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

I wanted to be a prawn star …

… like Casey from Auckland who caught a 43.5cm long prawn at Huka Prawn Park in Taupo. After 3.5 hours of fishing I thought I’d have to settle for being a prawn star photographer as all I’d done was photograph other peoples prawns and feed fish that were continually stripping my hook of bait.

However I kept baiting and kept waiting and after four hours I finally hooked a prawn. Did I taste success?

No, I looked at my little prawn and thought about how Mike had eaten some of its mates for lunch. I also realised that the bucket … Read the rest