August 29, 2012

Ohakune, New Zealand

The last time my husband and I travelled overseas was for our honeymoon back in 2009. Two bedrooms and one bathroom renovation later, we decided it was time to venture out into the unknown world again. Our chosen destination: Ohakune, New Zealand.

Ohakune is within the central geographic area of New Zealand's north island and about 1.5 hours drive south from the beautiful Lake Taupo. It is also the main town for accomodation when skiing on Mt. Ruapehu, which we did.

Ohakune, New Zealand
Queensland may have the big carrot but Ohakune wasn't to be outdone, with the big carrot. It is a town known for its agriculture and in particular, carrot growing.

Ohakune Carrot
We stayed in beautiful B&B accomodation whilst there called the River Lodge, owned by Gayle & Denton (former Brisbane residents). We had own cottage whilst there with views of the mountains and a fireplace going each night. Breakfast was included, as was discount hire of ski equipment, which came in handy. You're also welcome to pat the sheep in their paddock or play with daisy (the labrador) whilst there. 

River Lodge kitchen area

I am very grateful that I got to spent time with a New Zealand friend who I worked with in London (in 2005), whilst I stayed in New Zealand. We went skiing for the day and got to catch up. I miss her when I'm home - she's one of those friend who you always feel close to, even when they're not literally there. 

My Kiwi friend and her partner

There are two ski fields on Mt. Ruapehu, one called Turoa (which you access via Ohakune) and the other called Whakapapa (which they pronounce fook-a-papa - weird!). We spent all our time at the Turoa ski fields but did take a day trip to the Whakapapa village and let me tell you, there was not a lot happy we chose Ohakune! Getting up the mountain each day wasn't always a picnic either, as the roads were icy and some days had really poor visiblity - 20km/hr was often the go. We were able to get up the mountain in our little Mazda rental without chains each day, which was a blessing, if not scary at times. There was one particular day that I really could have used a 4WD to get through the slush in the car park. Exhibit A below.

Icy carpark
We managed 2 1/2 days of skiing in the end, as they closed the lifts early one day, due to the amount of wind. Nonetheless, some beautiful pictures were taken on my iphone whilst skiing, here's a few...

 On the chair lift going up the mountain

 A frozen pool of water
Our snowman, Walter

Hubby injured his knee on our last day skiing, so we took the following day off to sightsee. We drove to the beautiful Lake Taupo and whilst the idea was to have dinner over the lake at sunset, that didn't quote work out, due to the amount of cloud cover. 

Lake Taupo in the background

For our last full day of holiday, we visited the thermal pools in Tokaanu, which all the locals talk about. They're meant to have healing properties, due to their temperatures ranging between 37 and 40 degrees. We spent 20 minutes in the private pool below. It reminded me a bit of the Spring Hill baths back here in Brisbane. 

Private Pool at the Tokaanu Thermal Pools

The thermal area around the walking track, outside the pools

I also wouldn't be very aussie without mocking our kiwi friends, so I did manage to happen upon these in New Zealand - jeans leggings. That's right, leggings that look like Jeans! 

Jeans leggings

On the subject of holidays, I'd like to add that Hooroo has recently launched a new website of destinations to visit and places to go and see. If you're unsure of where to holiday, I suggest you check out Let me know what you think of the site too. Any and all feedback welcome. I particularly like the 'Have been' / 'never been' idea. 


  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful and much needed holiday! I like the South Island NZ better because it's just so picturesque, but North Island is lovely too. Next time hopefully you get a longer holiday. :)

  2. You've never heard of Jeggings before?! You lucky, lucky girl.

    1. Come to think of it, I have but thankfully have never had the displeasure of seeing them before then ;).


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