Many say Taupo is the Queenstown of the North Island. A gorgeous lake, access to the mountains and tons of adventure sports and activities on offer. This post, however, is not about the bungy, the sky diving or the Tongariro Crossing. It’s about what to do on a rainy day in Taupo. An indoor activity in a town that’s all about the outdoors. Here’s what I recommend:
Bad weather in Taupo? Head to Taupo Events Centre.
Remember what Forrest Gump was told by his mother? “Life is a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” I think Taupo Events Centre is exactly like that.
I went there twice in a row… The first time I had picked up a flyer at my hostel, advertising the climbing wall of the centre. I’d climbed on a wall once before and had had a blast, so I was keen to try it again. But, alas, when I arrived at the events centre, in pursuit of the climbing wall, a totally different picture presented itself to me:
The Northern Area Marching Extravaganza
What? Well, it’s an events centre after all. Curious me went inside, of course, and had a seat among the local kiwi audience. I had never heard of marching as a sport before, so this was quite an amazing experience! I watched as group after group, from various parts of the country, marched it up in the centre. They even sang the New Zealand national anthem!
So, that was one interesting afternoon in Taupo.
And finally, the climbing wall…
Next day I came back and indeed found an empty hall and a climbing wall open for business. After a few instructions and putting on my safety harness, I was also taught how to belay my friends. And then another surprise (switch on the audio):
Yep, that’s right, live Maori music. Apparently there’s a local Maori singing group that uses the hall every week to practice their songs. It’s not a small group either, and all of them singing their folk songs at the top of their lungs is way better than listening to any regular band on the stereo while you’re honing your Spiderman climbing skills.
Learning how to climb whilst listening to live Maori music – only in New Zealand!
What surprises have you had in New Zealand? Share them in the comments section below!