New Zealand North Island – Taupo

Hello friends!

Today was a bit of a sad day but it was also relaxing and fun. The reason that it was sad is that we had planned to hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing which is a 20km hike through the Alpine Region and apparently it is stunning. It is also where Mt Doom from Lord of the Rings is, so it is basically Mordor. Unfortunately, we have had to cancel our hike due to extreme weather. It is recommended that you put away a few days in Taupo as this is a common occurrence. This was an oversight on our behalf and we only planned one day in Taupo. We had been training for this and it is sad that we weren’t able to do it. We also didn’t have a backup plan. We had to try and work out some things to do in Taupo on a rainy day.

Taupo Picture

We started the morning with a bit of googling to see what the masses recommend. We stumbled upon a local escape room called “The Locked Room”. Having done an escape room once before (and loving it) we figured that this would be a great way to start our day. We were on our way and we started to get a bit concerned as the GPS was leading us into the middle of nowhere. Escape rooms in general are located within busy city streets so this was unusual. We came across a seemingly desolate farmhouse that google maps insisted was the location. We woke up an older woman who was sleeping at the farmhouse and we were at the right place. Even though we booked ahead, they were not expecting us. 


The escape room was located inside a shipping container in the backyard. Given the very strange remote location and the disorganisation it was surprisingly a pretty good escape room. It was themed in the 1950’s cold war and us as a team were working as codebreakers to disable an alarm before we were caught. The puzzles were really well done and they were fun. We were very quick through the escape room but we stumbled on the last puzzle, put in the incorrect sequence and set the alarm off which rendered our escape a failure. Disappointing, but also still a fun but weird experience.

(Escape room pic? If it exists?)

It was still quite early in the morning after that – about 10:30am. We found a pretty popular and certainly unique attraction in Taupo called the Huka Prawn Park. We decided to give this a go as one of the very limited activities that you can do in Taupo when it is raining. The Huka Prawn Park is a very strange place. The main feature is that it is a prawn breeding and cultivation facility. They call it an adventure park but really it is 6 or 6 little swimming pool sized lakes. A few of the lakes you can paddleboard or paddle boat on. You can also ride water bikes around which looks fun. There is also a restaurant specialising in prawns on site. The main reason we came was for the prawn fishing which a few of the lakes are dedicated to.

(Prawn Park Photo)

Prawn fishing is much, much harder than it sounds. You basically have a stick with string on it that you tie a little piece of meat to and you have to wait until the prawns grab the meat and then you have to reel it in super slowly. That makes it sound simple but it is anything but. 

(Prawn park photo)

We pretty much didn’t catch anything. Lorant caught a few little guys but the rest of us had no luck. It was still a pretty fun and unique experience. Would we do it again? Probably not, but is it worth experiencing once? Yeah.

(Prawn park photo)

After this we went into Taupo for a walk around and had some lunch at a little Japanese cafe called Wabi Sabi. We got some hot ramen because it was a cold and rainy day. It went down nicely but was pretty average ramen in general. By this time it was about 2pm and we did not have anything left on the agenda and we were tired. We decided that we were going to have a quiet night and get some frozen pizzas and a couple of garlic breads to cook at the AirBnb and play some board games that they have in the house and watch some movies. 

Upon reflection we probably could have put this day to better use but we have been in full adventure mode so we did not hate the relaxation that today brought. The hike stays on the bucket list and we will get to it one day.

We are off to NZ’s capital city tomorrow for our last two days. Wellington is sure to be a blast!

Much Love,

Ronnie & Aimee

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