Taupo

Driving past Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngaurahoe was a stunning entry to arriving in Taupo, and we hope to explore this a little more on our way back down the country in a few weeks.

We decided to have a couple of nights and a relaxed day in Taupo after a few long days of driving to get up to North Island. And what a good decision as is was a great place to chillax.

We did have time to enjoy the sunset

And it really was spectacular

Staying somewhere with stairs we are now needing to find ingenious ways of stopping Evie climb the stairs – her new favourite hobby!

The next day, after a trip to the doctors for me and my poorly ear, we headed to Taupo DeBretts Hot springs, as it said it had a good play area and it wasn’t very expensive.

Unfortunately Evie didn’t really appreciate the play area… too much splashing water for her!

But she did enjoy the coolest of the hot pools.

The rest of the pools were too hot – in truth as adults we couldn’t stay in long. More up our street were three fun fast water slides!

From the water park to the Huka Falls, a short drive away, this ferocious blue water is impressive – probably even more so from a jet boat.

Taupo is a beautiful lake to swim in as it is warm. We went in a few times, but without Evie, although we did think it may just have been warm enough.

Sadly it was then time to move on and leave Taupo. Maybe we will return.

A return to Taupo

We had wanted to go to climb Mt Taranaki, but reading about it we decided it would be too much to manage with Evie. So instead we headed back to Taupo on our way southwards, as we had liked it and fancied some lake to swim in, as opposed to sea, in the heatwave New Zealand is currently experiencing.

Waipahihi Botanical Reserve

Our accommodation was a bit out of town this time, but it was right next to the Waipahihi Botanical Reserve. This was a beautiful place to walk around and we made the most of it in the evenings. No formal gardens and few flowers, but lots of pretty walkways through a forest with some open spaces.

Craters of the moon

For $8 this was a nice area of thermal activity to walk around in about 1&1/2 hours. Steaming vents and bubbling mud pools, but no geysers here.

I love their warning sign – just incase you didn’t know

Biking the lakeside

Biking along the bike / walk track was much better than I anticipated. I didn’t realise how far it went around. And the lake just got more and more beautiful as you got towards Five Mike Bay.

It was so gorgeous that I text Tim to come and join us and we had a delightful swim in the same waters that seems so much bluer and clearer than they do on the shores of Taupo. Wished I had discovered these bays earlier!

Maori rock carvings

Nicely advertised, something you can only see by boat trip, these rock carvings were actually only carved 40 years ago. Despite them not being super old, they are still pretty cool and the boat trip was nice!

We did the shorter trip, which cost less. Probably I would rather have done the slightly longer trip which allowed you a swim, as well as a beer!!

Time to leave Taupo for the final time. Even after two visits there is still more you can do and see around here, definitely a place I’d recommend for a visit.