We drove down to Lake Taupo today, the North Island’s adventure sport and ski resort town.

We stopped past a few sights along the way, the main one being Huka Falls. The Waikato River is New Zealand’s longest river. Just before the Huka Falls the river feeds into a shallow ravine of hard volcanic rock. The effect is nature’s large-scale equivalent of a fire hose feeding into a very fine nozzle.100% Pure New Zealand

In Taupo, everything is set up for tourists and campervanners, with free campervan parking right along the lake so you can wake up to a view of lakes and mountains. There are showers and EPIC playgrounds, and activities along the lake. We played a game of golf where it is hole-in-one or nothing – you hit the golf ball as hard as you can into the lake, aiming for an island way off in the distance. Namita didn’t quite make it into the water…. hers landed on the beach below. The boys only made it halfway to the island.


This is not my getting my ball to the island face. This is me happy I actually made contact with the ball with my club after about 6 misses.


After golf, we wandered back towards the van. We were looking at the map and I referred to the ‘big paperclip.’

Eric said, ‘what big paperclip?’ ‘Zoom out Eric.’


That! That is the big paperclip!

We wandered the shops a little. Peter entertained himself while Eric looked for shoes.


Afterwards, we had a picnic and cocktails in the back of our van, watching the sunset over the mountains on the other side of the lake. Thanks for the photobomb Eric.



What a lovely family portrait.


We wandered a few streets over to the main town and went and sat in the Irish pub in the middle of town. We had a few beers, played some pool. We had nowhere to go, nowhere to be. It was quiet, low season.




What should we have for dinner in a tourist town in the middle of a Volcanic area and National Park in New Zealand? American steakhouse of course!

We went to Lone Star, an American-themed steakhouse chain scattered across the country. We had the Redneck Ribs, a pile of New Zealand pork ribs in hoisin, orange and sesame sauce. And you can’t finish up a Texan steakhouse dinner without pie – we had a fresh banana and chocolate pie.



Afterwards, we staggered back to the campervan, parked across the road, and watched A Lot Like Love on DVD in our van, next to the beautiful Lake. That night was freezing – we piled two doonas and two sleeping bags on top of ourselves. There was something magical about sleeping next to a Lake in the middle of a New Zealand winter, toasty warm under a million blankets.