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Taupo, Kinloch & Turangi Info

The Beautiful Central Plateau

Explore this stunning part of New Zeland - find out more by clicking on one of the links below:

Taupo Information


Credit: Great Lake Taupo - click here for more info

The Taupo town centre is one of those extraordinary places that you’ll visit and wish you lived in. In fact, many of our permanent residents had exactly that thought when they first visited Taupo, so they chose to make it their home. Moving from all corners of the globe and from within New Zealand, these people have joined longer-standing residents to form a diverse and caring community who embrace the quintessential kiwi lifestyle. Relaxed living, beautiful surroundings and positive people are what it’s all about.

These qualities also make Taupo the perfect holiday destination or weekend getaway location. Taupo is known for its adrenaline activities like bungy jumping, sky diving and jet boating, but equally for its fishing, boating, walking and natural attractions such as geothermal hot pools, waterfalls, forests and volcanoes. All of this can be done within relatively close proximity to the Taupo town centre, making it the ideal base for your holiday. Taupo also boasts free wifi in several locations, making it easier for visitors and locals to stay connected. To learn more about Taupo's adrenaline activites or natural attractions simply stop by the Taupo iSite.

Like many locals, if you have a passion for the outdoors you’ll find it hard to leave. Taupo is full of outdoor gurus, with many working as guides to show you around the incredible playground they enjoy all year round. If you venture into the mountains, out on the trails or on the lake you will no doubt meet some of them out there doing their thing - mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, alpine climbing, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, wakeboarding, stand up paddle boarding…the list goes on!

Kinloch Information

Credit: Great Lake Taupo - Click here for more info

Kinloch is a stunning little settlement on the western shores of Lake Taupo, just one of the small towns dotted around Lake Taupo, nestled in Whangamata Bay. Home to 300 residents, it has stunning views of the lake and mountains.

Kinloch is a popular holiday hangout for locals and tourists to enjoy. Only a short 20 minute drive from the Taupo town centre, this charming community is the perfect picturesque spot for a lakeside picnic lunch, a dip in the fresh lake water, a spot of trout fishing or a meander around the dinky Kinloch Marina. Be sure to grab a coffee and a bite to eat from the popular local café,walking distance from the lake’s edge.

History tells us that Kinloch’s name comes from the Scottish Gaelic name Ceann Loch meaning ‘head of the lake’. Originally a sheep station, Kinloch later developed into a holiday destination with kiwi baches being built next to the lake.  The town owes its inception to the 1962 Prime Minister of New Zealand – Keith Holyoake.

Kinloch is the link between the K2K and W2K sections of the Great Lake Trail – one of the 18 great rides which make up Nga Haerenga – the New Zealand Cycle Trail network. If you like to cycle and walk then try out the W2K section, a scenic 13km (one way) trail from Kinloch to Whakaipo Bay (or vice versa) with sweeping views of the lake and surrounding areas.

For the avid mountain biker, try the challenging 9km K2K section that heads off from Kinloch in the other direction towards Kawakawa Bay, a picturesque and secluded bay surrounded by bush.

Kinloch is also home to on of the best golf courses in the world, The Kinloch Club. The course is a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, ranked top 100 in the world outside the USA by Golf Digest Magazine.

Turangi Information

Credit: - Great Lake Taupo - click here for more info

Turangi is a year round outdoor destination. Whether you enjoy trout fishing, adventure activities, skiiing or snowboarding, hiking or bird watching you won't be disappointed. 


One of the great things about the area is the number of activities, sights and attractions that will leave your wallet firmly in your back pocket. Check out the free activities on offer in the Great Lake Taupo region for inspiration.


Here is our list of 'Must Do's' in the Turangi & Tongariro areas.


  • White water rafting - The Tongariro River is known for its spectacular scenery, with beautiful volcanic cliffs, crystal clear water and native bush. It is the perfect river for your first rafting experience. Bounce down the river with more than fifty rapids, which are generally grade three boulder gardens. Relax between the rapids and catch a glimpse of rainbow trout in the deep pools. 
  • Tokaanu Thermal Area - Enjoy an easy stoll around the Tokaanu thermal walk and witness the natural wonders of a geothermal area for free. Remember to stick to the track and closely supervise children. The adjacent thermal hot pools are great for a relaxing and therapeutic soak after a day exploring the region’s attractions.
  • Scenic Short Walks – If you're wondering what to do in Turangi there are numerous scenic short walks to enjoy around the southern end of the lake. Walks along the Tongariro River, between Omori and Pukawa, up Maunganamu, at Whareroa and around Lake Rotopounamu allow you to enjoy the beauty of this unique region.
  • Trout Fishing - Whether you’re into harling, trolling or fly-fishing, Turangi is the perfect base for anglers. With the lake and rivers on your doorstep, it is easy to get out and enjoy the year-round, naturally sustaining Taupo fishery. Specialised fishing shops and experienced local guides will also ensure you experience the best fishing the region has to offer.
  • Mountain Biking - The natural areas around Turangi offer a number of opportunities for mountain bikers. From easy family trips along the Tongariro River Walkway to the backcountry rides and the tough 42nd Traverse, there is something to suit all skill levels.
  • Climbing - If you’re looking for climbing opportunities, some challenging and unique opportunities are handy to Turangi, including those on Ruapehu, in the Mangatepopo Valley and at Whanganui Bay. Turangi even has its own world class indoor climbing wall, great for testing your skills no matter what the weather.
  • Cultural Sites - Explore history at cultural sites close to Turangi, including the redoubt Te Porere, an ancient settlement at Opataka, and Rotoaira, home of the famous ‘haka’. Learn more about the culture of the region on an indigenously inspired guided walking encounter.
  • Whakapapa Ski Area - Just 46km from Turangi, Mount Ruapehi is home to New Zealand's largest commercial ski resort, with two ski fields; Whakapapa and Turoa. During winter it offers a high quality range of facilities for both learners and experienced skiers and boarders alike. In summer, ride the chairlifts to New Zealand’s highest café or take a guided walk to Mount Ruapehu’s Crater.
  • Scenic Flights - One of the best ways to see the stunning Central Plateau is from the air. Take a scenic flight from Turangi or Taupo and get a unique perspective of the mountains of Tongariro National Park, the Kaimanawa Ranges and beautiful Great Lake Taupo.
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing - Traversing a spectacular active volcanic zone, the challenging Tongariro Alpine Crossing offers a unique opportunity to experience some of Tongariro National Park’s special gifts. A cold mountain spring, lava flows, an active crater, steam vents, emerald-coloured lakes and magnificent views combine to make this an enjoyable and memorable trek.
  • Tongariro National Trout Centre - Learn more about the Taupo fishery by visiting the Tongariro National Trout Centre and the Genesis Energy Freshwater Aquarium displaying New Zealand native and exotic fish. Displays explain the management of the Taupo fishery while a viewing chamber provides great underwater views of Rainbow Trout. Popular childrens' fishing days are held throughout the year and trout fishing in Turangi is a popular thing to do. Picnic areas are available.
  • Volcanic Touring Loop - For an easier half day attraction take a drive from Turangi around the volanic loop. This journey takes in the spectacular volcanic landscapes of the dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park and stunning views of its mountains - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu.
  • Lookouts – Visit one of the lookouts offering expansive and magnificent views across Great Lake Taupo and the central North Island.
  • The Great Lake - There is so much to do around picturesque southern Great Lake Taupo. Head out to one of the idyllic lakeside villages and picnic on the beach or visit the historic Tokaanu Wharf. Alternatively, get out on the lake by boat or kayak to explore the pristine, secluded Western Bays.
  • Birdwatching – There is significant birdlife to be found in the Turangi area. Around the wetlands on the shores of Great Lake Taupo you can find Pukeko, Bitterns, Shags, a variety of Duck species, Pied Stilts and Banded Rail, to name just a few; and around the rivers you will find Whio (native Blue Duck), Kereru, Tui, Fantail and other forest birds.
  • Department of Conservation Summer Programme - ‘Mahi Aroha,’ a summer programme held around the region. From learning how to catch a trout or fly a kite, to trekking up mountains and spotting kiwi at night, there’s something for everyone.

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