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My Top 5 Activities For The Young At Heart In Taupo
The Taupo Region is one of those places that is hard to label in terms of the type of destination it is and what it has to offer to tourists, purely because it has such a variety of tourist attractions. From spectacular natural attractions and the popular local ski fields to the highly recommended museum and historical tours, there is something for everyone. The following suggestions are with the 'young at heart' tourist demographic so doesn't involve anything that is too strenuous on the body, but I have made sure there is a variety of activities as to emphasise the nature of Taupo itself.
Recognised as the most visited natural attraction in New Zealand, the Huka Falls are a spectacular sight that must be seen. About 220, 000 litres of water gushes down the cliff face every second at a rapid speed and then over 11 metre high falls. They are the largest falls on the Waikato River and are just a 5 minute drive north of Taupo.
There are a couple of option to choose from to see the falls - two different walking tracks which take you around the falls or the Huka Jet boat, which takes you right up to the falls - perhaps a more adventurous option, but the walks are just as exhilarating!
With a rich local history to share, a trip to Taupo Museum is essential when visiting the area. A variety of displays telling of the areas natural and human history. There is also a Heritage Guided Walk you can join every Sunday afternoon from the Museum and take you around a number of close by historical sites. There is also an Ora Garden of Wellbeing and art gallery on site so you're visit definitely won't be short of things to do and see.
Admission charges are very reasonable - $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children get in for free. Open daily from 10am and located in the centre of Taupo, it's the perfect way to spend the afternoon on a rainy day should you have one.
The historical Orakei Korako is home to 23 active natural geysers making the valley one of the largest geothermal fields in New Zealand. Also in the valley are hot springs and mud pools as well as bush tracks through native flora and fauna to explore the area more extensively - a fabulous depiction of Taupo's natural and fascinating beauty. A highlight for visitors is seeing the thermal Ruatapu Cave - a rare 120 ft deep cave with a hot pool resting at the bottom.
Orakei Korako is only available by boat (price of which is included in the admission prices) and the ferry runs regularly to and from the area, which I think makes it that much more of a unique experience!
Although it's about an hours drive from Taupo itself, the world famous one-day hike up to the Tongariro mountain summit is a must. The crossing takes you through an incredible range of scenic wonders, including craters, scattered pumice, active volcanoes, mountain springs and lava flows. Not to mention the spectacular view from the summit. The whole walk take about 9 hours so it's a long day, but provided you have the right gear and enough food and water you'll be fine. You don't need experience in hiking to partake but at times it can be a challenging walk so it pays to be in good fitness and health.
After all that hiking and exploring the Wonderful outdoors of the Taupo Region, I'm sure an afternoon out on a riverboat cruise will be just what the doctor ordered! The Otunui paddleboat takes its passengers on a two-hour cruise through Lake Maraetai passing some beautiful sights heading towards the Mangakino Stream. A commentary plays on board informing you of the surrounding features as you pass them. The boat trips commence at 1pm daily and are $35 for adults and $25 for seniors.
Luxury Motel Taupo Accommodation Perfect For The Young At Heart
Location and comfort are always my top priorities when I am booking accommodation, and I share this with many fellow travellers. And when visiting such an outdoorsy place as Taupo, it's that much more important to ensure your accommodation is up to scratch.
The Beechtree Motel - A self-catering motel located a 10 minute from the town centre and close to Lake Taupo. Modern studios and two bedroom units available all with up-to-date facilities including high-speed internet and LCD Sky TV.
Unique to NZ these apartments are like a home away from home. Choose from 40 properties throughout NZ. Need your own full kitchen to self cater? An in room laundry? 1, 2 or 3 bedroom options. Perfect for self drive families, friends and couples.