Rotorua To Taupo

The journey from Rotorua to Taupo can be taken by buses or private vehicles. It takes around an hour in a vehicle and is about 81 km in distance. This is if State Highway 5 (SH5) is taken all the way. There is an alternative route which splits off at Reporoa and is slightly longer at about 83 km.
The alternative route has a much narrower road and there are often farm vehicles, machinery and stock on the road which make the trip slower. In the daytime however the alternative route is quite beautiful and you can stop if Reporoa for food and drink if you like. This area is the centre of the dairy farming industry in the region and be aware on hot summers' days the smell from the farms can be quite bad.
There are hot pools some of which are free on the route between Rotorua and Taupo. One free hot pool system is known by locals as the Secret Spot and is accessible 24 hours a day. The entrance is opposite the honey business on SH5 about 25 minutes south of Rotorua.
There are various b…

Otumuheke Stream

The Otumuheke Stream is also know by locals as the Pig Farm as many years ago there was actually a pig farm close to the location. It's a hot water stream that forms some nice bathing pools just before it meets the Waikato River. These pools are a great (and free) place to enjoy some of the geothermal water that results from the volcanic geography of the Taupo Region. Vehicles can be parked in the car park at the top of the hill which is adjacent to the Stream. This is an area that has a high level of thefts so it's a good idea not to leave any items in a vehicle that you leave in the car park. Break-ins to vehicles in this area are common despite frequent visits from the local Police. Up until a few years ago there was vehicle access from the Spa Hotel right to the top of the pools and this was great because you could keep a watchful eye on your vehicle and there was not far to walk to your vehicle after your swim. But that lower road was closed by the owners and now the onl…

Waipahihi Botanical Reserve

The Waipahihi Botanical Reserve in Taupo is a massive garden containing plants, shrubs and trees which are particular to New Zealand and the Taupo Region. It covers around 35 hectares (86 acres) and is located at the top of Shepherds Road at the intersection of Shepherds Road and Hyde Avenue. The Reserve has a 2 km winding rode that runs around it and there are quite a few opportunities to get some great views of Lake Taupo, the mountains and Taupo township. There are particular areas of the Reserve dedicated to different flower groups such as Camellias, Rhododendrons and Azaleas. In each of these areas there are many of the flower variety and they look spectacular when in flower. The is also an area dedicated to Kauri trees called The Kauri Grove near the end of the circular 2 km road that runs around the Reserve. That piece of the road was part of the Taupo-Napier Coach Road which ran, in the old days, from the Taupo Wharf to the previously named Terraces Hotel before it then conti…

Joan Williamson Rose Garden

The Joan Williamson Rose Garden was named in recognition of Joan Williamson who was the Mayor of the Taupo Borough from 1986 to 1988 and the Mayor of the Taupo District from 1988 to 2001. It's located next to the Taupo Museum & Art Gallery on a level site that includes a beautiful gazebo in its centre. The photos here were taken during winter time so there are no roses to see although we will be back in the Spring and Summer to get some rose photographs. There are rows and rows of different varieties of roses which radiate out laterally from a gazebo in the centre. Each row is marked with the popular but not Latin name of the rose variety planted in that row. There are some fantastic rose names including the Victor Borge in the photo above. The gazebo in the centre of the Garden is covered in Wisteria but again it was photographed in the winter so the beauty of this plant can not be seen. When the Garden is in flower it gives off incredible flower scents that make wandering t…

Great Lake Centre

The Taupo Great Lake Centre is an unusual looking structure which sits next to the Taupo Library. It's got both a theatre which seats up to 358 people and an exhibition hall.

The theatre has an 12 by 8 metre stage and has all the facilities required for a production.

The exhibition hall is for trade shows and products launch type events buts can also handle banquets.

In addition there are two meeting rooms, the Green Room and the Rimu room which are available for small meetings and conferences.

Taupo Boat Harbour

The Taupo boat harbour when viewed on a fine day is a beautiful place with lots of boats of many different kinds moored there in the Taupo Marina. Some of the boats are available for chartering while others are only used by the owners themselves.

This idyllic scene masks a river with a strong current however. And when the boats are taken out from their moorings it is important that their engines are working well because without power the current would swiftly take them down to the control gates bridge where the current is even swifter.

In the distance the Taupo float plane can be seen moored under the far bank. And on the near bank on the point the Harbourmaster's offices are visible.

The Taupo boat harbour is located at the start of the only outlet for the whole of Lake Taupo. It is the beginning of New Zealand's largest river, the Waikato which winds its way 425 kilometres to the sea at Port Waikato.

Huka Falls

The Huka Falls is the most popular tourist attraction in the Taupo area of New Zealand. It's quite a spectacular scene in which the Waikato River runs through a narrow rock channel about 5 km from the Taupo township.
The Waikato River meanders largely from Taupo  until it gets past Huka Lodge.  The water then reaches a rock channel or gorge where it accelerates into a fast moving white water torrent before spilling over a large ledge into a foaming pool below.
Nearly a quarter of a million litres of water passes over this water fall every second and the power of such an enormous flow is truly awe inspiring. You can feel the power of the falls from any of the viewing platforms located next to the channel itself

The Waikato River is the only outlet of the massive Lake Taupo which is feed my many rivers and streams not the least of which are the rivers running from the three mountains at the south end of the Lake.
Getting to the Huka Falls is easy. On the map below you can see the r…