It’s very strange to have spent a long weekend on holiday away with friends while much of the world is under lockdown and suffering through COVID-19 outbreaks. We’re very aware of how lucky we are in New Zealand to have a community free of COVID which allows an almost normal life. Every morning while we were staying on the shores of Lake Taupo I’d look at the news on my phone and read about the latest restrictions occuring in the UK, the latest seemingly crazy things being promoted by the elected leader of the United States, the race to create a vaccine for something that might not even be properly cureable.
We were able to go river rafting as part of a group of three rafts and not worry about any social distancing or masks. Instead we had an enjoyable time sharing a new experience with the girls and followed that adventure with a trip to nearby hot pools to warm up. There is a push here to spend money locally and help local communities who have been hit hard by the previous lockdowns in New Zealand, so we did our part.
We stayed in cabins at the Motutere Bay Top10 Holiday Park situated between Turangi and Taupo on the eastern shoreline of Lake Taupo. The campsite was quiet which suited us and allowed the girls to have plenty of time trampolining and playing around. Keryn and I went on a short wander along the nearby Waipehi Walk which was a pleasant little trip with some lovely views and nice little surprises like a number of kerer? feathers and some patches of flowering orchids. I went to the lake shore at sunset and sunrise a few times but the sky was determined to be unspectacular, next time.
Travelling to Taupo we visited the Aratiatia Rapids twice to watch as water was released from the dam and tumbled down the gorge. There were a large number of kowhai trees in flower and the forest was full of birdsong with tui everywhere. Nearby we spent a good amount of time at Mind Junction where we played mini golf, explored the maze, viewed the lego collection and spent a long time in the discovery centre experimenting with all the interactive displays. Down the road we also got to watch some glassblowing at Lava Glass and walked through their small but very pretty glass sculpture garden.
All in all a very enjoyable 4 days away from home, other than the traffic heading back to Wellington at what was the last day of the School Holidays. But we’re grateful we got to go away and have quality time with friends, small things like being in a traffic jam heading home is nothing compared to what others are dealing with right now. Hopefully there will be lessons learnt and a future normal isn’t that far away for the rest of the world.