While in my last post I grizzled and grumbled about the horrible service and I'm still cringing about that awful pub quiz, I'm finally home and have had a chance to look through all the photos. It turns out that not ALL of Taupo is horrific.
The surrounding countryside and giant lake *is* beautiful. We went up to Huka falls, which was gorgeous and did some of the walks and drove many of the drives. Big rolling green hills, 'fake' forests (the area around Taupo is heavily forested. It was interesting to see all the different stages, from planting, growing, being cut, the logs being driven to the mills, the fields cleared and then replanted). And then there was all the geothermal activity! There were many geysers to see, and also the fantastic natural hot springs!
Those photos were actually taken at Huka Falls, not the Hot Springs, or near geysers.
In terms of food, it was mostly awful. However on our last night we went to Portofino which was *divine*. The service was impeccable and the food fantastic. Funnily enough Portofino's is owned by a gentleman named Gino who opened his first restaurant in Parnell back in the day. He would order all their produce through the Family Barrow, which was at the time owned by my parents. Glad he still keeps the same standards as he did all those years ago.
We managed to go out to the Lava Glass Gallery where we watched the owner and resident artist Lynden Over blow glass (he actually DID blow the glass!) and create some fantastic glass pieces, which was pretty exciting. We also did the Volcanic Activity Centre which was pretty amusing. And even though they followed us around at the Scenic Wine Cellar, I DID get to hold a bottle of Champagne with a $1k price tag! The best part of the trip (besides the fantastic snow, which was UNBELIEVABLY fantastic)was the meandering drives we took that presented views like this one:
So while the trip wasn't a complete success (again, that AWFUL AWFUL pub quiz at The Shed comes to mind) it wasn't an utter failure, either.
Still, I'm happy to be home!