Lake Taupo – Top Family Holiday Activities Guide

Lake Taupo is the perfect destination for a family holiday. Having fun here doesn’t cost much when you’ve got swimming, boating, walking, fishing, kayaking and mountain biking at your back door. And if that’s not enough to fill in your day, here’s our guide to some of the best family activities on offer at Lake Taupo.

Be an action star
Did you ever want to walk the circus high wire or do the flying trapeze? Well now you can at Taupo’s Action World. Here, thanks to their new airbag landing system, you can become a flying trapeze artist or high wire daredevil without a safety harness but still in perfect safety.

Does the thought of heights make you tremble at the knees? Not surprising because Action World reports that where children gladly tread, adults fear to follow. So if you feel more at home on terra firma, watch your kids from the safety of the ground while they learn to swing, jump, joust and fly through the air with ease.

With a Circus Trapeze, Jungle Swingz where you swing from trapeze-to-trapeze; a jousting pole 3 metres above the ground; a free-climb wall and the Big Air slide, Action World is a fun-filled day of excitement for the whole family.

Craters of the Moon Geothermal Walk
Here’s a walk with a difference. Named for its moon-like appearance, the Craters of the Moon Geothermal Walk takes you through a cratered valley seething with steam, molten rock and superheated mud. One minute you’re in clear air, the next enveloped in clouds of steam. A series of wooden walkways, purpose built to protect you from the heat, lead to several viewing platforms. Take in the views and marvel at the raw power of nature at its fiery best.

Enjoy a two hour cruise on a Steam Boat
Get on board the vintage steamer Ernest Kemp and take a two-hour cruise around picturesque Lake Taupo. This wonderful old boat dates back to early last century and has been lovingly restored and painted in classic steam boat colours of red, green and white.

You’ll cruise around the bays and beaches closest to Taupo including Acacia Bay and the 10 metre high Maori carvings at Okuta Bay. Kids can get the chance to drive the boat and even get a certificate for doing so. This is a wonderful way to enjoy some of the best scenery Lake Taupo has to offer and loose yourself in the magical history of steam travel.

See Trout and catch one
The Tongariro National Trout Centre, near Turangi is a ‘must visit’ for the whole family and keeps the kids busy for hours. You can learn about everything to do with trout, fishing and New Zealand’s freshwater ecology.

High on the agenda are the special children’s fishing days. These are held once a month and kids get the chance to try fly fishing with a guaranteed catch. Their catch is weighed, measured and presented together with a certificate to each child to take home. They will also fillet and smoke their fish on request.

Spend a day with farm animals
If your kids love animals, then they’ll love the Lilliput Fun and Animal Park. Set on 10 acres of farmland, here kids can hand feed over 25 species of animals including ducks, pigs, miniature horses, rabbits, alpacas, geese goats and donkeys. High on the popularity list is the barn where kids can cuddle the park’s baby animals. With wide open spaces, playground activities and lots of places for picnics, this is a great place to spend the day. And for adults, there’s also a cafe for the perfect caffeine fix.

The one and only Huka Prawn Park
There’s nothing like Huka Prawn Park anywhere in New Zealand. Here the geothermal activity in the Taupo area is used to create the perfect warm water conditions to breed and grow tropical prawns.

You can tour the hatchery, hand feed baby prawns and let the kids play on the park’s water features. See if they can run the Gauntlet without getting a bucket of water on their heads. But best of all, you can fish all day for prawns and then have your catch cooked at the restaurant free of charge. Imagine a mouth-watering plate of prawns. What a yummy way to spend a day.

Being in hot water was never so much fun
The geothermal activity in Taupo means where there’s heat, there’s hot water. And, plenty of it! Taupo AC Baths is the ideal all weather destination. With thermally heated warm and hot pools, private thermal mineral pools and hydro slides, kids will keep themselves entertained for hours.

The Tokaanu Thermal Pools are at Tokaanu on the southern side of the Lake. These pools have been used by the locals for centuries as a very welcome way to rejuvenate and still delight young and old with their warm soothing, therapeutic water. There’s also a short walk around the pools which takes in some of the geothermal sights of the area.

Holiday & Travel Guide For Jamaica

When you think of a holiday, what comes into mind? Glistening golden beaches? Tranquil picture perfect oceans, teaming with exotic fish? Well look no further than the island of Jamaica. Sitting right on the equator, the island boasts terrific sunny weather all year around, with rain typically falling only in the months of May, June, September and October.

This Island has everything for the perfect getaway for those who want to have a good time relaxing, as well as the holiday maker who is looking for a bit of adventure. Being the birth place of reggae, everything in Jamaica seems to move at a more relaxed and laid back pace, making it the best place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the modern rat race. There are many exciting and enthralling activities which a holiday maker can embark upon on the island of Jamaica, from diving and scuba diving to wind surfing and trips on boats. You can experience the best of the marine life in the area from both of these, and take in some really stunning scenes that lie just off the beaches all around the coast. Negril is one beach particularly recommended to try.

Swimming with dolphins is also a possibility in Jamaica. Many people find this a healing activity and jump at the chance to experience it. This can still be done in the wild around Jamaica, if you can find the tours that offer this. It is better, however, to head to Dolphin Cove at Treasure Reef, where you will be guaranteed the chance to swim with two dolphins, as well as experience other nature themed fun such as glass bottom boats, Shark and Parrot shows and a Jungle walk.

Other activities if you wish to be active include a fantastic tree top canopy tour. This takes you through history from when the island was first settled by the original inhabitants, to what we know as Jamaica today. This can be an interesting way to both learn and see some of the wildlife that is on offer in the Caribbean.

If just the thought of these activities gets you in a sweat, then there are also many more relaxing pastimes which are available on the island, including beach resorts supporting some top rated golf clubs and brilliantly relaxing spas. If the stunning scenery isn’t enough to relax you, these will definitely make you forget about all of the stresses and strains of modern life. Jamaica really does have an underrated charm which is incomparable to most other places that you will be lucky enough to experience on holiday.

Another great aspect of Jamaica is the food, the birth place of ‘Jerk’ and not something that should be missed. Trying authentic jerk meat is one of the delicacies which should not be turned down. The authentic taste of an open fire and the slow fusion of spices combine on jerk meat to make one of the tastiest dishes out there, so why not try it where it was originally born as a concept, so you know you have had the best?

Happy Holidays

Holiday Activities in Murcia, Spain

The Costa Calida is fast becoming a top hot spot for holiday rentals in Murcia Spain. With wonderful accommodation such as villas with private pools for rent, a host of beautiful beaches and all the conveniences you need, Murcia is a perfect destination for group and family holidays.

The region also offers a wide range of sports and exciting activities for everyone to take part in. Whether you’re after quad biking, scuba diving, horse riding or fancy a day of wine tasting, Murcia is the destination for you.

If you’ve chosen your villa to rent, booked your flights and are researching activities to do in Murcia, look no further. Connect Rentals has compiled a list of Murcia’s favourite sports and activities for you to enjoy.

Quad biking

If you’re after exciting action, then get involved in one of the local quad bike tours in Murcia. Located in Sierra Espuna, Quad Espuna offer affordable, guided quad bike groups tours in the region. Quality quad bikes, great weather and wonder views make Murcia an ideal quad biking location.

Walking, hiking and mountain climbing

The region of Sierra Espuna is also ideal for walking and hiking in Murcia. Offering varied walks with fantastic views, many dedicated walking areas are identified with national marked routes along the Costa Calida, and are ideal for all age ranges. The Costa Calida also offers rock and mountain climbing opportunities, with crag and multi-pitch available. Desnivel offer a website with rock climbing reviews.

Horse riding

From beginners to seasoned riders, Equipo Escuela offer Murcia holidaymakers a unique horse riding experience. Located in Alguazas, Murcia, trial lessons are suitable for adult and children, with ponies available for smaller children to ride.

Kayaking

If you want to take to the waters in Murcia, kayaking is a great option. The calm waters of the Mar Menor offer tranquil kayaking opportunities. The Espuna Adventure offer kayaking sessions complete with meals included, in the beautiful Barrancos de Gebas region.

Mountain bikingand bike hire

Murcia’s Sierra Espuna region offers fantastic mountain bike trails, with great views and terrain. Mountain biking in Murcia combines exercise with sightseeing, a great way to explore the area on wide and single tracks. Murcia bike hire is also available, with affordable flexible hire options.

Parasailing

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush on your Murcia holiday, you can enjoy gliding above the Sierra Espuna region with solo and tandem paragliding packages available. Sure to be one of the highlights of your Murcia holiday, you’ll be in safe hands with qualified instructors.

Sailing, yachtingand windsurfing

For holidaymakers wishing to sample the marine highlights of Murcia, the water sports centre located near the Mar Menor close to La Manga Club along the Costa Calida is an ideal destination. A small, professional centre, Aqua Adicta offer sailing, windsurfing and yachting opportunities.

Boat trips

For a truly memorable Murcia villa holiday, tourists can book a boat trip on the calm, warm waters of the Mar Menor. Charter Muffy provide a bookable service, enabling holidaymakers to visit islands, sail out into the waters to snorkel and swim, or simply relax and sunbathe on the boat deck.

Fishing

The Mar Menor offers great fishing opportunities. With an abundance of eels, mullet and place, sea bream and needlefish have all been sighted in the waters; even seahorse can be spotted amongst the algae. From equipment hire to fully inclusive fishing trips, Murcia offers fantastic fishing experiences.

Scuba diving

If you want to explore the fascinating underwater world, enjoy scuba diving in Murcia. Whether you’d like to learn basic scuba diving techniques or more advanced options, La Manga Dive School and Scuba4all offer affordable, exciting scuba diving experiences.

Wine tasting

If you’re after a relaxing day, head to Jumilla, just north of Murcia city, where wine tasting and tours can be booked for visitors. Visit the Bodegas Pedro Luís Martínez Winery, or Bodegas Silvano García, where you can sample Murcia’s indigenous Monastrell grape.

Holiday & Travel Guide For Tenerife, Canary Islands

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, which is Spanish land and a popular destination for many tourists every year, both in winter and summer months.

Santa Cruz is the capital of Tenerife, and is a popular winter sun holiday destination in February every year, as it is host to the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Attracting a million tourists to see it, this is a large carnival that has a real buzz. The Friday before the start, people will come to the streets of the city en masse, in fancy dress costumes of all types. Dancing and partying will go on until the early hours, and will start the opening parade for the whole event. The carnival itself has many musical groups and comes after a weeks of selecting some of the best people to take part through many competitions. The official song of the carnival is one such contest, and is an important one as it is presented to the carnival queen contestants. If you head to Tenerife during carnival time, you will notice that the festivities go on for many days.

The Friday is the Announcement Parade, Saturday is the carnival dedicated to dance, Monday is the big day of the feast. Tuesday marks the end of the carnival with another procession. Following all this is Ash Wednesday, which is the Burial of the Sardine and has many religious undertones and marks the beginning of Lent for the nation. The party is resurrected on the following Saturday and Sunday with many musical performances and presentations to the winners of some of the contests. Sunday night pays an end to the carnival with a firework display.

During the festival, much music and dance is celebrated, and on the first Monday there is the Santa Cruz Dance Carnival, which often has guest DJs such as Armand Van Helden and Roger Sanchez. Because of the carnival, Tenerife is twinned with Rio de Janerio, which also has a world famous carnival.

If you choose to visit during later months of the year then there are many other ways to celebrate the culture of Tenerife. With a volcanic origin, you should be sure to pay a trip to Mount Teide in the Las Canadas National Park. With stunning views, you can ride a cable car up through the clouds to see the crater and even the sea which surrounds the coast of the island. Not one for those scared of heights, this is truly a once in a lifetime experience if you can embrace it. Another marvel is in the south of the island and is the Valley of Guimar where there are 6 pyramids, not dissimilar to those of South America. These are mysterious and a great site, handmade from lava flows many years ago.

If staying in or near Los Christianos then make sure you take the hydrofoil to see another natural wonder, the Parque Nacional de Garajonay, which has 100,000 acres of land and canopies of trees and wildlife. Around the Los Christianos area (and near Playa de las Americas too) is also a host of family activities such as the Tenerife Zoo and Parque Las Aguilas, making it a great tourist spot.

Happy Holidays

Holiday & Travel Guide For Bali

Beaches

Bali in Indonesia is a small island that can be pretty much navigated around by car in around an hour, but it has some beautiful beaches with many activities available. Like the popular Kuta beach, for example, where water sports like wakeboarding, surfing and swimming are offered and on the beach there are activities like kite flying as well as slingshot activities. But if you’re looking for something more relaxing while you’re lying on the beach then there are many pleasurable experiences to be had with wonderful massages, manicures and hair braiding. It’s ideal for those of you wanting to bake in the sun and be pampered at the same time. For family fun there is a brilliant waterslide park called Waterbom. It is filled with exciting slides and exhilarating raft experiences, along with wall climbing and tubing. There is plenty to do there for a full day excursion in this tropically green and lush environment.

Sightseeing

There are so many highlights to this small island as it is crammed with culture and nature, from volcano tours and botanical gardens to amazing rice fields and trips to see the beautiful Hindu Temples that are dedicated to different spirits. These Temples are dotted all around the island. The court house Kerta Gosa is a fabulous building built in the 18th century that has now become quite famous for its bright and lavish ceiling paintings that depict the hell that awaits the law breaker. Some of the buildings in Bali are truly amazing and there are so many photo opportunities.

Shopping

As to be expected on such a small island, there are no malls, or international chain stores, but what there are is plenty of buying opportunities, because this small island has plenty of small shops selling designer fashion ware. There are also open air markets to tempt you with handmade clothing to your personal preferences, beautiful jewellery and many handcrafted items. Not forgetting the bright and wonderful art work. The prices are excellent, but a little haggling won’t do any harm. You won’t be going home empty handed, so be sure to leave some spare room in your suitcase.

Eating

There are many eating establishments in Bali, but very few selling typical Bali food like suckling pig with rice. Most of the restaurants and hotels sell international cuisine to appeal to the tourist market. Eating out in Bali is very cheap and not to be grumbled at as there are very few cheap places left nowadays. The outdoor markets sell some delicious fruits for you to taste and there are beach hut vendors selling snacks and drinks.

Nightlife

There are plenty of nightclubs and bars around this small island, but they don’t open until around midnight and the best place to be at that time is in Legian; any of the taxi drivers in your resort will take you there. The clubs are very popular in this area, it is very well known as it’s more upmarket, the place where everyone dresses to impress in their designer clothes. International imported drinks can be very expensive in these places though, so don’t expect the night life to be cheap.

Happy Holidays