In the centre of the North Island-approximately one hour south of Rotorua and 3.5 hours south of Auckland, Lake Taupo is the largest freshwater lake in the Southern Hemisphere. Some of the leading trout fishing in the world is available at Lake Taupo. Visitors from the novice fisherman to the most experienced angler can enjoy the challenge offered by the wild rainbow and brown trout of the lake and its tributary rivers.
Lake Taupo is a beautiful stretch of water from Taupo township in the north to historic Turangi in the south. Views over the lake on a clear day include the mountains of Tongariro National Park. The three summets of Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngaurahoe attract skiers, trampers and adventure sports enthusiasts.
Lake Taupo is 616 square kilometres and is as big as the island of Singapore. The lake was created by an enormous volcanic eruption in approximately 186AD that sent ash into the atmosphere so high that the Chinese and Romans recorded these fiery red skies.
Tuwharetoa Maori arrived in the 13th century being descendents from the Arawa, one of the great canoes from the great migration, and European settlement in 1830 began its early beginnings with the arrival of Christianity, geologists, traders and settlers. By the 1890s Taupo was flourishing, with sheep farming and an expanding business town. With better road access and transport Taupo was starting to attract travellers.
During the 1900s the growth and economic development expanded with farming, forestry, geothermal potential and tourism, making Taupo the distinctive holiday destination it is today.
The region offers a great number of adventure activities including the fantastic Huka Jet ride on the Waikato River that takes passenger right to the vigorous Huka Falls. A great bungy jump above the river, tandem sky-diving, kayaking and numerous mountain biking trails ensure that adventure sport lovers are well covered.
More sedate cruises on the lake, children’s rides on a monorail and a visit to a working prawn farm and restaurant, and to the Lilliput farm provide quieter opportunities.
Taupo township has a good range of restaurants and bars some of which overlook the lake. The award-winning restaurants at Manuels Millennium Resort just south of the township are worth a visit not only for their wonderful menus and marvellous vistas. Some great retail outlets showcase New Zealand Handicrafts including The Woolshed’s offering a special range of quality sheepskin and woollen products.
Golfers are catered for with the international Wairakei Golf Course, the newly developed Kinloch Course and excellent club courses.
The Lake Taupo region is part of the Central North Island volcanic region and has its own thermal attractions. Orakei-Korako north of Taupo is an unspoiled thermal attraction on the banks of the Waikato River featuring geysers, mud pools and silica terraces. Craters of the Moon just north of Taupo is worth a visit with its desolate moonscape and clouds of swirling steam.
Lake Taupo is a wonderful holiday spot in the middle of the North Island easily accessible from both the south and the north.