3 Fantastic Activities Around Taupo, New Zealand

The lake side city of Taupo in New Zealand has become an extremely popular location for locals and tourists alike. Visitors can take part in all sorts of watersports on the lake, as well as trying some of the large range of bustling bars, restaurants and clubs.

I love doing watersports such as riding a jet ski but there is more to do aroundTaupothan just the great lake itself. So here are some of the things I like to mix in with the usual tourist activities when I visit this place.

White Water Rafting on the Tongariro River

White water rafting near Taupo

Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/markandpetrina/291742986/

This is a water sport which is very much away from the normal lake sports. I’ve always loved doing white water rafting; to me it’s like a roller coaster on water.

I’ve done all kinds of rafting, in various countries around the world. For rafting, the river is graded from one to five; with five being the most extreme and very difficult. I’ve never actually attempted a five yet, four is my highest.

Anyway, with a grade four you’ll still get a hugely exhilarating ride and it’s not for the faint of heart.

The rafting on the Tongariro River (which runs south of Taupo) is a grade three which makes it quite fine for beginners but still enough of a rush for seasoned rafters.

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/rich_lem/5329849920/

This was simply one of the best treks of my life.

You’ll trek through the Tongariro National Park, over rugged volcanic terrain. It’s quite a long trek lasting around 7 to 9 hours so the extremely unfit may have problems with this one.

But the views more than make up for the hours of walking and climbing. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be able to see views which should stay with you for the rest of your life. These range from bright colored volcanic lakes to the awesome Mount Doom from the Lord of the Rings (the correct name is actually Mount Ngauruhoe).

Bring a good pair of walking boots with you though as some of the terrain is quite challenging and would be extremely difficult in trainers or cheap walking shoes.

And even in the summer, bring some water and wind proof clothing as the weather conditions can change up there.

And finally, bring plenty of water, a hat (for the sun) and sun screen.

There are also guides available who can add to the experience by pointing out lots of interesting facts about the landscapes and wildlife, plus they give an extra layer of safety in case you’re very new to trekking.

Mountain and Road Cycle Tours

Mountain biking near Taupo

The area around Taupo is also blessed with a number of great road and mountain bike trails.

You can either use Taupo as a base for various one day bike tours (although I recommend using a car to get to do the start of the trail each day) or

you can plan a tour where you ride from place to place, over a number of days.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/92242601@N00/91167161/

The latter is obviously more complicated to plan as you have to work out the route accurately and where you’ll be sleeping each night. For those on a budget, you can use tents but my poor old body doesn’t go well with camping over many nights anymore, so I usually book motels!

A good choice is the Waikato River Trails, which are a series of mountain bike trails, ranging from easy grade one and two trails to the more difficult grade three. If you’re a complete beginner to mountain biking then you may want to walk the bike over the more difficult areas.

You can either ride only part of these trails making it a one day cycling experience or do the whole thing which usually takes four days.

 

Guest Author : Jack Harris is a prolific travel and leisure hobbyist who is working with www.pedaltours.co.nz, the original bike touring company in New Zealand. Visit pedaltours.co.nz/new-zealand-cycle-tours to learn about their NZ tours.
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