Lower North Island road trip: Rotorua to Taupo (Day 4)

Julie Scanlon from Kidspot continues her five-day family road trip from Wellington to Taupo.

After a fabulous night’s rest, we farewelled our hosts and set off to explore more of Rotorua.

Skyline Rotorua

This city is absolutely packed with family friendly attractions, but one not to miss is Skyline Rotorua. The gondola ride up Mount Ngongotaha offers awesome views across Lake Rotorua (accompanied by the obligatory ‘I can see our car from up here!’). Once at the top, we all enjoyed a thrilling time on the luge run. Everyone started off in the slow lane (just to master that all important braking mechanism!). Then it was on for young and old on the intermediate and fast tracks! A chair lift brings everyone back to the top after each run. 

Don’t leave Skyline Rotorua without making a stop at the Jelly Belly shop. They’ve got every flavour of jelly bean you can think of, plus a few that you would probably never consider!

Rotorua to Taupo road trip
Skyline Rotorua Luge. Image: Bigstock

Taupo (81 kilometres)

It was soon time to hit the road for our final destination – Taupo. And as we did, it bucketed down with a vengeance. But the road between the two cities is excellent. On arrival in Taupo, we waited out the rain in town with some lunch and thoughts of building an ark. But the rain clouds departed just in time for our next amazing activity.

Mind Junction

Mind Junction turned out to be the highlight of our entire road trip! We had such an awesome time at this attraction. Our first activity was getting behind the controls in a flight simulator. Who would have thought that my kids knew what barrel rolls were! Thank goodness it was only a simulation, because I think we managed to take out most of the Las Vegas strip (you can choose to fly over a variety of locations).

Next, we decided to take on the maze. Not only do you have to find your way to all four coloured corners, but there are also several challenges to find the answers to along the way. As a family we love a challenge, and this was right up our alley.

Rotorua to Taupo road trip
Master the maze. Image: Mind Junction

We followed this up with a game of mini golf, and that was the end of the collaboration! It’s every man for himself when it comes to mini golf, and this course was suitably challenging and lots of fun. Mind Junction also has remote-controlled boats, model trains, a huge LEGO display and so much more. It’s well worth a visit.

Where to stay

Quality Suites Huka Falls is located just a few minutes’ drive from the Taupo town centre and Huka Falls. Set in stunning landscaped grounds, the hotel offers a choice of studio rooms and one, two and three-bedroom villas.

Read more

Day 1: Wellington to Palmerston North

Day 2: Palmerston North to Napier

Day 3: Napier to Rotorua

Day 4: Rotorua to Taupo

Day 5: Taupo to Wellington

About the writer

This blog was written by Julie Scanlon from Kidspot. Julie and her family were sponsored by Choice Hotels Asia-Pac on their five day road trip of the lower North Island. We acknowledge the support of Great Lake Taupo and Destination Rotorua in providing activities during the road trip and thank them for their assistance.

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