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In the first of our fortnightly ‘Gap Yah’ tales, Letters Editor Ellie Chesshire takes us on a longer than expected trip to Lake Taupo.


Wellington had blessed us with a beautiful sunny day, which was good considering we were horrendously hungover. However, the sun was setting and in its place rain was moving in. It was probably about time we headed off to our next destination. A destination that Lewis had promised us was only an hour and a half drive away.

If looks could kill, then Lewis would definitely have been six feet under. We were only two days into this road trip and things were not looking good.

Sleep deprivation and copious amounts of alcohol had made us all grumpy and eager to snuggle down in our cosy tents for the night. With any luck, we would all be fed and in bed within two hours. This was all well and good until a smug park car attendant merrily informed us that it was not an hour and a half drive to Lake Taupo but five and a half. If looks could kill, then Lewis would definitely have been six feet under. We were only two days into this road trip and things were not looking good.

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Cackling under his breath, the car park attendant sent us on our way with an old road map and several muttered comments about, ‘stupid tourists.’ He seemed to find it even funnier that 90% of our group was English. Lewis promptly received more backlash when we looked at the map and saw that while Wellington resided at the very bottom of the North Island, Lake Taupo was situated half way up. How he could have looked at this and thought it was an hour and a half is beyond me. Although in hindsight we were partly to blame for even trusting him in the first place.

Five and half hours later we made it to Lake Taupo, tired, grumpy and absolutely starving. Getting into cold tents with no opportunity to shower did not improve our tempers in the slightest. I would like to extend a special thank-you to the smug car park attendant who took great delight in waving us off into what he knew would be a long, tedious journey extending well into the night.

Luckily for us, and perhaps most luckily for Lewis, Lake Taupo was worthy of those extra four very long, very agitated hours.

Admittedly the view was worth it.


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