Southern Lake Getaway
- Written by
- Deepika Sulekh
Just 50 kilometres south of Taupo, on the bank of the Tongariro River, sits a small town with an appetite for adventure and a thirst for thrill-seekers.
Turangi is an ideal base to begin your journey around Tongariro National Park. From ventures up and around Mt Ruapehu, to travels down the Tongariro River, and springtime exploration across the board – biking, skiing, fishing, rafting and hiking – you have it all at your fingertips in Turangi.
Tongariro’s outstanding volcanic features have left a legacy of incredible features and a variety of activities to spoil the adventurous travellers, each with its own uniqueness. Here are a few of our favourites…
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Rated New Zealand’s best one-day walk, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing has to be the first on the to-do list. Sitting in a Dual World Heritage Site, this dramatic landscape and unique terrain is something you need to see for yourself – active volcanic craters, old lava flows, thermal steam vents, emerald and blue lakes, and native forest. It’s challenging – think 22 kilometres and weather conditions that can showcase four-seasons in one day – but worth it.
As the old saying goes ‘When in Rome!’ So, when you’re in the trout fishing capital of the world, you simply have to pick up a rod and give it a go. There are options a-plenty to tackle – from boat fishing to fly-fishing, and professional guides and fishing charters to help beginners. Winter is the premier fishing time in these rivers and they’re full of trophy-size rainbow and brown trout.
Lake Rotopounamu Track
This one is perfect for nature lovers – and on a clear winter’s day, it’s a world unto its own. Rotopounamu is a small crater lake with a five-kilometre loop track. You’ll be accompanied by native birds including the North Island robin, the kaka, kereru and falcon. Take the family and enjoy the surroundings, picnic and rest spots, and a swim in the lake.
Ride the Tongariro River Trail
Looping around both sides of the Tongariro River, this is a bike trail for every rider – including children and beginners. Ride through native New Zealand forest with scenic rest stops and mostly flat terrain, it’s the perfect adventure for the whole family.
White Water Rafting
Add some adrenalin with a white-water rafting experience on the Tongariro River – navigate 60 rapids along a 13-kilometre stretch – the most you’ll encounter in New Zealand. Catch some stunning sights including towering forests, volcanic cliffs, New Zealand wildlife and giant trout.
Tokaano Thermal Springs
Relax at the end of your day in the natural thermal pools of Tokaanu. Soothe your muscles from all the outdoor activities and unwind in the natural mineral waters. While you’re there, explore the Tokaanu Thermal Walk nestled amidst hot mineral pools, bubbling mud and native bush.
Hit the Mountain
With Mt Ruapehu just 40 minutes away, you can open even more must-do doors. From skiing and snowboarding, to scenic gondola rides, or sightseeing on short volcanic walks – Mt Ruapehu has some of the most amazing natural terrain in the country.