Wednesday 23 August 2023

J&J in Taupo

Keen for a Winter getaway? We decided to get our Winter fix and headed to Taupo for a family holiday and to celebrate Arlo’s and Belle’s birthdays. Our kid's birthdays are only two days apart! Haha! It means I have to be super organised! We are not big on presents and much prefer to celebrate with experiences.

Located in the centre of the North Island, Taupo is a great place for a family vacation…and we would know, because we just got back! Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand and one of the coolest facts is that it’s actually a crater lake as this whole area was a big volcano. How cool is that?

There was lots of snow on the Desert Road when we drove through so we decided to stop and take some mandatory snow photos in front of Mt Ruapehu. The kids had so much fun checking out the snow. It didn't take us long before snow fight antics began!

We stayed at Lake Taupo Holiday Resort. It's all here, everything you need for an instant holiday.

They have a range of different accommodations to suit all budgets. We stayed in one of their holiday cottages with its Super King bed in the main bedroom and two single beds in the second bedroom.

There's also a lounge area where you can unwind on the sofa and a full kitchen so you can self-cater too. It's a perfect choice for families!

It didn't take us long after we had arrived to jump into their spectacular tropical style pool with swim-up bar plus café.

Being geothermally heated it will keep you lovely and warm all year round!

Best part is when you're feeling peckish, you can just swim up to their swim up café and bar for a tasty meal or a tempting cocktail!

They also have a giant poolside screen. You can watch a movie while soaking in the luxury of thermally heated water.

There was truly no need to leave the resort!

Our go to foodie spot in Taupo is The Storehouse. Jake rates the coffee here and the food is epic!

They have a range of cabinet food available and a great kids area with toys. We love finding family friendly cafes.

You can also check out the latest creations from a collective of local artists at " Makers Pop Up' where you can shop unique, handmade pieces.

Jake got the Mount Benedict with poached eggs, stacked on ciabatta & potato & herb rosti, and fried chicken.

I got the SH Power Breakfast with smoked kranski sausage, pulled pork, potato herb rosti, bacon, grilled tomato & sautéed mushrooms and two eggs served on toasted ciabatta.

We went and checked out Taupo's newest entertainment destination The Landing. We had such beautiful weather when we were away we checked out Swingers Putt Putt perfect for family outdoor entertainment.

The Swingers 18 hole mini put course takes you on a journey around the central plateau showcasing the geography and many adventure based tourism locations that the Taupo region has to offer. From the mountains and walkways to power stations, rivers and town centre.

This would be super cool at night too as it all lights up with beautiful LED lights.

We also checked out Dropzone with its indoor playground and bounce park.

Arlo absolutely loved it and its a great place to take the kids especially if the weathers not nice.

We made a stop at the famous “The Taupo” sign for a photo. With the perfect backdrop of Lake Taupo and the mountains of the Tongariro National Park, it has quickly become one of the most photographed locations in the Taupo region.

Another must do with the kids is the world's coolest McDonalds! Taupo McDonalds was voted not only the coolest McDonalds in NZ, but in the world. And we reckon it may just in fact be that with an actual plane forming part of the restaurant!

But it wouldn't be a trip to Taupo without a stop at Huka falls. We've been here a few times now, but it never seems to get old, and it was Belle’s first visit! Fun fact: It can fill an olympic swimming pool in just 11 seconds!

Our new favourite foodie spot! It's called Vietnamese Joint. It was so good we went here twice while we were in Taupo.

Arlo loved there matcha waffles with ice cream.

I highly recommend the crispy chicken with egg fried rice,

How beautiful is Taupo's new waterfront area?! Such a beautiful winters day.

Here we discovered the the newly-created Te Ātea. The most poignant feature of Te Ātea is the giant centrepiece pou carved from a 2,000-year-old Totara tree by master carver Delani Brown. And the 13 metal pou around the centre pou represent the 13 main rivers/tributaries that flow into Lake Taupō, providing a geographical reference too.

It wouldn't be a birthday trip away without some glamping! Excited to share a beautiful off grid wooden cabin only an hour away from Taupo in my next blog post!

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