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A New Zealand Travel Guide

Taupo, New Zealand

"The North Island's adventure centre and world famous trout fishing on Australasia's largest lake"

Rotorua New Zealand

To get more information on Taupo, New Zealand, Download my FREE E-BOOK "A New Zealand Travel Guide.  It will give you much more detail on arrival formalities, transport, accommodation, driving in the country, as well as a detailed guide to the action and attractions in the regions.  All that and a whole lot of other useful stuff you'll need to know to get the most enjoyment from your time here.

The dominant feature of Taupo is the lake, "The Great Lake" the locals call it, and its world-wide reputation is down to its superb trout fishing.

Lake Taupo is the largest fresh water lake in Australasia, created in part by the world's largest volcanic event in the past 5000 years. The eruption of 1800 years ago blew a huge hole in the earth, sending ash into the atmosphere so high and so far that the Chinese and Romans recorded fiery red skies.

Trout fishing is what Taupo is most famous for. The lake is cold and deep and crystal clear with many tributaries carrying an abundance of food in the water- ideal conditions for growing large fish.

I have to confess that I never thought of Taupo as a major tourist destination - fishing yes, but if you're not into that then take a quick look at the Huka Falls and keep on truckin'.

In more recent years, however, the region has turned into the adventure centre of the North Island - bit like Queenstown in the South Island. Bungy jumping, skydiving, jet boating, gliding, kayaking, even motor racing - these and more now make the town a stopover of some note.

Sightseeing

Aratiatia Rapids. The biggest rapids in Australasia, the Aratiatia Rapids come alive several times per day as the spillway is opened to send water hurtling down a spectacular rock formation, dropping 28m - about 90ft - in 800m or half a mile.

Huka Falls While 47 rivers and streams feed into the lake there is but one outlet – the mighty Waikato River. The thunderous Huka Falls are New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction. Stroll to one of many viewing platforms to see a breath-taking 220,000 litres of water tumble over a cliff face per second. Put another way, that’s two Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water, every single second!

Huka Prawn Park. Using the waste warm water from the nearby geothermal power station, Prawn Park grows fresh water prawns commercially. You can fish for them and have them cooked fresh off the barbeque in the restaurant. 


Geothermal Attractions

Craters of the Moon, accessible off SH1, is an active geothermal field. Thermal mud pools bubble away and plants not normally native to the area thrive in this hot and partly noxious environment.

Wairakei Terraces beautiful cascading silica terraces in pinks, whites and blues. These man-made terraces are a tribute to the original terraces that once stood here in Wairakei Valley, as well as the fabulous Pink and White Terraces (the 8th Wonder of the World), buried and lost forever when Rotorua's Mount Tarawera erupted violently in 1886.

In the evening, you can experience the richness of Maori culture. Receive a traditional welcome and witness the passionate challenge and Maori speeches. Enjoy Maori song and dance before touring the Wairakei Terraces. Meet and watch traditional Maori carvers, tattooists, weavers and musicians before a hangi (a meal cooked under the earth) and be entertained into the night with a concert of song, dance and haka.

Thermal Spa Pools
or more than a century, people have been using the water of Taupo Hot Springs for its secluded charms and healing properties. The picturesque Onekeneke valley, hidden by raupo and rushes, was a favourite bathing spot among early Maori inhabitants. Ever since the Armed Constabulary moved into the area, in the mid 19th century, this bathing spot has been a favourite for tens of thousands of visitors.

AC Baths Typical large pool complex with thermally heated leisure pools, lap pools and things like hydroslides,

Culture and Heritage

Maori Rock Carvings. The Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay are over 10 metres high and are only accessible by boat. The spiritual and cultural beauty of these magnificent carvings towering over deep waters are particularly beautiful in a setting sun. The carvings has become an important cultural attraction for the region and is a wonderful gift and example of traditional Maori knowledge and skills.

Fishing

Lake Taupo is New Zealand's premier fishing destination and is an internationally renowned trout fishery. Taupo offers superb fishing for large brown and rainbow trout all year, with mainly boat fishing in the summer and fly fishing in the winter.

Brown trout are plentiful but outnumbered by the rainbows. which are of steelhead stock, but are prevented from going to sea by the hydro dams along the rivers. They live in the lake all summer then make spawning runs upstream, returning to the lake in spring to fatten up again by autumn. The fish average around 1.4kg but every year fish of over 7kg (15lbs) are caught.

During the summer months there are few fish in the streams. Most are back in the lake and trolling or harling are the most popular methods of catching them. With a troll, a metal lure is used, sometimes with lead core lines for deep fishing during the hot months when the trout lie deep.

The harling method uses normal fly lines rods and reels to troll or "harl" a fly. This is particularly effective when the trout are surface feeding on smelt - a small fish.

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A New Zealand Travel Guide is written by David Morris and published by

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148 Hillsborough Rd, Hillsborough, Auckland 1042, New Zealand.
Phone (Country code 64, area code 9) 625-6469

Email: drm@visitnz.co.nz

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12 March 2012