After passing through the desert road we ended up near the town of Taupo and New Zealand's largest inland lake with the same name. Taupo itself was quite crowded and a bit too "touristy" for our
tastes. However we were interested in a few spots just North of the town so we stayed at a nearby AirBNB and headed out the next morning. First stop was the Huka Falls. They are described as horizontal waterfalls and that's pretty much accurate.