Travel to New Zealand: Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty
Moving on in our New Zealand travel, we decided to stop at Mount Maunganui for a night before arriving at Rotorua. Commonly known as The Mount, this small town resembles a little of Surfers Paradise at the Gold Coast, Australia, except that it is less crowded and not so commercialised. The Mount is also a popular place for joggers and climbers.
We did the full walk of 3.5km with Clayton in the pram. It is a easy and lovely climb. We stopped by a few times just to admire the sea views, at the same time, get some rest. Go for the climb to the summit if you can. It takes about 2 hours to get up there and this is a popular spot for hang-gliders and para-gliders.
We like this little town. It is one place where the Mount meets the sea and it’s so friendly and relaxing. It looks like a great place to retire which may explains why there are so many luxury properties facing the ocean. Doesn’t this look like a great place to retire?
Ocean Beach is a great place to lay back…
The sidewalk cafes along Marine Parade are a favourite hangout for the locals. Unlike the Surfers Paradise in Gold Coast, you get more locals here than tourists. Take a drive and check out the grand, luxurious houses along Ocean beach, some of them are the most impressive in the North Island.
For sumptuous breakfasts, tasty sandwiches, fresh salads and aromatic coffee, we recommend the award-winning café, SideTrack Pacifa. This is definitely a favourite among the locals all-day long, you can simply tell by the regulars relaxing in al fresco style along the walkway.
Don’t leave the town without savouring a double cone from the famous Copenhagen ice-cream parlour along the Marine Parade.
If you are deprived for some retail therapy or can’t wait to buy your New Zealand travel souvenir, take a short drive in your rental car to Tauranga.
Taupo – Home to New Zealand’s largest lake
On our way to Lake Taupo, we stop by at the Huka Falls. We were amazed at the speed on which the water move from the Waikato River to the drop!
It was raining during our two nights in Taupo. But then again, the poor weather didn’t spoil our fun in Taupo either. We had a great time in Baycrest Lodge. Our room came with a private courtyard and private thermal tub. We can then fill to our requirements with 50 degree C thermal water extracted from the ground.
It is so relaxing soaking in the tub in the moonlight… yep! And you don’t even have to bother about swim gear. It is so private. I’m sure you can star gaze on a clear night.
Lake Taupo is the biggest lake in New Zealand. Take a nice stroll and enjoy sunset by the calm lake. This town seems less busy than Rotorua. There are some nice shops to browse around so start shopping for a New Zealand gift. Don’t miss out on the many cafes if you like a lazy afternoon.
Taupo in the North Island is serene and quiet during our time of travel but this lakeside town can get very busy during summer months.
For food in Taupo, you ought to check out Replete Café. For some reason, the queue is endless during lunch. The food is quite tasty with a touch of Asian but the menu selection may be a little limited. I like the quirky store next to the café. You can find lots of nice- looking kitchenware and selected gourmet condiments on the shelves.
Few restaurants have opened up on the lakefront but unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to try any of them due to wet weathers on both the nights. So if you have the time during your New Zealand travel, don’t forget to stop by one of these cafes or restaurants.