Hey, have you checked out Lake Taupo?

Our first experience with Taupo (pronounced Tow-Paw in Maori) was when we were driving back from Wellington to Auckland. On the 8 hour drive home, we drove by the lake and pulled over to admire how scenic it was.

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Can you tell we were getting tiered of the driving?

We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go back to lake Taupo with Chads Parents. Normally we are huge beach people, and we weren’t expecting the lake to be as awesome as it was.

Huka Falls

Huka Falls are a set of waterfalls that drain lake Taupo. This is one of the prettiest sights in New Zealand. The water is a spectacular aqua color. If you wanna kick it up a notch, you can do the Huka Falls Jet and whip around on the water.

Maori Rock Carvings

Another big attraction in this area is the Maori Rock Carvings. These carvings are the remains of an ancient Maori village and they are only accessible by water. We did a 5pm pizza and beer cruise with Sail Barbary. We highly recommend it. The sail was very tranquil and the mountains in the backdrop created a wonder ambiance.

After the sail we picked up some dinner and watched the sunset. Can you think of a better day? I can’t. Spending time on the water with family, this is my idea of a perfect day.

 

Thermal Springs (Otumuheke Stream)

We drove out to the Spa Park and took a short walk to the stream. There we saw an abundance of people relaxing in the water and steam rising from a few areas. One of the most unique things about New Zealand is the thermal activity. There are many man made pools throughout the island that are naturally heated by the earth and a few nature made springs which have thermal activity. This was one of them. The temperature and levels of water vary according on rainfall, but trust me, it gets H O T!

 

Recommendations:

  • Don’t miss out on Taupo.
  • Huka Falls is absolutely beautiful, worth seeing.
  • Thermal springs, also worth seeing.
  • The Maori rock carvings were really neat, but we enjoyed the Sail itself the most. We would recommend Sail Barbary a hundred times over.

 

Thanks for tuning in to check out our latest adventure!

The city of Wellington

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Wellington was on the top of our list of places we wanted to visit. We have read such wonderful things about this little city from a fellow blogger, the Young Adventurous.

A little bit of background on Wellington:

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Wellington is the capitol of New Zealand. It is located on the most southern end of the north island. It is located in the Cook Strait which causes strong winds to funnel through the city and give it the nickname “Windy Welly.”

Our first visit to Windy Welly:

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Our first trip to Wellington was a couple of days after Christmas. Wellington is about an 8 hour drive from our home here in Auckland. The weather was  UNREAL. We got really lucky and got a couple of days that were beautiful, sunny, and not windy at all (apparently this is very atypical).

We made it a point to explore as many of the Young Adventurous’s recommendations as possible. Click here to check out her blog post.

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Coffee at Fidel’s Cafe. Note that is coffee I am drinking from that bowl.

 

Fidel’s Cafe: Best coffee in New Zealand. I had a bowl of coffee. Yes. A small bowl. I’m really going to miss all this yummy coffee so easily available in NZ.

Chow: If you are in Wellington and don’t check out Chow, shame on you. This restaurant serves fresh asian cuisine. We stepped out of our comfort zone and ordered: Mussaman Curry, Red duck curry, Vietnamese Pho, & an array of appetizers. May I add that all this food was over two separate visits, although Chad probably could have eaten it all in one sitting. When we found out we were going to get another chance to visit Wellington, we were most excited to go back to Chow.

Havana bar: This bar/restaurant has a really awesome environment. They serve tapa’s style food, which was very  delicious but a little on the pricey side.

Basque bar: If you are in the mood for some unique sangria on the rooftop deck, make sure to check out this bar.

The Library bar: a bar modeled after a library. Books everywhere. May I add that they have two for one deserts (on Tuesdays). Defiantly worth checking out.

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Dirty little secret: This bar is slightly difficult to find, but totally worth the search. This rooftop bar has such a great view of the city. 

DreamWorks exhibition at Te Papa Museum

I don’t know if I have ever had so much fun at a museum. Being a lover of all things animated, this was so up my alley. I blended right in with all the little kids.Classics such as Shrek,MadagascarKung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon became an exhibition. Need I say more? We had a blast spending the morning in the museum.

 

Up next: The Famous Cable Car

When in Wellington…. you must ride the cable car. It’s the iconic thing to do. It was originally created to serve as a connection between the Lambton Quay (the main shopping streat) and a suburb in the hills called Kelburn. When the cable car drops you off at the top, there is a nice long windy trail that one can hike back down to the bottom. There is also a botanical garden and an observatory. We didn’t end up doing the hike, we just relaxed and enjoyed the views.

 

Our second visit to Wellington:

Chad got the opportunity to work in the Wellington office of his company for a few days at the beginning of February. So back to Wellington we went! Without any complaints.

While Chad was at work, I took a ferry across the harbor to Days Bay. I rented a bike and found a beautiful trail that was right along the coast line. On my adventure I saw some sweet little billy goats, and then it terminated at a lovely little lighthouse. It was a really awesome way to spend a Wednesday.

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Extra pictures:

Hiking on a Volcano

This past Sunday we were craving a really good hike. We woke up with a ton on energy, opened the blinds, and it was pouring rain! Boo!

We kept ourselves busy while it was raining by going to the maritime museum. Once we were done with the exhibits at the museum, the weather had completely cleared up. Therefore, we grabbed an early lunch and the next ferry to Rangitoto Island!

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Rangitoto is a 5.5km wide Island visible off the coast of Auckland. It is the most recent volcano on the Hauraki Gulf, as well as the largest. The island was formed by a serious of eruptions, with the most recent eruptions being approximately 550 years ago. The hike up to the summit was 1 hour and 45 minutes. AGH! We are fairly new to hiking, so it was a little bit of a challenge.

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What I learned about New Zealand: the steeper the hill, the more it’s going to be worth it! The views are incredible.

(Another fact I learned about New Zealand: all the hills around the island are actually extinct volcanos.)

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After about an hour and a half, we made it up to the summit!

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We had a couple of protein bars at the top and took the opportunity to rehydrate. As we hiked back down the volcano, we digressed off the path and took the longer trail to explore the lava caves. I don’t know what more to say about that besides that the name is self explanatory. These are caves that were formed by the cooling lava.

I climbed down into one of the caves. It was a little claustrophobic the further in you went. Eventually the tight tunnel opened up into an area where you could stand up. A flashlight was defiantly required!

We then head back to port to catch the last ferry back to Auckland. After 4 hours & 9.5 miles of hiking, we were spent!

*Sorry it has taken us so long to post about this past weeks adventure. We came home from our hike on Sunday and our internet wasn’t working. It took a couple of days to get it back up.

Here is a few extra bonus photos from our hike:

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