Taupo Street Art

Graffiato: Taupo Street Art Festival returns over Labour weekend and 10 more walls will be turned into works of art. It’s the 8th year of the festival in 2018 and the current street art trail map (downloadable via the link above) helps you find 30 of the art works that have been created over the years.

New Zealand has some captivating street art and sometimes I think I’ve found a favourite art work or artist and then around the next corner – ‘wow, another favourite’. In Taupo it was more ‘bow wow’ as it was the realism of the dogs … Read the rest

Glide Time – Taupo Gliding Club

Mike’s keen to learn to fly a plane, but lessons are expensive, so instead I bought him a voucher to go gliding with the fine folks at Taupo Gliding Club. It costs $205 for an instructional flight that lasts 20 – 40 minutes depending on the weather. You get to take control of the glider, in Mike’s case for about 5 minutes.

The glider was a GTG, Mike sat at the front and the qualified pilot behind. Mike found it easy to understand the instrument panel and flying the glider involved using the stick in the middle and … Read the rest

Kaimanawa Wild Horses

I opened the envelope of one of the best birthday presents ever last year – I was going on a bus trip to see Kaimanawa wild horses roaming on NZ Army land in Waiouru. The Ranges Trips are organised by Kaimanawa Heritage Horses and while waiting for the trip I spent time wondering  …

How far would we travel to see our first horse? Not far at all. How many wild horses would we see? We photographed 57 but I’d estimate we saw around 100. How close could we get to the horses? They kept a safe distance but often … Read the rest

Wairakei Terraces Walkway, Taupo

It costs $18pp to walk the Wairakei Terraces Walkway, we suggest checking out Bookme and GrabOne as they often offer 50% discount for both the walkway and thermal pools ($25pp not discounted). We got 50% discount via GrabOne and given the walk is short (around 30 minutes) and doesn’t have the variety of geothermal activity as some of the other sites we think at 50% off it’s good value, at $18pp not so much.

At the start of the walkway you see water flowing over the terraces into the thermal pools. The terraces are man made and are modelled on … Read the rest

Craters of the Moon Geothermal Walk, Taupo

One of the best reasons to visit Craters of the Moon is price – at $8pp it’s affordable, and the good folks at The Craters of the Moon Trust donate part of the income to good works in the Taupo community including scholarships to students. The 45 minute walk is also pushchair and wheelchair friendly with the exception of the 10 minute uphill detour to the lookout.

Craters of the Moon is part of the Wairakei geothermal field. The steaming craters came to life in the 1950’s with the development of the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station. The opening of the … Read the rest

Orakei Korako Geothermal Park, Taupo

There are a number of geothermal sites in Rotorua and Taupo and they all have their own claims to fame – ‘Orakei Korako is arguably the best thermal area left in NZ’ (Lonely Planet), and ‘Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland – one of the 20 most surreal places in the world’ (Trip Advisor).

It makes it hard to decide where to go if you have to choose. My aim with posts about geothermal attractions is to highlight what we think are the best reasons for visiting a particular site.

Orakei Korako is about 45 minutes drive from Rotorua and 25 minutes from … Read the rest

The Fast and the Curious in Taupo

I knew Mike was having the most fun when he roared down the straight in the Holden V8 at Taupo Motorsport Park. He was kitted out in racing gear and had New Zealand’s version of ‘The White Stig’ in the passenger seat. This Stig talks on camera and off and it’s his job to guide drivers round the track, he also has his own set of pedals incase things turn to custard.

Mike had no issues out on the track, but pre-race he came out of the introductory DVD session quite a few shades whiter than when he went in. … Read the rest

Giant flowers & glass forests at Lava Glass

It was difficult to pick a favourite piece in the Lava Glass sculpture garden in Taupo. I really liked the glass waterfall made with a series of shell platters that trickled water gently down a rock slope to the pond below.

And who wouldn’t want a bouquet of these giant glass flowers in their garden?

Even more unusual are the glass forests in giant paper weights. Some of the trees looked to me like petrified silver beet leaves, and the flowers looked like candy. They’re not ofcourse, leaves and lollies would be decimated with the kind of heat involved in … Read the rest

High Tea at Chateau Tongariro

A beautiful setting can be the icing on the cake of a good high tea, we found this to be true at Chateau Tongariro. It’s been a while between high teas, however it’s winter down under and driving from Palmerston North to Rotorua provided the chance to break our journey in the Tongariro National Park.

Chateau Tongariro is a grand old lady, she’s just celebrated her 85th birthday and original picture windows provide a view of Mount Ngaruhoe (Mt Doom to Lord of the Rings fans). It was Mt Doom and gloom on Monday, clouds obscured the view so we … Read the rest

Crafty Trout Brewing in Taupo

It’s been a while since I dipped my toes into the Mediterranean Sea in Greece and had a stein of beer in a Munich beer hall, but that’s where Crafty Trout Brewing in Taupo took me. The upstairs Bier Kafe was once a Greek restaurant, it’s been redesigned with Austria and Oktoberfest in mind.

There’s an alcohol free German beer on the menu, and you can get a one litre stein for around $18. Crafty Trout’s Austrian lagers, ales and ciders are brewed downstairs and have fishy names like Hook, Lure, Jigger and Spinner. A tasting tray of four brews … Read the rest