condition, and that he had never been able to walk and that Doctor's said he would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The old man suggested that he take the young boy down to the hot pool. When the boy got out of the pool he had gained movement in his legs, which increased over the next month and eventually resulting in the boy walking normally. As he still did as an 18 year old young man. The father had driven back to the pub to tell the man and to thank him, but something really strange happened because when he spoke to the Tavern owner and his wife. They said that they had never seen anyone who fitted the description of this old Maori man but that other people had also told them similar stories. So wish is that another miracle happens and the pools get reopened."
Dianne - New Zealand
Rating: 10/10 27th December 2006
So now, of course, I really was determined to stop in at the Tarawera Cafe & see if we could locate these legendary waters. Right on the rise, the midway point, we paused in our journey home...oh no closed! Oh well, Gernot said to go around the side of the cafe & along the road for a distance & then there was a 15 minute walk until we reached the pools..so off we went, past the house to the left..until we came to a gate & the familiar vistas that I had seen online. Right, walking from here...
Lovely hills, wonderful countryside..
and lots of sheep...perhaps it's over this rise??
but alas, an hour later there was still no sign of hot springs...
"Oh bother we give up!" (we said together in an Eyeore sort of voice)
On our way back down the driveway we made one last attempt to find our way & asked at the old house out by the road. Finally making myself heard above the boisterous dog chorus, we were informed that the springs were in fact located 10 mins back towards Taupo.
Rob, still forgivingly patient at this point, kindly agreed that we should retrace our steps for one last try.
And no, I was not mistaken, the other place had a large sign saying Tarawera Cafe too!
After making enquiries & a particularly reviving cup of tea we followed new directions at "our own risk" down past this old macrocapa tree.
Utter, magnificent bliss!!
turned Rob's silver wedding ring a deep purple.
Our grand adventure was only part way through, however & we were to return a few weeks later to soak again & make some marvelous new discoveries.
You can read about what we found just here....especially if you have a fondness for Katherine Mansfield.