Taupo, New Zealand
Imagine a group of eccentric geriatrics sitting around in a small shed in the middle of a paddock with nothing better to do than fly. That should put you in the picture.
These men of the air all have a sense of humour as noted during the pre-flight comments, "If you want to do loop-the-loops go with him, he can't fly straight"; you get the scene.
So it was that I passed over money (about $160 as I recall) and was then strapped into a glider with Tom Murray at the controls.
I could tell that Tom, like all the rest, was never happier than when flying and today was a good day with lots of lift from the nearby mountain, well, ex-volcano really, and we were off behind the tow plane in no time.
I'd read where soaring is the ultimate flying experience as there's no propellor noises, it's simply you and the wind. Somehow it felt safer too but I'm not sure how I arrived at that conclusion.
Though less advertised than a lot of attractions at Taupo it hasn't appeared to detract from its popularity.
Fondest memory: I could have stayed up for ages and, yes, we did manage three loop-the-loops. We had to do three because I stuffed up the video for the first two and Tom was only too happy to do another and another.
You have three flight options, priced accordingly (mine was the most expensive) and, at the top end, you get to fly it yourself. Our only problem was that we had a communications lack of understanding and Tom thought I was flying it and I thought Tom was flying it. Amazing how those gliders know what to do when no-one's in charge!
If you are driving between Auckland or Rotorua and Wellington, you will need to pass right through Taupo. It's on State Highway No.1 you can't miss it , LOL.
But seriously consider stopping here for a night or two. There are plenty of activities such as jet boating and skydiving. And lake related things like boating and fishing.
Take a look at my Taupo page.