Great NZ Family Road Trip – Lake the size of Singapore

Day 8: Wellington – Lake Taupō, Clear and sunny, 25ºC max, 12ºC min.

J and I woke early to run and explore the capital city. It has always been our way to recce new areas whenever we travel.

We ran from O’Reily Avenue down along Willis Street, turned into Lambton Quay towards the Beehive (the Executive Wing of the NZ Parliament Buildings). It is referred to as the Beehive because its shape is reminiscent of that of a traditional woven form of a beehive → a bee skep.

Failed jump shot at Whitmore St.

Then we ran down towards the Queens Wharf via Whitmore Street where a failed jump shot was taken of me under a road sign. Hahaha! Hmmm.. was that the start of a jump? Or was it when I just landed from the star jump? Lol!

J's jump shot at the Queens Wharf

J’s jump shot was perfect! That was taken as we jogged along the wharf at the Wellington Waterfront.

Wellington Waterfront

There are many bars, cafés and restaurants dotting along the wharf as we ran past. The sight of the area reminded us of the harbour in Vancouver. Ohhhh… How I miss Canada!

Bars and restaurants at the wharf

We came across a long slide built in the form of a lighthouse within Frank Kitts Park. I took off my Macpac fleece and climbed up the lighthouse to slide down the longest slide I’ve ever been on!

Then we ran a little more to see the last of the wharf, where yachts are parked. This part reminded us of our own country’s Keppal Bay area. There, I asked myself if it’s time to go home to Singapore… Not yet!

Wellington Waterfront

We continued on towards the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the national museum and art gallery of NZ. It is branded and commonly known as Te Papa (Our Place). And the term “Te Papa Tongarewa” means “the place of treasures of this land”. The design was modern and its dimensions huge! Would love to come back here for a visit next time we return to Wellington.

It was time for us to head back, but not before we took a “wefie” at the pier, then we ran back towards town.

Wefie at the pier

We ran on and turned into Cable Street, then Taranaki Street before we hit Manners Street (picture below) that took us back home to our townhouse. All this while, Mum was at standby for Little E when she wakes. By the time we reached home, the moment we opened the door, we saw Little E carried comfortably in her arms, waiting patiently for our return… Awwww…

Manners St.

We all had breakfast in the townhouse. It was there when Isabella said, “I wish we could all stay together like this, always… All 10 of us!” That was such a sweet thought! Then we went upstairs and the little girls had their morning kisses in bed!

All of us checked out at 10.00 am sharp and started to pack our luggage back into our cars. It looked a little chaotic, especially with so many luggage, 2 strollers, and 4 children… But, we managed!

Packing in the car

While loading up the cars, Daniella showed us a picture she drew of the TV and the TV console that were in the townhouse. It was well-proportioned and drawn to scale. We were very proud to see that she is so talented in drawing!

Daniella drew a TV console

From here on, we went separate ways. Because J and I had seen the Beehive this morning during our run, we decided to do some shopping in the city instead. So we took Little E with us and headed to a crêpe stall for a late morning snack.

Delicious crepes

It turned out to be the best crêpe we have ever tasted before. The stall keeper was a French guy, singing French songs to the tunes his radio was playing. We bought a savoury crêpe and shared it amongst the 3 of us.

Sharing the crepe

Then we did some shopping, walked around and found a playground in the middle of town!

Little E at a slide

Our shopping adventure ended in Jays Jays where we bought several dresses and tank tops for myself, and a belt for J.

On the way to Beehive

While we were shopping, JMIDM with Mum and Dad walked to the Beehive!

JMIDM with Mum at the Beehive

There, they took several nice photos with the prominent Beehive in the background, and JMIDM at the NZ parliament buildings.

All of us agreed upon settling our own lunch before reuniting back in the carpark. Because we spent so much time shopping, we arrived late! That was us running back towards St George carpark, with the others waiting for us! ;p

Running back to meet up

Everyone was having lunch when we arrived. Josh was having lotus leaf wrapped chicken rice, Mei Tsin had sushi, Mum and Dad and Bella were having Burger King, while Daniella and Matthew were snacking on fresh cherries packed in a paper bag.

Lunch on the go

We were the only ones without lunch because we had wanted to buy the delicious crêpes for them, but we were not sure if everyone would have had bought their own lunch, since J couldn’t remember if that was agreed upon.

Crepe in the carpark

So off we went to the crêpe stall again to buy 3 crêpes (2 savoury and 1 sweet) to share among everyone, before we set off to Lake Taupō. That was us having the crêpes while waiting for Dad and Mei Tsin who had went to the washroom. The little ones were still having cherries as we had our crêpes. Little E was looking at the cherry she dropped on the floor…

Desert land

From Wellington to Lake Taupō, we drove approximately 385 km over 5 hrs before we reached our destination. On the way, we passed by the Rangipo Desert, located in the Ruapehu District on the North Island Volcanic Plateau. As we drove on, we could see the 3 active peaks of Mt. Ruapehu, Mt. Ngauruhore and Mt. Tongariro. The scenery was breathtaking.

Mt. Ruapehu

Commonly referred to as the Desert Road, it is interesting to see how the landscape and vegetation change dramatically from lush green to desert land in this area. We drove on and were greeted by the large lake, that is the size of Singapore!

Lake Taupō

… and we knew we have reached Taupō! A town located in the centre of the North Island on the shore of Lake Taupō, it is also in the centre of volcanic and geothermal activity and hot springs located around the area.

Taupo accommodation

We booked a night’s stay in Quest Taupō serviced apartments located on Tui Street. As usual, we unloaded our luggage, and went out for a walk towards Pak’ n Save supermarket to buy groceries for tonight’s dinner and  tomorrow’s breakfast!

Along Tui Street

Along our walk, we stopped and took many pictures!

Mum and Dad at Lake Taupo

We even did triceps exercises, led by Dad!

Josh also had a go at “The Great Lake Hole in One Challenge”!

The lake is so huge, we could see no end to it… and it is spectacularly beautiful.

Me and Little E at Lake Taupo

We walked about 1.5 km towards Pak’ n Save, in a herd. It was very fun especially with Bella and Daniella. One minute they were running around, playing “IT” (or commonly known as “tag”), the other minute they were sitting on the shoulders of Josh and J… 😀 It was such a fun loving experience for all 10 of us.

Crossing the road

Half an hour later, we finally reached Pak’ n Save! We quickly grabbed our stuff and walked back home so that we won’t be having a late dinner! Thank God for long daylight during summer in NZ!

Pak' n Save in Taupo

When we reached home, Josh brought IDM to the heated pool for a quick dip, while Mei Tsin prepared pasta. Dad, Mum and J were also busy in the kitchen while I fed Little E her dinner. For our dinner tonight, we had lamp chops with mint sauce, carbonara pasta, blanched asparagus, corned beef, mee goreng, and mini almond Magnums! YUMS!!

Mum and Dad with the 4 grandchildren

I wish we can live like this forever…

“O Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Satisfy us early with Thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it.” (Psalm 90:12, 14, 17 KJV)

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