A Cycle Experience For Everyone!

Taupo is well known for its Great Lake Trail, an intermediate all-weather wilderness ride that is amazing in any season. Less well known are the numerous rides that can be enjoyed safely by families and those less experienced riders who want to enjoy getting out on pavement.

In the Mapara Valley we have amazing road rides on relatively quiet country roads. These include some great climbs for those looking for a real cardio workout or you can stick to the flat or more gentile climb up Tukairangi Road past Ross and Annie Palmer's beautiful Tukairangi Gallery, where their world class ceramic art is created, displayed and sold. The views from Tukairangi Road are amazing, on a good day out over the lake towards Tongariro National Park and its three majestic volcanoes, or just taking in the very pleasant farmland and plantings of this quiet country valley. If you want to ride real hills you can challenge yourself on the 14 percent gradient of the Mapara Hill or Tukairangi Hill. The full ride of the valley is a horseshoe of approximately 40 km and all up includes over 700m of climbing. On a roadbike the hills will have you at full blow however a mountain bike with kind gearing can make the road a little easier.


Tongariro Plateau from Whakaipo Bay                  Reid's Carving. Tene Waitere - 1961            Lions Trail, Taupo Lakefront

Another benefit of using a mountain bike is it makes a for an easy visit to iconic Whakaipo Bay with its beautiful beach and majestic 200m high ignimbrite cliffs. This is also the beginning, or end of the W2K section of the Great Lake Trail and if you don't feel like riding a whole section then ride for 20 minutes up the track to the first seat rewards with superb views over Lake Taupo and Tongariro National Park.

Another of our favourite rides is from Whakaipo Lodge into Taupo Town, just over 10km one way. The ride includes a climb of 150m at 9% gradient up Mapara Road, past the iconic LÁrte Cafe and then a fast downhill into Acacia Bay. Its then an easy ride along the cycle path on Acacia Bay Road into Taupo. Turn right into Arihia Street and ride past the Nukuhau and Te Rangiita Maraes and St James Church in Pitiroi Street then down Norman Smith Street and across the Control Gate Bridge. This manages the level of Lake Taupo and the flow of New Zealand's largest river the Waikato. Just the other side of the bridge hang a right and head up through the domain. Its then a very pleasant ride along the banks of the Waikato and into the Taupo Marina where there is a great coffee stop at Stir Cafe. 


 Taupo Marina                                St James Church, Nukuhau                           Whakaipo Bay and Headland

From the Taupo Marina you can follow the Lions Trail for nearly 15 km to Waitahanui. The ride meanders gently past beautiful bays and beaches, art work, fun stuff to do and of course, cafes for more coffee or a bar or two for a beer. Just remember though that you have to ride back or if you've over done it call us at Adventure Shuttles and we will pick you up and return you safely back home.

Whakaipo Lodge, Whakaipo Bay

We haven't even mentioned some other possibilities such as the Huka Falls Ride, Aratiatia or Craters or Tongariro River Trail and the many other beautiful rides that are within a short distance of Whakaipo Lodge. There is just so much choice. So, you'll just have to come and find out for yourselves! Visit our Book Now or Enquiry links for more information.

Posted by Garth London on

Ever since Zane Grey visited New Zealand in the 1920's and wrote of his fishing adventures in "Tales Of an Angler's El Dorado" Taupo has been recognised as one of the worlds great trout fishing destinations. The region has since been written of many times and hosted famous visitors from around the world who come in pursuit of arguably the finest of fighting sport fish.

 Casting out in the Waitahanui Stream, just one of Taupo's famous fishing streams.

Two types of trout, Brown and Rainbow, populate the Taupo fishery and were introduced to Taupo in the late 19th century. Rainbow Trout were introduced from California and Brown trout came from Scotland via Tasmania. In the early 20th century a 23kg (50lb) trout was speared in Kuratau and average trout were about 8lb. These days this has reduced to a still very healthy 4lb. It is thought that this is due reduced numbers of native fish and koura, a native crayfish, that occured early after the introduction of the species. The Taupo fishery is now a wild fishery with stock and feed self regulating. Trout numbers are monitored annually at spawning and are robust. Brown Trout slightly outlive Rainbows, typically surviving 8 years although there are records of fish surviving 15 years. 

Trout cannot be bought or sold in New Zealand and so the only way to experience this fine fish is to go catch your own or be given it as a gift. This is one of the methods used to ensure conservation of the fishery. The minimum size for trout in the Taupo catchment, which includes all of the rivers and streams flowing into the lake, is 40cm. To go fishing a license needs to be purchased which can be easily done online, by us, or arranged by your guide or local tackle shop and is relatively inexpesive. In most of the rivers of the catchment only fly fishing is allowed. Trolling and jigging are allowed in the lake using only artificial lures. For a summary of the Taupo Fishery Regulations click here.

A beautiful 5lb lake Rainbow Trout in perfect condition. This one measured 60cm and is about 2 years old.

At Whakaipo Lodge, to ensure the best possible experience, we work with a select group of guides and charter boat operators who are knowledgable, but also able to share and understand the needs of our visitors. We recommend a minimum of a half day on the river or lake.

The art of fishing requires patience, especially if you are fly fishing, when a longer spell on the river will be rewarding. Fly fishing is the true fisherman's choice where stalking, casting and landing the fish requires no small amount of skill and effort. It can be a superb way to experience some of New Zealand's pristine wilderness areas. Fishermen are generally dressed in waders to keep dry and warm as they are wading in the river or lake while fishing. Local guides are able to assist in teaching techniques, including where to fish and what flies to use. Waders, rods, lures and boots can be easily purchased at one of the many fine tackle shops in Taupo or Turangi and if you are going guided hire of this equipment is included in the price.

If catching a fish is your top priority the best way is to go onto the lake in a boat, where trolling is the preferred method. Fishing from the boat is relatively sedentary with comforts including food and beverage if you desire. Again, all the equipment is provided on the boat. Like all activities in the natural environment there are no guarantees, although our charter boat guests rarely return empty handed!

If you are lucky enough to land a trout, we are happy to prepare and cook it for you at Whakaipo Lodge. We have several methods that we use but one of our favourites, a lodge secret, is to hot smoke fillets using Scotch Whiskey and Manuka chips to impart a flavour that is spectacularly and uniquely New Zealand. This method takes a few hours to do justice and so we generally prepare and cook fish caught earlier in the day or the previous day. Taupo also is blessed with a number of commercial smoke houses that are able to prepare and pack trout for export if you wish to take your fish with you.


Rainbow fillets on show here exhibiting a beautiful natural  pink colour prior to going into the smoker.

There is nothing quite like the satisfaction of spinning a yarn about your day, while sharing good company and enjoying a fine New Zealand white wine, with your Lake Taupo trout, in the garden, or in front of the log fire at Whakaipo Lodge. After all, wasn't the saying "never let the truth get in the way of a good story" created for the fisherman!

The finished fish served with Whakaipo Lodge's fresh baked whole meal bread (not shown), some wasabi cream fraiche and soy or lemon.