Halfway through the North Island of New Zealand you can find a gem so bright and beautiful that it will leave you wondering how nature can produce such amazing things and sceneries. By now you probably already know that New Zealand is a nation that stands out for its breathtaking landscapes, and Lake Taupo is not an exception.
|Lake Taupo, New Zealand.|
The lake is named after- shocker – the town of Taupo, located at the centre of the country’s North Island (see map), and it has an extension of 616 square kilometers. To put that into perspective I will give you the following information: Singapore has 716 square kilometers (at least according to Wikipedia), so Lake Taupo is pretty big…or Singapore is really small. Either way, the view of the lake extending as far as your eyes can see is one that you can’t miss.
The city of Taupo is beautiful in itself, and because it is very popular as a holiday destination for kiwis, it has an exciting offer of cafés, shops, restaurants and boutiques that will undoubtedly keep you window shopping for a while. But if the relaxed side of life is not really what you are into, then you are in luck, because Taupo is full of things to do where a little more stamina and a total lack of common sense are required.
I’ll work my way from least scary to oh-my-god-this-is-crazy scary:
1) While in Taupo, you can go on an exhilirating sailing trip. They usually take from two to two and a half hours to complete, most companies have deals with the local hostels, so you can get a cheaper price, and the best part is that most tours include a free drink. And then, just when you thought you had seen it all, this happens:
|Maori Carving in Lake Taupo, New Zealand.|
Do you want a closer look? No problem.
|Maori Carving in Lake Taupo, New Zealand.|
Lake Taupo is adorned by amazing rock carvings that were created in order to protect the area from dangers like volcanic activity for example, because in case you didn’t know, New Zealand is plagued with active volcanos. The carvings date of the 1970’s and represent different traits of the local iwi (tribe), the only down side is that they are only accesible by boat, and if you want to jump into the water to get a closer look you are more than welcome to do so, except you might partially freeze and shiver a lot.
That takes me to the other thing about Lake Taupo that you definitely need to know: the water is crystal clear. So crystal clear you won’t believe it. This crystal clear:
|Lake Taupo in New Zealand.|
So getting over the fact that I just uploaded a picture of water and moving on to the other exciting things you can do while in Taupo:
2) For the moderate adrenaline junkie there is all sorts of aquatic fun, like jet skiing, sailing, jet boating or fishing- which is not particularily adrenaline-packed, but hey, there is something for everyone.
3) For the athletic ones, there are marvelous hikes to Huka Falls-the most visited falls in New Zealand- tours through the volcanic surrounding area, and the king of all hikes: the Tongariro Crossing. That one takes about eight hours to complete and should preferably be done during a warmer time of the year, but the effort will pay off, because you get to see this:
4) For the full on adrenaline junkies, there is also a wide variety of activities to choose from, like bungee jumping, sky diving or swinging through the air.
|This is me swinging through the air with my good friend Hannah from Germany.|
Also, if you choose to either bungee jump or swing-or both-your view will be that of the Waikato River, which as you can imagine is incredibly beautiful, because it is in New Zealand, and everything in New Zealand is stunning.
|Bungee Jump above Waikato River. Source: http://www.greatlaketaupo.com/new-zealand/Adventure_Blog_detail/index.cfm/2012/01/3-2-1-taupo-bungy-bungy-jumping-in-taupo/|
So regardless of what you are into, there will be something for you in Taupo. Remember to ask the staff of your hostel or accommodation site to give you suggestions about the activities you can do in the area. They are very wise people that know all the secrets and tips to making the best out of your experience.
Also consider asking if they have any special deals with the local companies, because if they do, it can shrink your spending considerably.
These are some links you might find useful when planning your trip to Taupo:
– For accommodation: http://www.greatlaketaupo.com/new-zealand/Taupo_accommodation/
– For things to do: http://www.greatlaketaupo.com/new-zealand/sights/
– For bungee jump and swing bookings: http://www.taupobungy.co.nz/
I hope you make your way to Taupo sooner than later. Have a good trip!