We hired a car for a 5 day one way hire to Wellington to coincide with Ciara’s interview, and we had a planned weekend of skiing and boarding based in Ohakune in the middle of the North Island. I was meeting a friend I met in Whister, Canada over ten years ago. I had only met him twice since when I was last in NZ but not boarded with him. It was also to be CIara’s first skiing lesson.
We took a drive south and stopped off in Taupo for the night and we were introduced to the colder winter weather. The thick tops were on, and the mist pretty much obscured the town in the morning. We had both been here before but it was still amazing to see the unbelievable number of activity options available to drain your wallet – from bungy to rafting, kayaking and fishing and the volcanic mud pools, jet boating over rapids, mountain biking and everything inbetween. I think you could spend months just in Taupo and around and still just scratch the surface.
Anyway, we headed on to our luxury accommodation for the weekend, with a great view of the mountain from the lounge as shown. We sat there and enjoyed it as my mates weren’t arriving late. We had a dip in the hot tub and Ciara had a real treat of a takeaway gluten free pizza! Heaven.
Our mate’s turned up late that night from Wellington, but unfortunately Sunday was a right off as the mountain closed due to the weather, but Monday was glorious, defying the forecasts. I put on skis as I try to get my skiing back to the standard of my snowboarding and Ciara absolutely loved her lesson (and did very well too!). Mt Ruapehu is an impressive setting as well rising from the relatively low hills around. The mountain is an active volcano and just over the summit, out of view, is a pool in the crater. There was a big collapse here a few years ago where a chunk of the mountain gave way so it’s constantly monitored now. From the top of the ski lifts we could see another volcano Mt Taranaki on the west coast.
Unfortunately our day on the mountain just made us want to sack off the work hunt and do the season on the snow instead…..but we headed to Wellington on the Monday night and stayed with my mates – again a touch of relative luxury for us compared to hostelling, and complete with a $2000 coffee machine! Now that’s a treat…..