The clear waters of Lake Taupō meet sandy beaches and towering cliffs in settings that range from small holiday communities to remote native forests. Take a step away from the areas accessible to vehicles and enjoy the complete peace and quiet of water's edge picnic spots and elevated viewing areas. Careful planning has preserved one of the main features that first attracted people to this area - the beautiful lakeside scenery.
Along the eastern side of the lake, heading south from the Taupō township, there is a one hour walk from Two Mile Bay to Five Mile Bay. This is an easy stroll through lakeside reserves, with several idyllic picnic and swimming locations along the way. Directly opposite, on the western shore, a track from the road leads downhill and then travels beside the lake through native bush to Little Acacia Bay. From here a track continues to Rangatira Point, which offers spectacular views across the lake to the distant mountains of the Tongariro National Park.
About 24 kilometres around the north-western shore from Taupō lies the picturesque town of Kinloch. From the beach at Kinloch, a track to Kawakawa Bay gives walkers an opportunity to see a unique part of the Western Bays, an area normally only accessible by boat. Enjoy the glorious views as the track climbs along cliff tops through regenerating native forests, including the rewarewa forest. The track then traverses across a saddle and down to Kawakawa Bay, passing a giant matai tree. There is a lovely picnic area at Kawakawa Bay. Returning the same way, this walk takes about four to five hours in total.
At the southern end of Lake Taupō, along the Western Highway north from Turangi, there are several picturesque settlements offering lakeside walks.