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.

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