Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu
View of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Lake Taupo Get-Together

November 7, 2016

We had the opportunity to fly to Lake Taupo on the North Island for a retreat with the other Family History Records Preservation Missionaries in New Zealand. Many thanks to Mike Higgins for putting this wonderful opportunity together. 

Elder & Sister Byrne, Edward, Woods and Eccles.
There are only three couples besides us left in New Zealand doing preservation work. Elder & Sister Woods are in Wellington, Elder & Sister Byrne are in Auckland, as are Elder & Sister Eccles. We knew the Byrnes from our week in the MTC in Provo and it was fun getting reacquainted. It was also fun getting to know the Woods & Eccles and share experiences and knowledge with each other. We also had Tom Nelson from FamilySearch Content Strategy join us from Salt Lake City. The interaction was helpful as we shared some suggestions with Tom and Mike. They also let us know how much the work we do is appreciated. Tom shared some insight about records preservation in Africa..... really interesting.

Our motel was just across the road from Lake Taupo.
Depending on the weather and time of day, the lake took on many different faces.
It was interesting to watch the people interact with the lake in many different ways..... some walking, some jogging, some just sitting and admiring the view.

 Aratiatia Rapids

The Aratiatia Rapids were amazing. Every two hours water is released from a reservoir above the rapids area. This massive amount of water is forced through a narrow channel, causing a spectacular view to behold.
Before the water is released the area is quiet and peaceful.
Then slowly the water volume builds until we were watching the most amazing rapids go by.
Did we mention how beautiful the water is?
On our way to the rapids, we stopped at this beautiful location in the trees.
We were told that this area, with the cave in the background, was used in a movie.

 Huka Falls

Huka Falls is located close to Aratiatia Rapids.
We are joined in this photo by Mike Higgins, our FamilySearch manager.
I don't know what Sister Edward said, but she had them roaring about it.
Beautiful water features are everywhere in New Zealand.
We were so content to enjoy this amazing scenery.

Lava Glass

Taupo has a glass blowing factory outside of town.
We were able to watch the touch of the master's hand as they molded the molten glass.
After several steps the glass started to take shape.
And then this.....
..... became this.
We then got to stroll through their magical garden.....
..... where glass creations of every size and shape .....
were just waiting to be enjoyed.
 Black Swans

Since we arrived in New Zealand, Sister Edward cannot get enough of black swans.
As it turned out, Lake Taupo is black swan viewing heaven.
They are so willing to get up close and pose for the camera
What beautiful creatures they are to watch.
I wonder what this swan is thinking......
.....maybe going for a swim.

 Maori Rock Carvings

One of the must-do attractions at Lake Taupo is to go to the Maori Rock Carvings. Here we are approaching the location after a thirty minute boat ride.
The carvings were created in the late 1970's.

After we departed the area, some kayakers took their turn.
We were told that the building lots above the carvings start at a million.
We then enjoyed a view of the shoreline as we returned to the harbor.
It was another wonderful New Zealand adventure..... too quickly over.
What a wonderful invention a camera is. We can take these precious memories home with us.
Taupo McDonalds

Okay, How many blogs take the time to show you the local McDonalds Restaurant in photos? We do when it has a DC-3 attached to the place. The pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy!!


This beautiful bird is a native of New Zealand.
After a brief moment to snap some photos, it flew away.
We were thrilled when it returned to a nearby tree and gave us another photo-op.