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A Totally Tremendous Tiki Tour Around Taupo!
Calling all parents! Gather round, gather round......If your family is anything like mine, you will be perfectly described as 'A Completely Amazeballs A Team of Absolute Awesomeness'.
You value your leisure time together and you believe wholeheartedly in switching off the 'Gogglebox' (TV) and doing something far less boring instead. Something like seeing what the Great Lake Taupo region has to offer (which incidentally is heaps) making memories together and above all having fun!
I am not sure about your Bodacious Brood, but mine just happens to be made up of four very strong personalities, who often have wildly different preferred outcomes when it comes to answering THAT question: "Well, what shall we do today?" Oh yes, there it is folks......that twinkly jewel in the downtime crown that is roughly translated as: "Can somebody please come up with something to do that we can all agree on to get us out of the house before I make good on my threat to go and boil my own head in that pan of yesterday's mince?!?" It can't just be my lot, I just don't believe it.....
In my previous blogpost (Lilliput Farm) I pertained to the fact that in our role as parents (Job description also including: Entertainment's Manager, Health and Safety Officer, Food and Beverage Provider, Referee and Upholder of Social Justice, Chauffeur, Pack Horse and Psychic) we look to tick three main boxes when planning our 'What I Like to Call Family Funtime' and they are as follows: Wallet Friendly, Fun, Fun, FUN!!! and ultimately Sleep Inducing (resulting in content, happy smiles all round and non interrupted post outing parent time) That is what a win-win situation looks like my most brilliant Blogfriend and coupled with the fact that it is my quest to bring Sparkles of joy and satisfaction into the hearts and minds of every man, woman and child, tourist or citizen alike you know what?
.....This Holy Grail of Leisure time Loveliness can be yours.
Before I begin, however there's a confession. Here's the thing....normally my 'Blogs of Fabness' come to you direct from personal experience, this one is different. What you are about to read is an account of what took place when two sprightly Grandparents hung out with two almost as sprightly Grandchildren......(AKA The Fab Four from here on in)
It all began at the Taupo i-Site Visitor Information Centre, adjacent to the Library. Quite frankly, if these guys can’t enquire about it, find a brochure about it or book it for you....it either doesn’t exist or isn’t worth doing! The Fab Four were so laid back about what they wanted to do that pillows were nearly provided. Instead thankfully, the onto it i-Site staff proposed taking a Hot Bus Tour.
The Hot Bus provides transport to various local attractions in Taupo and is owned and operated by Gus TeMoana who has lived and worked in the region all his life. Yep, his name is Gus and he drives a bus.....I love a good rhyme!! Gus oozes enthusiasm, he loves his job and the bit he enjoys the most is helping his passengers get from A to B whilst also passing on some of his knowledge of the local area.
The Fab Four have got their Ticket to Ride and morning tea time is fast approaching. So it’s onwards and the first stop on this Tiki Tour ride is situated on SH5 just outside Wairakei village. Lava Glass is a Glass Blowing Studio, Gallery and Cafe which is owned and operated by NZ glass artist Lynden Over. A visit here will afford you an aesthetically pleasing, veritable smorgasbord of visual eye candy, dressed up in all the colours of the rainbow. Watching the glass blowing in action is a rare and diverse treat and all ages will find it fascinating. The Fab Four really enjoyed their morning tea at the on site Cafe, reporting back that the cheese scones were particularly yumtastic. One word of advice from the Grandparents that could prove invaluable: Remember to pack those eyes in the back of your head/ninja-like lightening reactions and psychic ability to see a potentially smashtastic calamitous situation and cunningly avoid it playing out. It could prove costly if you don’t!!!
Back on the Bus (with Gus.....still love it!) and it’s a relatively quick hop, skip and a jump to board the Huka Falls River Cruise. Running three times daily (four during the summer)and departing from the Aratiatia Rapids Carpark, this pristine old girl glides serenely across the Wonderful Waikato river, pausing to smile sweetly and undeterred by the awesome power of the mighty Huka Falls. The Fab Four loved this trip.....even in the face of potential calamity. Oh, don’t be too alarmed, it was only a case of the hat belonging to my oldest Bodlet (pink variety, dramatic, emotional) flying off her head in somewhat stunning fashion and landing ‘plop’ into the river. Obviously this turn of events highly delighted my youngest Bodlet (blue variety, impish, no stranger to Blarney) but just when all was considered lost...All Hail The Nigel!!!! Saviour of the Day....Hat Liberator Extraordinaire.....He Who Made the Sobbing Cease. Yes, a hearty bravo goes out to Nautical Nige who actually turned the boat around and fished out the soggy headgear making one eight year old very happy indeed.
Next stop, The Huka Honey Hive and after all that commotion, The Four Fab Ones were feeling happy, but somewhat jaded. Ice cream! Yeah, that’ll do it! So it was a couple of Hokey Pokeys for the smaller two, with the Big ‘Uns going for the rather decadent sounding After Dinner Mint and Date and Honey. Yumtastic! That perked them up enough to give them the ‘Ooooomph’ required for taking in all the sights and sounds, soaking up the swathes of information, sampling the vast array of honey related products and of course tasting some of the edible/drinkable ones before heading out to the car park for the iconic, ‘must do’ Be a Bee photo opportunity.
So by now Blogfriends, not even the sugar rush of their ice creams could add any further fuel to the dying embers in the Fab Four’s stomachs. They’d been busy....they needed a feed. So, it was back into town (specifically at the Tongariro Domain playground) to be dropped off from one taxi (Gus) for a play/sit down on a bench for a well earned rest before being picked up by another taxi (Yours Truly) for an energy restoring meal and a captive audience to listen to the exploits of the day which I have now shared with all of you.
Now this is just an example of what can easily be packed into a day here in Taupo. Why not see about organising your own Tiki Tour. There’s so much to choose from, why not make it last even longer? One thing is for sure, if you take full advantage of the wealth of knowledge the i-Site staff have, you can be assured of receiving value for money. You can tailor your Tiki Tour to meet the interests of your own merry band of funseekers, and you will all be kept so busy that our three essential ‘Family Funtimes’ boxes (the ones we talked about before...y’know, Wallet Friendly, Fun, Sleep Inducing) will without doubt be well and truly ticked.
I love it when a plan comes together, don’t you? Blimey Taupo, you’ve done it again!