Kayak Hire: Making Exercise Fun
I am one of these people that regularly talk about how I need to exercise more but then have trouble committing to it. The idea of a daily exercise regime makes me nervous. If I am being honest, I absolutely hate running and anything that involves running. Going for long walks is ok, but I get bored easily and then that goes out the window too. I have done personal training before and if I don’t get one of those GI Joe trainers who spends the whole hour screaming at me, it’s been pretty good, but unfortunately, the cost is just not sustainable.
So, this got me thinking…maybe if I saw exercise as fun and not something I HAVE to do, I might be more inclined to stick to it.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same result, so I realised I needed to try something different.
I wouldn’t say I like running, so I decided I wouldn’t even kid myself into believing this is something I would commit to. I thought to myself, what do I LOVE? I love nature. I love being near the water. What do I want to get out of exercise? I want to build strength and tone my body. What can I do that does both?
After some thought, it came to me – Kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding (SUP)! The idea of this made me smile, thinking of relaxing on the crystal-clear waters of Lake Taupo, and feeling the sun warm up my body on a cold winter’s day. I could already imagine the feeling of satisfaction paddling all the way out to Motutaiko Island and back.
Then, the dreaded obstacle of money hit my mind as I started thinking of all the things that I would need to safely get myself out on the water:
I realised I couldn’t afford it and wouldn’t be practical for me to take up kayaking as a regular activity. ☹ Looks like it was back to pounding the pavement for me…
But wait, I had a thought… what if I looked into hiring a kayak? Is there anywhere that does that? I was guessing it wouldn’t be very affordable…
I did some googling, searching for “kayaking near me“ and found that the holiday park down the road rents out kayaks and SUPs and low and behold a one-hour session, with all equipment included was cheaper than what I would have to pay for a one-hour personal training session and would be way more enjoyable!
I called the park and had a conversation with the lovely park manager there, Julia. She told me all about their rates and what was included. All those things that I was worried about, were included in the kayak hire price! She even guaranteed me that she would organise a muscly staff member to carry the kayak right to the water’s edge for me and pack it away when I got back… mmm I got a bit carried away imagining the muscles … ok, Raewyn, back to the kayaks.
The next weekend, I ventured the 15 min drive down to Motutere Bay TOP 10 Holiday Park from my place in Turangi to meet Julia and Brent (AKA: muscly man and also her husband haha). For anyone coming from Taupo, it would be about a 30 min drive. They had lots of different coloured kayaks for rent, including single and double kayaks. I choose to go out on a single one this time but thinking I might bring a friend next time and try out the doubles. They also have stand-up paddle boards, which I would have loved to try out, but I think I need to build up that core strength of mine… Or just try and see what happens. If I fall, I fall – great refreshment this beautiful summertime!
Single kayak hire starts from $25 for an hour and gets cheaper the longer you hire them out.
If I wanted a long session, I could do a half day or four hours for only $60, or the equivalent of a half-hour PT session.
If I can con a friend into coming, it will make it even cheaper for me next time, as the double kayak rental is only $40 for 1 hour, so if we split the cost, it would work out at only $20 a session each (or $45 each for 4 hours).
I was able to just rock up and hire the kayak without paying a deposit, however, Julia mentioned that if it is a busy weekend or school holidays, to make sure I book and pay in advance, which I can do easily online… even better.
The whole experience was terrific from start to finish. Nothing was too much trouble from the first time I called until the moment I drove out with a feeling of serenity and accomplishment (accompanied by a sore butt and jelly arms, which proved to me that I had achieved my goal of having a fun workout).
Being out on the beautiful Lake Taupo was so serene and magical. Paddling through the water, while watching the fish swim past, made me feel like a bit of a fraud. Who would call this exercise? I didn’t have to lift a finger; my kayak was hand delivered by Brent down to the water’s edge as promised and packed away after I had finished. I was provided with a safety briefing and given a waterproof pouch to put my phone in, in case I got into any trouble. They even had two-way radios there if I needed one. I felt really safe knowing that they had a little boat there ready if anything were to happen.
I definitely need some practice with steering, but I managed well enough to see some beautiful sights, have fun and get my body moving. Mission accomplished!
Oh, and while I was out on the water, I paddled past some awesome dome tent-looking things right on the water’s edge, which I found out later are called glamping domes. I took some photos and have included them below, as they are like nothing I have ever seen before, especially around here! I pulled up on the shore to get a closer look and spoke to some guests that had been staying in them over the weekend. They couldn’t stop raving about how comfy they were and how they would never get sick of the view from their bed… I might need to come back and stay some time, is that weird if I only live 15 mins away?
There is also plenty of space for camping on the water’s edge, with lots of people in campervans just stopping over for the night… what a way to live right?
The common theme that kept coming across from the people I was speaking to (yes, ok, I am a haver chat) was how nice the staff were, how clean the amenities were (which I can vouch for as I had to go to the little girl’s room while I was there) and how the view was the best you could get anywhere in this area. I had never thought of Motutere Bay TOP 10 Holiday Park as a place for my friends and family to stay when they visit, but I am thinking they would much prefer one of these glamping domes or the range of other self-contained cabins they have on-site than the boring motel room that they usually stay in.
For anyone wanting to check out the range of accommodation options available and pricing, visit here: https://www.laketaupotop10.co.nz/accommodation/
by Lindsey Hall