Taupo is New Zealand's largest lake and is a picturesque and
welcoming part of the world at any time of year.
summer it is a watersports, fishing and adventure mecca, while on
a crisp, clear winter's day the sight of the blue waters with a
snow-capped mountain backdrop is amazing.
for a fabulous voyage on the lake hop aboard the Ernest
Kemp steamer. It is fabulous.
looks serene, but Lake Taupo was actually formed by one of the greatest
volcanic eruptions the world has ever suffered.
was 100 times more powerful than Krakatoa and when you consider
its waters cover more than 600 square kilometre area - that's one
that goes way back in time, almost 30,000 years and today the lake
is regarded as being the world's trout-fishing capital.
are several fly-fishing guides based in Taupo and while not what
you'd call cheap at around $450 a day the thrill of catching some
of the huge trout living there will get anglers' wallets out faster
are also boats to charter at reasonable hourly rates and you can
hire all the fishing gear you need in town.
the adventure lovers among us there is sky diving, bungy jumping,
mountainboarding (think of a mix of skate and snowboarding with
a bit of mountain biking thrown in) and gliding.
is very popular on Lake Taupo and white-water rafting is terrific
as New Zealand's longest river, the Waikato, stems from its reservoir
and hurls itself over some pretty fine rapids in the area.
nature is more your cup of tea then there are magnificent hiking
tracks around Lake Taupo, including the highly rated ones to Aratiatia
and Mt Tauhara.
are plenty of things to do at Taupo other than gaze at the scenery
and they include the awesome Huka
Falls, the Craters of
the Moon, and the Tongariro Trout Centre.
The Huka Falls are amazing. The mighty Waikato pours through a natural
rock funnel at over 220,000 litres of water a second creating a
spectacular waterfall and churning, foaming blue and green water.
is a bridge you can walk over to get to the other side of the falls
from the carpark and if you follow a path around further you get
some sensational photos.
you are lucky you'll have one of the Huka
Jetboats approach the falls while you are there and that adds
to your pictorial opportunities.
course, for thrill-seekers you can always hop aboard one and get
taxied to almost under the thundering falls.
a touch of the prehistoric then the Craters
of the Moon are well worth stopping to look at. They are steaming
pits of mud and water and you can wander through them on at your
leisure on a sturdy boardwalk.
the Huka Falls and Craters of the Moon are just north of Taupo -
some five kilometres - on State Highway 1. Also there is an amazing
Prawn Park that is well worth
is about one hour's drive south of Rotorua
in the central North Island and one of the geothermal gems in the
area is Orakei Korako.
It is between the two cities and has striking examples of coloured
silica terraces. There are also geysers and the green-water filled
hour south of Taupo is the New Zealand
Army Museum at Waiouru. This is a really interesting museum
that charts NZ's military history. Good displays of the various
weapons, uniforms and action are on show.
there is also fun with a drive down the famed Desert
Road. Tussock fields spread around you and to the west are the
mighty mountains of Ruapehu, Tongariro