Taupo is a fabulous place to base yourself to visit the best that New Zealand's North Island has to offer. Centrally located there are many superb attractions that can be visited as day trips from here. A selection of ideas for tours may include:
- The Dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park and it's volcanoes, including the world famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, are an easy day trip from Taupo. During winter this area turns into New Zealand's largest ski area, boasting one club and two commercial ski fields, each providing a slightly different experience. It is close enough that you can travel to the mountain each morning and return to the luxury of Whakaipo Lodge in the evening. Relaxing in front of our log fire and enjoying superb New Zealand wine and canapes, followed by dinner with the hosts if you wish. Alternatively you may choose to visit the bustling bars and restaurants of Taupo to complete your day.
- Hawkes Bay's wineries are only 1 1/2 hours drive away. Arguably New Zealand's best regional producer of classic Bordeaux style wines including Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the Hawkes Bay boasts many boutique wineries. Dine at any one of the region's superb winery restaurants, including Selini Estate, Elephant Hill, Clearview Estate and McDonald Winery.
- The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film set at Hobbiton is well worth a visit, especially if you are a fan of J R R Tolkein or Peter Jackson. A pleasant 1 1/2 hour drive through The Shire countryside takes us to the township of Matamata, home to this Hobbiton.
- Taupo's thermal hot springs include perhaps New Zealand's best thermal area, Orakei Korako, is less than 30 minutes away. It is only a one hour drive to Rotorua's Te Puia Thermal Centre, home of the world famous Pohutu Geyser, and on the way other areas of note include the Wai-O-Tapu and Waimangu thermal areas. A visit to Wairakei Terraces to bathe in its mineral waters and soak away your aches must surely be on your list to complete your day.
- No trip to New Zealand would be complete without experiencing our indigenous Maori peoples' culture. Wairakei Terraces is unique, offering a powhiri (traditional welcome), Hangi (traditional feast), kapa haka (performance) and guided walk of the thermal area.
- The Taupo and Ruapehu areas are a mountain biker's and hiker's dream, boasting too many trails to talk about here, although the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Great Lake Trail and Timber Trail desrve a mention. If you wish to learn more about what is available check out http://www.adventureshuttles.co.nz/.
At Whakaipo Lodge we pride ourselves on our high level of personal service. Our sister business, Adventure Shuttles, can help fulfill your tour in one of our late model All Wheel Drive vehicles. Adventure Shuttles can tailor a tour to suit you and your timetable. You will be hosted by knowledgeable local and business owner Garth London on your tour. Garth has many years experience hiking, biking and fishing in the area and has enjoyed watching the growth and development of our wine, film and tourism industries over the years. For more information check out http://www.adventureshuttles.co.nz/.