Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Whakapapa and Taranaki Falls

I began this blog post yesterday on the drive home but was too tired to finish it. I'm now back at my desk, back at work, back to Auckland and every time I need a break (or have a break) I update the post a bit more. Its nice to think that just yesterday we were out there in the snow :-).

It was a slow start this morning as we lazily crawled out of bed well past eight o'clock. Last night we walked into the township. It seemed like a good idea when we decided to go. Being on holiday I relaxed my eating restrictions - meaning I've consumed more empty calories these last 3 days than I have for an entire month. That's okay, back to marathon training mode tomorrow. So we had to do some exercise to work off all that food. We didn't get back to our room until late; walking in the heavy rain on the way back.

Kings Ohakune provides complementary continental breakfast, and staying true to the holiday spirit I treated myself to multiple bowls of dried fruit muesli. Yum yum.

We've been fortunate to have much better weather today. We decided to go for a tramp to see a waterfall.

Driving to Whakapapa the views were fabulous. We stopped a few times on the state highway to take pictures.

Close to the village we stopped for snow fighting.

On the Taranaki waterfall trail - breathtakingly beautiful. I literally had to stop and remind myself how grateful I am for having these experiences. I mean, how magical is this?

The trial goes through the forest, over bridges and along streams with snow caped stones.

We finally made it to the waterfall.

On the way back it started to snow. Walking through the alpine grassland with snow kissing your rosy checks is wonderful. I wasn't carrying a 17kg load on my back so I guess I enjoyed the experience a lot more than my counterpart.

The Chateau looked amazing in the distance.

And then it was all over. Back in the car and its homeward bound. A brief and fantastic getaway.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Turoa - slippery when wet

We went up to Turoa ski field on Mt Ruapehu this morning. Since we didn't have any chains we went to the 11km car park and took the shuttle up.

It was lots of fun despite the weather being pretty poor. Kien was thrilled just to be able to play in the snow.

There were remnants of a snowman someone had built but all its bits and pieces scattered everywhere. So Jef and Kien fixed Mr Snowman up and he looked almost new.

Wow, school holidays and even though the weather was terrible it didn't stop people coming. The place was packed!

A couple of hours playing in the snow (rain turned into hail was bonus) we were all feeling frozen and decided to call it a day. Depending on the weather we may come back tomorrow.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Road trip - destination: Ohakune

I had booked this trip a year ago and at the time it seemed like a lifetime away. Then life gets so crazy busy and this getaway has rolled around quickly. First world privilege when I'm debating whether going away is worthwhile! What a silly sausage I am.

We threw everything in the car and began our road trip this morning. Jef wanted to take the scenic route through Taupo and stop for lunch there. No objections from me. I love Taupo. I have fond memories of the times I've been there for bike riding events.

We stopped at Huka Falls briefly. It was a popular stop for many tourists.

Had some lunch in Taupo township at a busy sushi bar. It was nice enough sitting in the sunshine, inside. It was so cold but I made the boys get out for a quick run around on the lakefront afterwards.

Then a brief detour through Turangi and we were heading toward the mountains.

Finally we reached our destination, and since I hadn't managed to register enough steps on my Fitbit for the day I left the boys in the room relaxing and went for a walk for an hour or so. Picked up some supplies from the supermarket, which had a fireplace cranking in the middle of the store.

Back at Kings, and after some cheese and crackers we decided to go have dinner at the Texas style saloon restaurant on the premises.

Afterwards it was off for another walk in the dark with the family. It feels so nice being in a mountain village. We will all sleep well tonight.


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