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They were such special times with my dad. We would spend the whole day on Whakapapa Ski Area then head back down exhausted. We always stopped in for a hot swim at either DeBretts or the AC Baths where we would rest our sore legs and chat about the fun day we had on the snow. If we were lucky, we would stop at the McDonalds with the big plane above it, as a treat for dinner. So as a kid I always loved our trips to Taupo.
Fast forward to many years later and my husband Mike and I were living in Auckland. We used to spend a lot of our weekends travelling down to Taupo to visit his family bach. We loved the vibe of Taupo and all the fun outdoor activities that could be done here like hiking, mountain biking and swimming in the lake. After living in the big smoke we decided that the outdoor lifestyle was for us and planned to sell our house in Auckland and move our young family to Taupo.
It was the best move we ever made and now we are creating new family memories with our children, Archie and Henry. My boys love it here and we spend a lot of time fishing on the lake, biking along the lakefront and exploring all the different bush tracks.
One of our favourite places to visit is the Opepe Bush Historic Reserve - the native trees there are amazing and look like something out of the Avatar movie. We also love Huka Falls and visiting the Aratiatia Dam to watch the gates open and all the water flow out. Our favourite places to bike ride are Five Mile Bay, the pump track at Spa Thermal Park, Craters Mountain Bike Park and of course alongside the lake on the Great Lake Pathway.
We love the lifestyle here and having everything so close by. Being a foodie, it is amazing having such great restaurants, bars and cafes at our fingertips. I am so glad that our boys are growing up here and creating Taupo memories of their own, just like I did as a child.
My favourite thing about Taupo is the beautiful freshwater lake, Lake Taupo. Just watching it on a cold winter's day when it has white caps on the waves and then on still sunny spring days when it is as flat as a pond.
I love to show my family and friends from out of town around the region when they come to stay. There is so much to do, from Huka Prawn Park to the National Trout Centre in Turangi, and we visit them all repeatedly. It is the perfect place for families to explore and we are the lucky ones that get to live here and enjoy that holiday feeling all year round.
Vanya the kitchen extraordinaire behind VJ Cooks is a local foodie and vlogger who is passionate about showing how easy and exciting cooking can be at home. Her website vjcooks.com hosts an A-Z of delicious recipes that everyone in the family will love; with step-by-step videos to help you recreate her recipes. Vanya loves to work with like-minded brands to create engaging and creative content. Find out more on her website.
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