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CENTRAL NORTH ISLAND -  NEW ZEALAND

The focus of this region is Lake Taupo — New Zealand 's largest lake (619 square kilometres ) and the heart of the North Island .

Lake Taupo was created by a volcanic eruption so big the sun went hazy in China (relax, that was a few thousand years ago). Almost everywhere you look there's a volcano. Just a few minutes north of the Lake at Wairakei you'll find geothermal fields, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers.

In Taupo itself, and at the little village of Tokaanu near Turangi , there are hot mineral springs that have been soothing weary souls for centuries. And the prawn burgers at the world's only geothermally heated prawn farm will blow you away.

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NZstays - Hightlights of Taupo

Lake Taupo is a great vacation destination in both summer and winter. Trout fishing is a major attraction—it`s now over 100 years since the first trout fry were released into the lake and today it is one of the last true wild trout fisheries in the world.

Skiing and adventure activities are other reasons to visit. And when you`re not on the lake or up a mountain, you`ll find the Taupo town centre crammed with cafes and interesting shops. The nearby Huka Falls area is great for picnics and nature walks—or you could take a thrilling jet boat ride right to the foot of the thundering water.

A few minutes south of the Lake is Tongariro National Park , New Zealand `s first national park and a World Heritage area. It was created in 1887 when its three magnificent volcanoes, Ruapehu , Tongariro and Ngauruhoe , were gifted to the people of New Zealand by the Ngati Tuwharetoa people.

On the western side of the Lake , the Pureora Forest Park is home to such rare creations as the shy kaka or bush parrot and the not-so-shy fluorescent blue mushroom.

The Lake Taupo region has some of New Zealand `s finest untouched, unspoilt , uncrowded country. Just about all of it is easy to get to.
 

NZstays - Main Centres in Taupo

Taupo - main centre in the Lake Taupo region.

Turangi - the North Island `s trout fishing capital.
 

NZstays - Central North Island

Taupo
The town of Taupo sits at the edge of the southern hemisphere’s largest lake. Local attractions include trout fishing, skiing and geothermal parks.

Turangi
Fishing is the local obsession in Turangi. This town sits on the banks of the Tongariro River, which is famous near and far for its rainbow trout.

Mangakino
If you really want to get away from it all, take your fishing rod to Mangakino. This friendly little town is handy to three hydro lakes.

National Park
Summer and winter, National Park looks after travellers who want to explore the amazing landscapes of the Tongariro World Heritage Park.

Ohakune
In winter and summer, the town of Ohakune is a base for adventures in the Tongariro National Park. It’s also the ‘carrot capital’ of New Zealand.

Raetihi
Sandwiched between two magnificent national parks, the rural town of Raetihi was once one of the most remote settlements in New Zealand.

Taumarunui
With the Whanganui National Park on one side and the Tongariro World Heritage area on the other, Taumarunui is a perfect base for adventure.

Waiouru
Waiouru is home to the New Zealand Army’s largest military base. While the weather can be extreme, the Army Memorial Museum is extremely good.

Whakapapa Village
For summer hiking and winter skiing, Whakapapa Village is a grand place to stay. The volcanic slopes of Mount Ruapehu are just up the road.