Approximate Driving Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
A great continental breakfast delivered to our unit set us up for a busy day ahead. Having the breakfast delivered the night before (and stored away in our own kitchen fridge) gave us the luxury of being able to eat at our leisure, thus reducing the chance of a too-tired-for-this-meltdown (mine, not the kids – I am NOT a morning person!). We said goodbye to our wonderful hosts and our little home-away-from-home and set off to explore more of Rotorua.
First stop for the day was Skyline and a gondola ride up to the top for awesome views across Lake Rotorua. The ride up is an adventure in itself (with the obligatory, “I can see my car from here!“). From the top it was a thrilling ride back down on the awesome luge runs. Everyone started off on the slow route first to get used to the way the luge handles (and to find that all important braking mechanism) and then it was all on for the intermediate and fast tracks. A chair lift brought everyone back to the top after each luge run. Don’t leave Skyline without making a stop at the Jelly Belly shop. They’ve got every flavour jelly bean you can think of plus a few that you would never consider!
On the road again and the rain was back with a vengeance as we travelled the short drive to Taupo. We waited out the rain while we grabbed lunch in Taupo – with collective horrified staring at the downpour and thoughts of building an ark. But the rain clouds departed pretty quickly for our next activity.
The activities at Mind Junction were a highlight of our road trip. We had such awesome fun here. Our first activity was a flight simulator. Who would have thought that my kids knew what barrel rolls were! Thank goodness it was only a simulation but I think we still took out most of the Vegas strip (you can choose a variety of locations).
Next up was the fantastic maze. Not only do you need to find your way to all four coloured corners of the maze but there are also several animal images, trivia questions and answers to find too. As a family we love a challenge and this was right up our alley, working together in this instance to solve the questions.
We followed this up with a game of minigolf and that was the end of the collaboration! It’s every man for himself in our family when it comes to minigolf and this course was suitably fun and challenging. Next we tried the shooting simulator and we have now established that mum is not to be messed with when armed. There were also remote controlled boats, puzzles, model trains, a huge LEGO display and holograms. Great fun for everyone!
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This blog was written by Julie Scanlon of Kidspot NZ. Julie and her family were sponsored by Choice Hotels Asia-Pac on their 5 day road trip of the lower North Island. For more information on Choice Hotels Asia-Pac visit www.choicehotels.co.nz or follow Choice Hotels NZ on Facebook. We acknowledge the support of Great Lake Taupo and Destination Rotorua in providing activities during the road trip and thank them for their assistance.