Labour weekend in Taupo

Three days off. Glorious! Say it again, GLLLOORRRIOUSSSS

The weather has been perfect and with three days off but only a little left in the weekly budget it was time to get creative. This weekend we managed a day of bouldering at Kinloch, climbing Mount Tauhara and a bit of a relax on the “beach”. I say “beach” as I normally associate this with salt water however as you may not yet know Lake Taupo is fresh water.

I find it slightly strange lying next to Lake Taupo looking like I’m on a beach, sounding like its a beach, complete with umbrellas, boats, jet skis, skiers, snorkelers etc but no salty smell, sea gulls or that crusty feeling your skin has after being in or near salt water. Am I complaining? No, it just feels very odd. I’m definitely a Ngapuhi girl who loves the sea and enjoys the bountiful kai moana (seafood) that comes from it. I love the lake but the sea is where my heart lies.

Anyway, I digress. Kinloch for bouldering or rock climbing = awesome. Only 4 others there this weekend which was surprising and the bouldering had many easy to advanced problems. Really enjoyed being in the bush with the lake just a mere 15 metres or so away. It’s well worth a look for a day out that costs next to nothing (besides petrol to get there). We took the burner and food to cook up on the spot so that saved the budget a bit.

Mount Tauhara was our Sunday afternoon adventure. Phew! 1.5 hours of uphill slog followed by 1 hour of downhill slog. Coming down was definitely hard on the knees and if you are tired you really need to ensure there is enough juice left to concentrate on the downhill. To get to the start of the walk head out of Taupo on State Highway 5 towards Napier, go through the new roundabout and turn in about 3 k’s off at Mountain Road on your left hand side. The views are spectacular and well worth the hard slog. Doing the first part over the farmland is not so exciting but once up into the bush there are some great sections including what I call the “thigh trimmer”. Basically it is a tiny gully cut through the earth which towers over your head. The gully is so tight that your thighs make contact with the wall (OK so its just my thighs, whatever!) When you hit a cascading stream (great for a quick splash on the face) you are about halfway to the top.

Then Sunday night some old friends were passing through on their way home to Palmerston North and Wellington. So awesome to see them! This is why Taupo is such a great spot. It’s the gateway to the North and South. I will channel the character of Gandalf and declare, “You shall not pass” until you stop for coffee with Carleen and Steve. Thankfully they did!

Today being the last day of the Labour Weekend holiday we just spent it lounging on the beach, having an ice cream and generally relaxing before the working week begins. I hope you all had a great weekend as well.

Tongiriro yet again

While there is still snow on it, you have to go! The weather was stunning and it was not a hard decision to make to get moving out to the mountain for the day.

We were set with the coffee, noodles to cook up for lunch on the mountain, plenty of water but alas no sunscreen. Oops. Very silly oversight. I had forgotten how unforgiving the sun is here. You burn in minutes which, after 3 years in the UK and never getting burnt, I wasn’t ready for it. Ouch!

There were plenty of cars in the Maungatepopo Hut carpark but not a soul in sight. The council are doing work out here at the moment, probably getting ready for the summer crowds, so the toilets were not in action. Not to worry, time to use my SheWee. It’s the first time I have used it properly in the bush without the cover of a portaloo. I can tell its been a long time since I practiced with it as I promptly managed to get most of it in the device but a portion of it running down my leg. I clearly need more practice peeing standing up!

We just walked up to Soda Springs, not the whole crossing. We left it too late in the day really to do the crossing or to climb Ngauruhoe. I did notice on Ngauruhoe ash deposits on the snow. Rather cool but also a bit daunting considering the valley you walk through is prime for lava flows and lahars should an eruption occur.

Anyway, here are some pictures from the day.

Whakamoenga Point, Taupo

Today’s latest Taupo tour took as out along Acacia Bay Road until you get right to the end where it turns into a private road.
We took the point walk which has gorgeous and secluded views of Lake Taupo. It only takes about an hour (if that). There is plenty of birdlife including the wonderful Tui as they feed on the nectar of the Kowhai flowers. The Tui song is wonderful to hear.
We even found a rock carving although I believe this may be a recent art commission? We then drove around to Kinloch to have a quick lunch and coffee. First time since returning and we finally dug the burner out!

It’s been awhile

How time has flown. We have finally made it to Taupo on a wing and a prayer. There was a mad dash down the line with, yet again, nothing but our bags of clothes, a borrowed car and my faithful IPhone with 3G to get ringing around those rental agencies. We had a bit of a hiccup with housing hence why the last minute dash. I was due to start work on Monday but as I have now discovered in NZ things take a little bit longer than anticipated. So it was a mad dash to Taupo ringing real estate agents on the way trying to book in viewings. By the time we got to Taupo though we had secured a place to reside. Hallelujah!

So now 3 weeks in we have the internet connected and a phone number (but no physical phone!) so that’s next on the list to purchase. No point having a phone number without something for people to ring you on! Not that I know what the phone number is as I still don’t have any mail advising me of this yet?

I have been in and out of Taupo with training for my new job so this is the first week where I have actually benefited from living here so far. That is, I have walked home from work 3 nights this week and walked into work today. This may sound rather pathetic but by the end of the day as a newie in this job you are rather catatonic and the thought of doing anything such as figuring out how to get home is not high on my list of capabilities. Steve has been incredible and when I get home dinner is cooked, coffee is on and the world is good again.

Also, the first day so far of not wanting to crawl under a rock and just vegetate. Seriously, changing careers is freaking hard work.

My birthday was last week. Thanks to everyone for your texts and FB messages. I really appreciated all the love! It was awesome to see my parents that weekend as well. They brought a bunch of stuff in a convoy down to Taupo for us which was fab. Mostly I just enjoyed seeing and spending time with them both as well as getting to spend some more time with K & R in Auckland. Thanks again guys for a good night in. We really enjoy our time with you both.

Anyway, I have some homework to do. I’m taking a product morning at the next team meeting so I must do some research on all things “LA”. Until next time. Cheerio pip pip.