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Your guide to Tūrangi
All About Tūrangi
Located dead center of New Zealand’s North Island, between the forested slopes of the Kaimanawa Ranges and the vast blue waters of Lake Taupo, Tūrangi is a big-time destination for hiking, fishing, and rafting. The Tongariro River is a hotspot for fly-fishing as well as white-water rafting, and Tongariro National Park is a hiker’s paradise. Less than 10 minutes from town, you can be on the shores of Lake Taupo at Waitetoko Beach, where you can enjoy swimming in the warmer months. In winter, hit the slopes at Whakapapa, one of New Zealand’s largest ski areas. Although small, Tūrangi’s village center is where you’ll find tasty cuisine, from lattes served out of a food truck to savory pies made daily from a local bakery.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Tūrangi
Tūrangi has a temperate climate but can be quite rainy at any time of the year, so pack your umbrella and waterproof layers. The summer months of December through March are the warmest and driest, while July is the coldest and wettest month, although temperatures rarely reach below freezing. Summer brings lush forests ripe for hiking and biking, and in autumn you’ll witness brilliant foliage. The town does not rest in winter: Tūrangi is a popular destination for winter fly-fishing. Nearby, the Taupo Winter Festival occurs in July for three weeks of events, from lighting displays and ice skating to food vendors and winter swim events.
Top things to do in Tūrangi
Less than an hour north, the placid waters of the Waikato River squeeze into a shallow ravine, creating one of the most awesome natural spectacles on the North Island. What Huka Falls lacks in height — it’s just over 36 feet tall — it makes up for with sheer force. Some 60,000 gallons of turquoise water gush over the volcanic rocks every second, spraying spectators on the foot bridge above the waterfall.
Tongariro River Trail
The Tongariro River Trail is an easy 10-mile walk or mountain bike ride that offers views of the Tūrangi landscape. Along this riverside trail, catch views of rolling farmland as you pass under the branches of tall rimu trees with Mount Pihanga in the distance. Birders will enjoy looking for tiny pīwakawaka birds and kereru wood pigeons in the branches of southern beech trees found along the trail.
Tokaanu Thermal Pools
Unwind in the Tokaanu Thermal Pools, which are just a five-minute drive northwest of Tūrangi. The hot mineral waters are a great way to soothe tired muscles after a long day hiking or skiing. You can even enjoy a walk before you soak; the Tokaanu Thermal Walk passes through luxuriant indigenous forest, studded with bubbling mud pots and steaming pools.