The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - LONELY PLANET’S COLOMBIA -

Lake Taupo On the brisk days of win­ter, plumes of steam rise from the rolling hills around Lake Taupo, mark­ing the springs where wa­ter heated deep in the Earth’s crust gur­gles to the sur­face.

Lake Taupo sits in the heart of New Zealand’s North Is­land, on a vol­canic band stretch­ing from White Is­land through Ro­torua to the Ton­gariro Na­tional Park. And, while most of the su­per-heated wa­ter is used to make elec­tric­ity, a few springs have been har­nessed so vis­i­tors can soak in the restora­tive liq­uid.

Wairakei Ter­races near Huka Falls and Taupo Hot Springs at DeBretts Re­sort are two health spas in the lakeside Taupo where the heal­ing wa­ter, which is full of ther­a­peu­tic min­er­als, is drawn from a kilo­me­tre un­der­ground and cooled to about 40C be­fore be­ing re­leased into cas­cad­ing ponds and swim­ming pools.

Lake Taupo is also home to New Zealand’s largest ski area, with the alpine re­sorts of Whaka­papa and Turoa on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu com­bin­ing to pro­vide 1050ha of ski­able ter­rain and giv­ing skiers and snow­board­ers the op­por­tu­nity to slide on an ac­tive vol­cano. See

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