Taupo Trip Report, Dec. 2008

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Botany Bottom Scratchers, our Scuba Diving club, has a couple of unofficial splinter groups on the go. One is the Quiz team (which didn't fare so well this year on the winnings front, but is a great excuse to get together for a drink). The other is the Motorcycle group. And thanks to Lee and Laura's generous offer inviting us all to join them on a family trip, on 12th December a number of us all set off to Taupo for the weekend.

There were 13 of us in all - five on bikes, and the rest in cars. Ages ranged from Art (old codger) to Caitlin (aged 3). The excuse for the trip out was a track day at Taupo race course that Lee was very bravely attending.

Terri, Art and Rob came down the slow way (mainly because Terri is slow!). They cut through Clevedon, then took the road to Matamata, a nice straight road that can be too tempting on the accelerator foot. An attempt to stay off State Highway 1 wasn't a complete success, as Art wouldn't trust Terri's natural map reading skills and insisted that they turn left instead of right at an important junction. It's just as well that Rob couldn't hear what was being said in the two-way radio! Still, they got there in the end, with no speeding tickets and just ahead of Lee's group.

Lee and cousin Rick had come the fast route, along SH1, and arrived at the same time as the two cars. Pete and Paula turned up later that evening.

The destination was the Taupo Top Ten Holiday Park - ideal for our group, as there was good parking just in front of the rooms, and clean, comfortable beds and bathroom facilities. It was a bit of a crush with 6 or 7 in each 2-bedroomed unit, but definitely one up on camping! The holiday park also has a swimming pool and spa, kids play area (useful for Caitlin) and a barbecue that was very usefully positioned just opposite our units.

Friday night we hit Taupo. A reasonably priced meal at Breakers followed by a visit to the Irish pub next door. Laura felt very at home…

Saturday saw Lee going off at 7:30 for an 8:00 start at the race track. He did look a bit nervous… The rest of us went our separate ways for the day, with Terri, Art & Rob gate-crashing Pete & Paulas car (group 1), and finding the wrong geothermal park for a visit. Never mind - we still enjoyed it, and ended up in Rotorua for lunch and a very tasty ice cream. Laura and her family apparently visited the same geothermal park - but the two groups missed each other completely! Group 2 then headed for the hot springs.

Late afternoon saw group 1 back at the park at the same time as Lee. Lee was shattered! But he had kept the bike upright and had a great time. Apparently over $200k of bikes had been written off that day - an expensive hobby!

The group had a barbecue that evening - great fun. It was interesting trying to fit two picnic tables onto one balcony so that we could all eat together! We did it with less than a centimeter to spare.

Next day saw the group splitting again for the journey home. Terri, Art and Rob attempted to find the route back that they'd failed to find on the way there. This was up a river valley next to a dammed lake. There was a bit of a close call on finding a petrol station (again, just as well that Rob couldn't hear the two way radio) but the route was worth it as it was a lovely road. Unfortunately part of it was closed, with a detour down a gravelled track. I could see Rob wincing - Art and Terri have BMWs suitable for off-road, but Robs bike is a lovely bright red Triumph sports bike. But we made it without incident. Another detour took us up the road to the east of Matamata, to Paeroa. A bit longer than the straight route, but a lovely road to ride on. Then through Ngatea, and along the Miranda Coast road.

That was a total of 650 kilometers over the course of the weekend. A great weekends riding and socializing!

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motorcycle_trips/taupo_trip.txt · Last modified: 2010/03/25 12:20 by art
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