Kiwi Hospitality – Taupo, New Zealand

It was rainy and overcast as I trod up to the Reef Resort Motel. As I walked through the large sliding glass doors into the bright marble tiled lobby, I was reminded of elegant cruises I had enjoyed in the past. This is the difference between backpacking and holidaying. I think when you are travelling for so long, it is important to take a breather every now and then. To relax and be pampered is sometimes just the rejuvenating boost one needs when feeling just a little out of sorts.

I had no idea what I was getting into when my friend Bevan invited me to stay with his parents in Taupo. I was excited to spend some time with a real Kiwi family. Keren and Bryan welcomed me with big hugs and warm words before showing me to my room insisting that I stay at least 3 days. I had really only planned to stay for one but they twisted my rubber arm.

Their resort style motel is only a few months old and it barely looks touched. Very modern with frosted glass table tops and genius placed lighting. The elegant lines throughout create a sophisticated atmosphere. I have my own fully-equipped kitchen and giant jet spa complete with sliding doors that open into the main room. Soft comfy king size bed covered with fine linens tastefully compliment the suede look of the furniture.

I stepped out onto my spacious balcony and gasped at the spectacular view. The sailboats glide through the blue water of New Zealands` largest lake. In the distance, is Tongariro National Park with its ominous Mt Ruapehu, the highest and most active of the volcanoes. As recently as 1996 this angry mountain has sent massive ash clouds sky high spitting out hot volcanic rocks.

Lake Taupo was formed 25,000 years ago by one of the earths biggest eruptions. Majestic Mt Ruapehu is exactly center in my field of vision as I sip tea eating coconut cookies on my lounge chair. You had better believe I am going to keep an eye on that baby. There have been two earthquakes here in the last week although only in the 3 range, you could barely feel them. Then again, it could have just been the earth shaking from the thousands of feet pummeling the ground in last weeks Ironman competition held here.

Keren and Bryan invited me into their home and cooked me a great meal keeping my glass full as we discussed travel adventures. I had mentioned my love of fishing and minutes later they had me scheduled to go out the next morning! Can you believe that less than 24 hours ago they didn`t even know who I was? They get a phone call from their son who is playing rugby halfway across the world and next thing I know I am adopted into a lovely kiwi family. This must be what they mean by Kiwi hospitality.

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