Mesmerized by plumes of steam, rainbow rocks, calderas, craters, boiling mud, and volcanos we kept returning to the Taupō Volcanic Zone. Each time, a blog post sprouted and a “Next Time” list grew. In the end, 26 days…were not enough.
- June – nothing but rain in Taupō
- July – winter in Rotoiti
- November – blue skies for a perfect scenic flight in Taupō
- February – summer tramping weather in Chateau Tongariro
In This Post…Let’s Talk Taupō in June & November
Lake Taupō (pronounced TOE-pour)
A caldera of a super volcano, NZ’s largest lake is 616 sq km. A pretty day on the lake, sailing the 1920’s yacht Barbary to a Giant Māori Rock Carving. Completed in the 1970’s, Matehi Brightwell’s contemporary artwork is a likeness of Ngatoroirangi (Nah-toe-roy-na-ee), an ancestral Māori navigator. The artist took no payment and holds a vision to add the traditional Paua Shell eyes.
Craters of the Moon
An unanticipated effect of a geothermal construction project, this 2-mile walkway winds through belching, boiling mud pits and steaming, hissing crevices.
The Waikato River produces about 50% of the North Island’s power. When its dam gates are opened the gorge is filled with a raging torrent of turquoise water.
Lord of the Rings: A filming location for the Barrel Ride, 25 barrels were dropped down the rapids; however, the Dwarves in the barrels was filmed on the Pelorus River in Marlborough.
Down the road the Waikato River thunders over a 35-foot rock ledge – 200,000 liters/second are forced through and over a narrow gap that is only 200 feet across.
Known as the rainbow trout capital of the universe, the average trout size is 4lbs. Trout cannot be purchased at markets or ordered at restaurants. You must catch you own.
And Then There Was This!
On our final November day, after days of rain, the sky cleared for flight-seeing over Tongariro National Park for “one last look”. It whet the appetite to see more, know more and experience the 3 active volcanoes up close. The weather always being iffy, fingers crossed for a return trip in February and “The Next Time” list.
A Visitor’s Paradise – Recommendations
This is a fraction of the attractions – not listed are heaps of family adventures. The most dramatic geothermal experiences are near Rotorua. The most dramatic walks/hikes are in Tongariro. Taupo is a day-trip or two.
- Blue Springs Putaruru
- Hamurana Springs
- Mt Tarawera Volcano
- Spas – Hell’s Gate- Secret Spa
- Okere Falls Track
- Lake Rotoiti
- Polynesia Spa
- Māori Culture – Te Puia
- Buried Village Te Wairoa
- Government Gardens
- Waimangui Volcanic Valley
- Orakei Thermal Park (Mihi)
- Rotorua Kuira Public Park and foot soak
- Aratiatia Dam
- Huka Falls
- Lake Taupō Sailing
- Earthquake Museum
- Trout Centre
- Trout fishing
- Desert Road (SH1)
Tongariro National Park
- Tongariro Alpine Crossing
- Tama Lakes & Taranaki Falls Tracks
- Silica Rapids, Ridge Trail
- Whakapapanui Track – Tawhai Falls
- Whakapapa Nature Walk
- Whakapapa Ski Resort
There is simply not enough time.
Related Posts – Taupō Volcanic Region (North and South of Rotorua)
- Read about Blue Springs and Green Trees – Stunning!
- Read about Hobbiton -Yes, it exists
- Read about Rotorua Geothermal Wonders – Prismatic Rotorua
- Read about Hiking the Volcano, Mt Tarawera – Blown To Oblivion!
Next Post – On to Tongariro National Park