Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Bubble: From The Lakes To The Sea ...

After Lake Tarawera, we had drove on to Taupo which is located right on the edge of Lake Taupo. Yup! Another lakeside town but we never stopped being mesmerized by the scenic views everywhere, whether on the mountains or by the lake ... they are just plenty of awesomeness!

It is already the 3rd day we're travelling around in a campervan and we reach the All Seasons Holiday Park in Taupo at about 8.30pm with our fingers crossed. It was already dark and were unsure if they still accept any late check-ins. Lucky for us the receptionist was just about to leave when we knock at the office. So it was then, a night in Taupo ... another night by the largest lake in New Zealand!

The next day we explored the sights around Taupo. First thing, we checked out the what-haves around this town before moving on Huka Falls, the largest falls on the Waikota River in North Island. In fact I read, it is the most visited natural attraction in New Zealand. We walked and enjoyed the spectacular sights of the powerful rapids from the several viewing platforms along the riverside. We also caught sight of some extreme sports adventurers trying out the Huka Jet Boat on the rapids.

Next, we checked out the liquid gold haven of Huka Honey Hive. There were so many types of honey available from the famous Manuka Honey to others that I don't even know it ever existed like Rewarewa Honey from the honeysuckle tree, Pohutukawa Honey from the native New Zealand Christmas tree or Blue Borage collected from the South Island. There were also gourmet honey, honey wine as well as skincare and bodycare products made from honey. Since we already there, lo kong was not about to leave without getting some of those precious liquid gold home. As for me, there's no stopping at trying out their signature coffee 'Buzzer', a flatwhite served with manuka honey and a chocolate square hiding at the bottom. Sugar control was out the door that day when I also tried their assorted fudges and oooooo ... their yummy sweet Macadamia Brittle!

Soon we were on the road again on State Highway 5 heading towards the seaside city of Napier. On the way, while lo kong took a short stop to answer nature's call, I chanced upon the Opepe Historic and Scenic Reserve. Apart from its nature trails, there is a tiny cemetery marking the history where nine members of the Bay of Plenty Calvary were killed in a surprise attack by a Maori Chief, Te Kooti. Driving further on, we came to another awesome wonder of Mother Nature ... the Waipunga Falls. Thankfully there was a lookout point for us to stop and enjoy the fantastic view.

We finally arrived into Napier quite early that day. The temperature was colder here and being by the sea, the strong winds just made it even colder. No choice, we braved it and had a walkabout the city. We also did some shopping where lo kong finally got the backpack that he had been searching for since Auckland. It was a spring sale bargain. We also got a thermal wear each for the price of one.

At first it was The Hungry Hog in Subang Jaya, then it was The Pork & Whistle in Rotorua. This time we had a fantastic dinner at The Hog's Breath Cafe. However, we were still on the lookout for their popular fish and chips. As we were on our way to the Westshore Holiday Park for the night, we took note of a seafood eatery nearby. Naturally, we will not be leaving this city without checking out this place for some seafood chomping. We had two types of fish and chips here and left with some other seafood takeways too ... after all we can cook in our campervan.

We love the town very much but then again we could only afford a night there as we had to move on to Havelock North for lo kong's half-marathon ... not before lo kong provided a cliffhanger. He has lost his wedding band! Anyway, all is well as he found it back at the camper site.


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