Saturday, August 11, 2012

Family Trip Away Part 1

In Tirau for a coffee break

Prawn Park Tour

Prawns- Ugly but delicious!

Fishing Pools

Looking out from where I was fishing

Feeding the trout

View from inside the restaurant

Yum fresh prawns!

Huka Falls

Sledging on Turoa

After I went to Sydney earlier in the year, we made a promise to the boys that we would take them to the snow as I had changed my mind about taking them to Sydney with me. So last weekend we finally got to fulfill than promise. The itinerary was pretty chock-full. We left on the Sunday early morning after filling my new/old little car to the brim and started the drive down to Taupo. You could tell that Harry hadn't really seen much of the country other than Auckland and up to Mahurangi where his dad has a beach house, when we heard a sharp intake of excited breath. However we were only about 25 minutes from home and were passing the very unattractive East Tamaki Estuary, which although it is water, it also has power lines through it! The poor thing thought we were in Taupo already. We told him that we were actually still in Auckland and that Taupo was at least another 3 hour drive was going to be a looooonnnng trip! 

We stopped off in Tirau which is a cute little stopover town geared for those of us needing a coffee and some sustenance before continuing on our journey. They have those giant dog and sheep buildings....I guess that's a nod to our farming history and the farming area we were in. Fortified we set off to Taupo and the Prawn Park which my friend Michelle had told me about.

Taupo is a beautiful town and has huge tourist appeal. We didn't get to see much of it as we spent most of our time at Prawn Park. I love prawns and it was really interesting to find out more about them. We went on the tour and learned that they are cannibalistic little buggers, including the mother who will happily eat all her young unless they are separated. I KNEW I ate prawns for a reason! All I could think of was that movie District 9 where the aliens were called prawns because of how they looked. We had a chance to try to catch some and whatever you eat, they will cook for you for free. If that wasn't motivation then I don't know what is. However I am not a natural fisherwoman and both Harry and I lasted about 45 minutes before we got bored and wandered off to check out the rest of the park and feed the trout. None of us caught anything but it didn't stop us from enjoying some in the beautiful restaurant along with the divine chips (see the photos and try not to salivate too much). After our snack we headed into town for a few supplies and then to our accommodation which had not only a spa bath but an outdoor spa and small heated pool. Gorgeous and relaxing!  

The next morning we were once again up early to grab breakfast and coffee before heading off to Turoa and our snow experience. While snow looks pretty in photos and from the window of a car or house, I find it awful stuff. I just don't see what the appeal is to get wet, cold and have to wear all those layers. However this wasn't about me but about the boys having the experience. They loved it. Harry had a blast on the sled and playing in the snow and Reuben and Dons went snowboarding. Both picked it up quickly and neither needed a lesson to get the hang of it. The weather held up and even though it snowed a bit while we up there, that only added to the fun and experience for Harry. After that it was back down the mountain to our accommodation and a spa in the amazing outdoor spa. We went back for a second one after we had been out for dinner and that was amazing with the stars twinkling (well the ones we could see through the clouds), and the beautiful fresh air. 

The final part of our trip is to come in part 2...

At dinner in Ohakune

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