2023 Aotearoa – Day 4 – Around lake Taupo

Lake Taupo, located in the central North Island of New Zealand, is a magnificent and awe-inspiring natural wonder. Covering an area of approximately 616 square kilometers, it is the largest lake in New Zealand and the second largest freshwater lake in Oceania. Formed from a volcanic eruption over 26,000 years ago, Lake Taupo holds not only geological significance but also cultural and recreational importance for the region.

The lake’s crystal-clear waters are a testament to its purity, attracting visitors and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. The stunning backdrop of the Tongariro National Park and the surrounding mountains, including the majestic Mount Ruapehu, provides a breathtaking setting for all who venture here.

For fishing enthusiasts, Lake Taupo is a dream destination. It is teeming with trout, particularly rainbow and brown trout, making it one of the best freshwater fishing spots in the country. Whether it’s fly fishing from the shores or venturing out on a chartered fishing trip, anglers have a high chance of landing a prized catch.

Adventure seekers also flock to Lake Taupo for the adrenaline-pumping experiences it offers. Skydiving over the lake provides a thrilling perspective of its expansive beauty, while bungee jumping from the historic Taupo Bungy Bridge offers a heart-stopping plunge towards the pristine waters below.

Boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding are popular activities on the lake, allowing visitors to explore its vast expanse and hidden coves. For a more leisurely experience, scenic cruises offer an opportunity to admire the picturesque landscape and learn about the area’s history and geology.

Lake Taupo’s geothermal activity is evident on its northeastern shores, where hot springs and geothermal baths provide a relaxing and therapeutic escape. The natural warmth of the mineral-rich waters is perfect for unwinding after a day of adventures.

Cultural significance is woven into the fabric of Lake Taupo’s history, with the Maori people considering the lake a taonga (treasure). There are numerous Maori rock carvings accessible by boat, displaying intricate artwork and paying homage to the cultural heritage of the region.

The lake’s appeal extends beyond its recreational activities, as it serves as a gateway to the Tongariro National Park and the renowned Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of New Zealand’s most popular day hikes. This iconic trail traverses unique volcanic terrain, including Mount Ngauruhoe (also known as Mount Doom in “The Lord of the Rings” films), and showcases the raw beauty of the North Island’s volcanic landscapes.

Lake Taupo is a place of wonder, adventure, and natural beauty that leaves a lasting impression on all who visit. Whether you’re seeking outdoor thrills, cultural experiences, or simply a peaceful escape into nature, Lake Taupo offers an enchanting and diverse destination for travelers to explore and cherish.