Taupo and Rotorua have so much to offer, catering for both the adrenaline junkies and the solitude seekers. We spent 3 days here and they were jam-packed, fun-filled and some of our favourite memories of New Zealand to date! Here is where we went and what we would recommend if you’re ever in the area:
- Huka Falls Jet and Walkway, Taupo
Whilst Sophia was safely looked after by one of the ladies at reception, we buckled ourselves into a jet boat and held on for dear life as we sped up and down the river leading to Huka Falls. It was AMAZING! We got soaked to the skin and had more than our fair share of 360′ spins in the jet boat.
- Te Puia Cultural Village
One evening we went to Te Puia where we enjoyed a traditionally cooked meal, watched a Maori dance performance, gave the haka a go and sipped a hot chocolate whilst watching the sunset behind the geysers. It was AMAZING! We learnt loads about Maori culture.
- Skyline Gondola and Luge Experience
Crash helmets all round! This was basically go-karting down a mountain and catching a ski lift back up, repeatedly; it was so much fun!! And of course, Sophia was strapped into the baby carrier in the middle of all the action! The views from the Skyline gondola (cable car) were absolutely amazing too. Rotorua has so much to offer!
- Wairakei Geothermal Spa Pools
After a busy morning of sightseeing there was no better way to spend the after than bobbing along in the natural outdoor Wairakei spa. This spa was for adults only so Jeremy took Sophia on a nature walk around the grounds. There was so much to see and do whilst I had some baby-free time. Absolute bliss!
- Rotorua’s Lakes
Once you get used to the sulphur smell these lakes are pretty incredible. Bubbling mud pools, clouds of steam and boiling hot water! Steam rises from everywhere; vents in the ground, lakes and you dig your own hot pools on some of the beaches around Rotorua (although the water is actually boiling!).
- Redwood Forest, Rotorua
Redwood Forest Park has a huge tree top walkway, amazing nature trails and plenty of photo opportunities with these mammoth trees. We drove past a Maori meeting house on our way there, a Victorian-style tea house and the most beautiful lakes!
Whilst we did all of the above activities we stayed at a campsite/holiday park in Rotorua called ‘Cosy Cottage’. It was brilliant. There were thermal hot pools, traditional hangi ovens (where the natural steam slow-cooks the food), a swimming pool, bubbling mud pools. TV room and beach access. We stayed in a cabin and it was one of our favourite overnight stays so far, even if Sophia did waken the whole campsite super early each morning by yelling ‘Hello!!’ repeatedly at us from her travel cot!