Lake Taupo is one of the North Island's most popular holiday destinations, both in summer and in winter. The town centre is crammed with cafes and interesting shops and the Huka Falls area is great for picnics and nature walks.
Lake Taupo was created from a major volcanic eruption. Hot springs appear in several places around the Lake, which is now an extinct volcanic crater. As well as this a number of hot pool complexes have been developed for visitors to take advantage of the natural hot water. Just north of Taupo, near the Wairakei International Golf Course, underground steam has been harnessed for electricity generation.
The only outlet from Lake Taupo is the mighty Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river, which gushes through a narrow chasm at Huka Falls. Visitors can access Tongariro National Park from the Lake Taupo region.
There is broad range of accommodation in Taupo for all budgets. Taupo is also an ideal family holiday destination, as well as an opportunity to see the country at its most splendid.
Tongariro National Park
Tongariro is New Zealand's oldest national park and a World Heritage Area. This status recognises the area's important Maori cultural associations as well as its outstanding volcanic features. It is a place of extremes and surprises, a place to explore and remember. From herb fields to forests, from tranquil lakes to desert-like plateaux and active volcanoes, Tongariro has them all. The Park has walks from four days to an easy 20 minutes. One of the most popular hiking track is The Tongariro Crossing is often described as one of New Zealand's best day hikes. The track has magnificent views and passes over spectacular volcanic terrain.
The main winter attraction in the Tongariro National Park is the Turoa and Whakapapa ski fields (Season: June to late October/mid-November). Turoa ski area is 20 minutes from Ohakune, while Whakapapa ski area is 45 minutes from Turangi.
The nearest towns to the park are Turangi, National Park and Ohakune. The small village of Whakapapa is located within the Park