New Zealand’s most popular day walk (tongarirocrossing.org.nz) 19.4km track through amazing landscapes. Approx 100,000 walkers annually. Guided walks (adriftnz.co.nz) scenic flights (mountainair.co.nz)
Most popular is Mangatepopo to Ketetahi walk and return by shuttle. See adventurehq.co.nz or tongariroexpeditions.com for more details. During the high season, there is a 4 hour parking limit at the Mangatepopo car park.
New Zealand’s largest active volcano and is one of 3 volcanoes found in Tongariro National Park, a dual UNESCO world heritage area. Ruapehu has two commercial ski fields, Turoa and Whakapapa. (mtruapehu.com)
Whakapapa has 30 groomed trails, offers free shuttles from National Park and Whakapapa Villages to Whakapapa. Also ski shuttles departing from Taupo (tongariroexpeditions.com) With new all-weather snow making in place for this season, the Happy Valley field is due to open June 2018
Gear hire from Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (www.mtruapehu.com) new hire shop Snow HQ on Roberts Street – behind The Coffee Club (www.snowhq.com /snow/whakapapa-snow-report), Pointon Ski Shop 57 Tongariro Street, Gordons Outdoor 7 Tamamutu Street. Bus departure outside Dominos Pizza or from Snow HQ ticket office (next to Cobb & Co) Tongariro Street Taupo. Dominos departure location TBC. Take the 8am bus to Whakapapa Skifield, return at 4pm back to Taupo.
Air New Zealand flights to / from Auckland.
Usually 1morning flight and 1afternoon flight. Refer airnewzealand.co.nz for details.
Flights from to / from Wellington, usually 1flight each day. Refer www.soundsair.com for details
Day Trips from Taupo
Around the Lake
South along State Highway 1 13kms to Waitahanui, visit Wildwood Gallery. (www.wildwoodgallery.co.nz )Local Artist, with interesting paintings, water colours, sculptures and woodturnings.
Continue south on State Highway 1 to Motuoapa. Enjoy morning tea at the Licorice Café. (www.coffeesecrets.co.nz/cafes/licorice-cafe-motuoapa)
Continuing on to Turangi and through the township to Tongariro National Trout Centre (www.troutcentre.com) on State Highway 1 – average visit time 1.5 hours. Discounted tickets are available from i Site (www.greatlaketaupo.com/taupo-i-site)
Return north along State Highway 1 and turn west on to SH42 before Turangi. Continue to SH47 and on to SH48 Lunch or HighTea at the Chateau Tongariro. (www.chateau.co.nz) Keep travelling along Bruce Road to the Whakapapa Visitor Centre (www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation) – allow 30 to 60 minutes for a visit. Keep travelling up Bruce Road to the Whakapapa Ski field area. (www.mtruapehu.com) Interesting visit even out of the ski season.
Travel back on to SH47 Turn left on SH41 There are public thermal pools at Tokaanu. (www.nzhotpools.co.nz/hot-pools/tokaanu-thermal-pools) The main pool is thermally heated, with the private pools thermal hot water. A Food Truck is at the pools Thusday to Monday
Continue along SH41, brief stop at the holiday settlement of Omori. Back on SH41 and on to SH32 (Tihoi Road) Turn right on Whangamata Road (going to Kinloch) Turn right into Kinloch Road. Afternoon tea at the Tipsy Trout or an ice cream from the Kinloch Store. (www.newzealand.com/us/kinloch) Walk around the marina
Return to Taupo along Whangamata Road. There is an interesting stop at 3Art Gallery along the RHS (299 Whangamata Road) – www.woodysplace.co.nz Turn right at Poihipi Road and on to Thermal Explorer Highway – south to Taupo.
Napier and Hastings Heritage Trail
Travel east along the Napier / Taupo SH5 Highway, travelling time approx. 1hour 45 minutes – 150km from Taupo. Points of interest along the way include views of Mount Tauhara, Kaingaroa Forest, Waipunga Falls, enjoy stunning views of the Kaweka Ranges from Turangakumu kiosk summit (80km from Taupo) Trelinnoe Park – off Old Coach Road, to Trelinnoe Park one of NZ largest private gardens open to the public all year around, Esk Valley (vineyards, orchards, Cafes)
Views for Napier, Hawkes Bay and it’s Port, can be had from Bluff Hill.
There are many attractions in Napier to include Marine Parade, Centennial Gardens, Art Deco architecture, old Napier Courthouse (now Conservation House) Ocean Spa hot saltwater complex.Complete the heritage trail on long SH2 to Hastings – 18kms