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Kinloch - Lake Taupo, New Zealand.
The Location :
Kinloch is a village with a truly distinct character. Fast becoming a worthy stop-off for travellers taking a road trip through the central plateau, its location on the north shore of Lake Taupo makes for easy access from all the main centres of the North Island. And with the convenience of Taupo town itself only 15 minutes drive away, Kinloch is proudly telling the world of its unique offering....
The Golf Courses :
There are two golf courses in this small village. One of them, The Kinloch Club is fast becoming one of the very best . Ranked by golf course architecture peers as a Top 100 in the World in 2013 (Golf Course Architecture Magazine), it is fair to say that The Kinloch Club is fast becoming a "must-play" on the New Zealand golf trail. As the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in New Zealand, that is unique in itself. But with Mr Nicklaus exclaiming that The Kinloch Club had the potential to become the best course he has designed to date, then there is reason to believe that there is something very special going on here. The course certainly offers a true test of golf that will challenge every aspect of a players game, so fore-warned is fore-armed! Former Open Champion, Sir Bob Charles says it is his No.1 in New Zealand, so who am I to argue - www.thekinlochclub.com
There is also a truly delightful 10 hole course in Kinloch (called Kinloch Golf Club) which makes for either a delightful warm up for the Nicklaus course, or for just a fun round of golf with friends or family. The course is relaxed and offers an interesting array of holes that make for a truly enjoyable experience.
The Marina :
Quite simply put, the Kinloch Marina is one of the prettiest marina's you will come across. It also is home to some delightful boats! Offering access into the Western Bays of Lake Taupo, fishing for the famous Lake Taupo trout is made a lot easier when you know where to catch them ! Local operators offer half day to full day trips to explore some of the remotest parts of this great lake.
Mountain Biking :
The addition in the past five years of two majestic mountain bike tracks that lead into Kinloch from the West and East sides as part of the Great Lake Trail, has given additional reason to stay in Kinloch a little longer. The W2K track starts from Whakaipo Bay to the East of the village, and climbs to a stunning outlook over Whangamata Bay, before the fun downhill leg into the village! There is also the Kawakawa Bay Track which heads west from Kinloch, and again, views are just mesmerising across Lake Taupo to The Tongariro National Park in the distance. The tracks are fully maintained and are easily accessed either from the village of Kinloch itself or by taking a transfer to the drop-off points at each end of both tracks. Transfers are offered by Great Lake Shuttles
There are some B&B's in Kinloch as well as ample holiday home accommodation options from luxurious homes to extremely comfortable baches on the lakefront. Dunalistair House is one such luxurious offering, providing a 4 bedroom Qualmark 5* graded holiday home overlooking the Jack Nicklaus golf course. For more holiday home ideas, visit Kinloch Holiday Homes, who offer a growing number of homes and baches to rent.
Fish-and-Chips on the beach, a wood-fired pizza oven and also The Tipsy Trout restaurant all offer unique Kiwi hospitality if you are wishing to lap up more of the local Kinloch culture. Alternatively, the easy drive into Taupo offers the array of cafe's, restaurants and shops to add to the variety.
Simply put, Kinloch is a magical place to visit and stay a few days. And did I mention the magical walking trails in the nearby Pureora's? That will be saved for another article!