Saturday, October 31, 2015

New Zealand - North Island Day 7 (Part 2 - To do/see, to stay, to eat)

To do:
Huka Falls
Huka Falls Road, Taupo, New Zealand

This place is relatively easy to get to with relatively easy short walks to the waterfall viewing platform.
Huka falls - Ice blue beauty

At the waterfall, the water is icy blue and massive. The water is simply gushing through the channel.

At the bridge leading across the river, you can stop to hear the thunder of water.
Waterfall view obscured by undergrowth at viewing platform

The view of the waterfall is a little obscured by undergrowth. But i had a better photo on the opposite bank. This is rarely walked by visitors and can get pretty muddy on wet days.

View from opposite bank.

We are exploring the opportunity to take the huka falls cruise to get up close to the waterfall. As the cruise is not available at our preferred time slot, we decide to go for this walk instead.

New Zealand

Chris Jolly Outdoors - Maori Rock Carvings
Ferry Road, Taupo Boat Harbour, Taupo, New Zealand

We went for the Maori carving boat tour as i initially believed that there are plenty to see.
Picture with the Ngatoroirang

Turned out that the Maori carving is a very a very small section of the rock wall. And its exactly as shown on the picture and the most distinctive is the Ngatoroirang.

The carvings may look like the remains of an ancient Maori village but were in fact created in the late 70s by master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell and Jonathan Randell as a gift to Taupo.

The service provided on cruise is good. Blueberry muffin and hot coffee is provided and this is appreciated as it is pretty chilly once we head out to the lake.
Trout fishing

There is also a trout fishing  experience on this trip but unfortunately we are out of luck today. No fish is caught on the line and we head back empty-handed.

To Eat:

Dixie Brown - 3.5 stars, mid-range
38 Roberts Street, Taupo,  New Zealand  

We had such a good breakfast at Dixie Brown that we decide to head back to this place for lunch as well.

Must try is their original hot chocolate drink. We are presented a stick of dark chocolate and once immersed in hot warm milk it dissolve totally. The drink is rich and chocolaty but not too heavy that you can't finish it.

Egg Benedict on ciabatta toast smoked salmon is very flavourful with very delicious creamy hollandaise sauce.

We also ordered an omelette (Dixie Brown omelette) and this turns out better than the one we had at Le Cafe the day before. The cheese filling is a works perfectly with the ham, mushroom and spinach.

Lunch at Dixie Brown is less fulfilling than breakfast. For lunch, we ordered seafood chowder with toasted garlic bread and calamari with rice and salad. The soup is rich a little starchy. The calamari is very fresh and i like the batter a lot more than The Brantry. It has an almost Asian taste.

Chim Choo Ree - 3.8 stars, mid-range
The Brewery Building,14 Bridge Street, Hamilton, New Zealand

Best place to watch what's happening in the kitchen from the bar table.
This place was packed on the friday night. To secure a table, we agreed to sit at the bar table.

On the menu tonight are fried chicken, oysters au naturel, lamb rump. I love the fried chicken as its very flavourful. Though fried, it is retains the juices and is succulent.
Complimentary entree that makes us look forward to a good dinner.

Oysters are fresh but could have been better.

The lamb is still gamey. That's why i like lamb the least of all meats. No matter how well its cooked its really difficult to remove the gaminess. The rib was well roasted with crispy skin that is super duper yummy. The meat is tender and cooked to medium texture.
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I found the drinks offered on the menu most interesting. i.e Thyme lemonade and fresh ginger ale. Thyme lemonade is strongly recommended by the waitress. Though it sounds very exquisite but they don't make a good marriage. The ginger ale is a much tastier combination with a light tinge of ginger and soda.
Thyme lemonade and Fresh ginger ale

We end the dinner with a rice pudding mousse. This is also recommended by the waitress. It pretty and well presented but a little too sourish to be dessert. I like the crispy crumbs within the mousse that makes it a more textured dessert. But i think i would have enjoyed my dessert more if i had churros instead.
Pretty little rice pudding

To Stay:

IBIS Hamilton Tainui
18 Alma Street, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand

This place is pretty spacious with comfortable beds. The sound proofing is pretty inadequate and i can hear people along the walkways and the opening and closing of room doors.

Basic amenities are also provided here and we had 4 pillows for 2 people! Cool!
Parking on the street is free but a little difficult to find parking after 8 pm. Alternative parking is available at $15/ entry at sky city, return parking voucher is also availabe at IBIS counter for $20.

The water flow in the bath is also unstable and tepid. Just thought to highlight for those who are a little picky and insist on hot warm baths like me.

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