Thursday, April 03, 2014

Turangi Tongarira

Most time share resorts run a similar program; you arrive as you do at any motel and are given keys and told where to find your accommodation. Some time during the week, the hosts run a get-together where you meet the other occupants and get the low-down on local sights, events and discounts they can provide for various activities. The hosts hand out brochures and maps and no doubt get a benefit from sending you to various venues. That's business.

Some offer a discounted "resort meal" for guests during the week and "happy hours" once or more during the week. Usually the resort has a stack of different games, books, videos, bikes, rafts and other things you can use while you are there. What you can do of course reflects what is available in house and locally. Kaimanawa Resort at Turangi was no different, but the buildings were all pine, with lovely polished pine walls and ceilings throughout. It reminded us of the timber cabins in which we had stayed in Canada. Hosts Rae and Jim were lovely people too, which made staying there all the better.

Turangi is another lovely NZ town with nice wide roads, well defined shops, roundabouts, clean streets and plenty of trees and greenery. There are many more Moari visible there than say at Queenstown and one New Zealander told me that the Moari had moved to the far northern parts of NZ to avoid the cold. It made sense why we saw few Moari in Queenstown, although there are no doubt more living there.

Turangi is near Taupo and the region is, among other things, famous for having a large number of prisons and hydro-electric power stations. Apparently at Turangi large numbers of the people work for the prisons department. The others are family members of those imprisoned. It must make for an interesting social mix within the town.

We nearly wore ourselves out walking around the lake at Turangi. We set out intending to do three or four kilometres and finished up doing eight, a fair portion of which was uphill. There is a maze of walking trails, a suspension bridge that wobbles when you cross it, and some great views of the township from the top of a nearby hill which descends onto a traffic bridge at the edge of Turangi. Walking through the lines of ferns, trees and other shrubbery is invigorating.

Both Christina and I have Fitbits, little electronic gadgets that track our daily walking, stairs climbed, calories burned, and more, so we record our activities and intend to incrementally improve our fitness.

The day after our Great Walk, we rocked up at the Turangi Tongarira Rafting Company for a white water rafting experience. I'll tell you about that in my next post and show you some action photos of we two tackling the waves.


Aussie Soles for comfort

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