Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Our son Michael, and his girlfriend Leah, have been working with WWOOF in New Zealand since September 2013.

Before they ever left home, John and I booked a trip to see them for Thanksgiving.

Lake Taupo

We had a stopover in Manama, Bahrain and Dubai, UAE before landing on New Zealand’s north island.

Lake Taupo

It had been almost three months since we were all face-to-face so the plan for the week was simple: be together and catch up.

We rented a house through BachCare called Treetops in the small town of Omori.

Lake Taupo

The home offered incredible views of Lake Taupo from every room in the house.

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

The night we arrived, Mike and Leah had dinner waiting for us: Roasted Pumpkin and Kumera Soup with a side salad and fresh bread.

Lake Taupo

They learned to make it at one of the farms they worked at.

Lake Taupo

It was perfect.

Lake Taupo

The next morning we walked down to explore the lake before breakfast.

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

There are no words to describe how excited John and I were to be there with them.

Lake Taupo

Skype is good, but this time together was priceless.

Lake Taupo

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is touted as the best one-day hike available in New Zealand.

Lake Taupo

So we decided to spend the day hiking it.

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

The track spans the length of Mount Tongariro, covering about 12 miles.

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

We found a lovely spot by a waterfall to have a picnic lunch.

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

Hiking fuel: pork, bread, cheese, fruit.

After lunch, the trail led us to this sign:

Lake Taupo

STOP! Are you really prepared?

We decided to keep going anyway:

Lake Taupo

And made it to the top!

Lake Taupo

WooHoo!

Well, not the TOP top because all of a sudden people started running down from the top?!

We finally asked someone what everyone was running from. A man explained that the weather on the other side of the mountain had changed for the worse, and the conditions were unsafe for us to go any further.

Lake Taupo

Bummer.

We headed back to the house where we watched the storms quickly roll in over the lake.

Lake Taupo

The next day was a rainy Thanksgiving Day:

Lake Taupo

So we stayed in our pajamas and played cards and dice most of the day.

Lake Taupo

It was one of my favorite days from our week together.

Turkey is the traditional choice for an American Thanksgiving, but we chose New Zealand lamb chops.

Lake Taupo

They marinated all day in olive oil, garlic, and mint.

Eventually we showered, put on real clothes, and started dinner.

Lake Taupo

Since it was still raining, John and Michael pulled the grill as close to the house as they could:

Lake Taupo

Not ideal, but it worked!

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

We served the lamb chops with roasted pumpkin and kumara mash:

Lake Taupo

And roasted cauliflower.

Lake Taupo

Happy Thanksgiving to us!

Lake Taupo

We woke up the next day to clear blue skies and a rainbow!

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

Our next stop was Rings Beach in the Coromandel Peninsula where we spent the rest of the week.

Lake Taupo

The drive from Omori to Rings Beach is about 4.5 hours through beautiful terrain.

Lake Taupo

We stopped for another picnic lunch along the way.

Lake Taupo

This time: banana, peanut butter, and honey sandwiches.

Lake Taupo

Next stop . . .

Lake Taupo

Coromandel Peninsula!

Lake Taupo

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Read about our time on The Coromandel Peninsula HERE.

And for more on New Zealand, read about our time in Aukland, Queenstown, Wanaka, Tekapo, and Christchurch HERE.

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