I haven't reviewed a town before, let alone two at once.
I'm a fan of Taupo and Rotorua, the thermal activity, the views, the lake front walks - all very lovely/scary/amazing.
Now, my review isn't actually of the towns, it's of the pedestrian friendliness. Both Rotorua and Taupo are certainly NOT! pedestrian friendly.
I don't know if you live in New Zealand, but the 2nd most amazing thing about Taupo, after the fact that it's built on the edge of a massive volcanic crater is that there isn't a single crosswalk all the way along the main drag. Not one! Who planned this?
Whoever planned the town must have done one of three things:
1) said - "There will never be enough people or traffic to warrant crosswalks!"
2) felt sure that they'd mentioned it to their assistant
3) doesn't walk, so doesn't need crosswalks
I don't spend as much time in Rotorua, but did this weekend - same thing. Crosswalks conspicuously absent.
Tell me if you've noticed this.