Over the last two days TRM inmates listed 20 wonderful enticing reasons to visit Turangi. Today we have ten more for you to try to try to resist. Don’t fight it. It is natural emotion to want more. If you need relief from daily stress, to feel better, just book now for your next visit. The “water cure” in Turangi is renowned throughout the world.
21 TONGARIRO Skulduggery – This was not mentioned in previous “50 Reasons” reports as it only emerged in 2020. Tongariro River Motel is the only place in the world where book lovers can buy (invest ?) in a first edition of the only book describing all the issues holding back the future prosperity of Turangi and how they were all rectified. The cunning plot unfolds in a tapestry of fishy tales in the form of a fascinating “mockumentary”. It is all true, except where I lied, about controversial historic evidence unearthed, how Turangi’s future prospects were secured forever and essential tourist infrastructure upgraded, by sucking in Jacinda’s Government with the biggest compensation swindle ever in NZ. What an amazing story… Only in Turangi…
To add more drama, then there is the mystery of the Kaimanawa Wall. Everyone loves a good mystery, so this is a “must visit” for any curious or bored tourists to view NZ’s version of “Stonehenge”?. Google it to see why! Experts cannot agree whether the wall is man-made or natural? Not surprisingly, the Crown (i.e. DOC) desperately wants you to believe it is natural. The only thing they seem to agree on is the approximate age, somewhere between 2000 and 3500 years old. Therefore the actual presence of the wall is a nightmare for both the New Zealand Government and local Maori tribes. Any existence of pre-Maori settlers who may have built the wall would undermine the Maori status as “indigenous” and stuff up their modern claims against the Crown as they try to rewrite history. In turn, this would complicate settlement compensations of which the Maori had previously been entitled, which brings us back to the Tongariro Skulduggery plot involving the biggest most ambitious claim for $$$ compensation in NZ’s history. You really must read it. It should be a compulsory study in all schools.
22 Wilderness trails – All the surrounding mountains have tracks left over from the early logging or when they developed the hydro electric power scheme or from vehicle access tracks to power pylons so there are many un-named tramping tracks throughout the region. The anglers and deer/pig hunters know them all.
The most popular Umukarikari and Urchins tracks provide access over into the Kaimanawa trampers huts or they can be accessed from Clements Mill Road or Taharua Road off the Napier Taupo Road – SH5. There are too many DOC huts and tramping huts to include them all. To give you an idea, the nearest include Waipakihi Hut, Cascade Hut, Oamaru Hut, Poronui Hut,Boyd Lodge, Tussock Hut, Harkness Hut, Mangatainoka Hut, Mangaroa Hut, Otupua Hut, etc…
23 Fly fishing – Unlike most other trout fisheries the Tongariro is restricted to fly fishing only. (Only DOC can explain why. DOC – Department of Conservation manages the Taupo Fishery) The Tongariro River is the most popular trout fly fishing river in NZ and regularly will support over 100 anglers spread over 50 pools yet there will still be runs and backwaters untouched. Somewhere around 70-80,000 wild trout migrate up the Tongariro River every year from Lake Taupo. They are BIG fat lake trout driven by spawning urges, i.e. they are not smart river trout. After maturing in the lake chasing smelt for about three years, when they enter the river they are in a completely foreign environment. That is why they are so easy to catch on a fly… That is why we live here.
24 Hamburgers – (This is for WG) You really have not eaten a hamburger until you buy one from the Rust bar – located on the southern side of the CBD with access from the big car park opposite the tavern. These are monstrous by any standards but it is the quality and presentation that will convince you. In TRM’s restaurant survey these were by far the most popular dining out venues – largely due to their hamburgers. SWMBO can only manage the kid’s version. That may be another reason why TRM have bikes for guests. You cannot get a traffic ticket returning from the Rust bar by bike.
25 Sunsets – Whist some other tourist places may also claim to have pretty sunsets they fail to register as Turangi is located at higher altitude where the sun is bigger and the mountain air is so much fresher and cleaner resulting in brilliant sunsets that are so much more vivid. Quite unbelievable compared to the usual setting of the sun. You really have to watch one from the mouth of a Lake Taupo tributary along the eastern shore line to appreciate the glowing glory.
26 Rock jumping – On SH1 north of Turangi is one of the best and safest most popular rock jumping spots into Lake Taupo. Lookout as you drive north from the Motutere motor camp around the next sharp 25 km per hour corner. The huge trophy trout – often spotted cruising in the depths – are used to it and will not attack tourists. Well not usually anyway. Check before you go as a local Maori tribe placed a “rahui” – forbidding tourists to climb on it recently.
27 Walking trails – The Tongariro River has various alternative walking track options in addition to the standard route – the Tongariro River Trail – for the bike trail. One of the features of this region is the surface of crushed pumice. This provides for excellent drainage qualities making these tracks accessible in all weather. As they flow the river the contours are easy and suitable for all ages. Every now and then are wide views over the Tongariro River where anglers often provide great entertainment as they cast and hook and play massive Rainbow and Brown trout. Other walking tracks are in all the other cute little settlements around Lake Taupo – in particular at Pukawa, Omori, Kuratau, Motuoapa, Oruatau, Hatepe, etc.
28 Turangi Museum – In 1970 the Turangi museum had the largest display of pre maori artefacts dating from about 400 AD. These were mainly unearthed during the excavation of the Tokaanu Power Station tailrace. By 1970 over 250,000 tourists visited the exhibition but when the Ministry of Works left town at the end of the hydro power project, it was closed… The museum is still there, the exhibits are stored out of public sight, and it was closed by Taupo Museum. Go figure! Keep asking at the Turangi information office and one day they will realise it should be re-opened.
29 Native birds – All of these bush walks along the Tongariro River bank and elsewhere around Lake Rotopounamu and between Omori and Pukawa are very popular for the low native bush supporting a wide variety of native birds. Usually they can only be appreciated when walking. Tuis, bellbirds, pigeons, fantails, moreporks, waxeyes, etc. are all seen chasing insects or raiding the Kowhais for their nectar close to the trails. The raiding parties of tuis in spring are a wonderful sight. Some like fantails even sneak indoors to help us control any insect intruders who have not paid. Tourists love them.
30 River rafting – Turangi is recognised for river rafting trips down the mighty Tongariro River. The most popular is the Grade 3 rafting in NZ with over 50 rapids spread over 14 km (8 miles) taking over 2 1/2 hours (4 hours base to base). Other options include cliff jumping and river swimming. Everything is provided. All apparel including wet suits and helmets and spray jackets are provided. Other options include are a family fun trip Grade 2 for smaller kids and fishing trip for bigger kids. Have a squiz at:
Continued tomorrow with ten more reasons to visit Turangi.