Over the last two days TRM inmates listed 20 wonderful enticing irresistible reasons to visit Turangi. This is partly in response to Toe-paw Council promoting Turangi as the “Gateway to the National Park”? For the last fifty years, the attractions around Turangi have qualified as a wonderful holiday destination so these posts are just to remind everyone..
Today we have ten more for you to try to try to resist. Don’t fight it. It is a natural emotion to want more. If you need relief from daily stress, to feel better, just book now for your next holiday visit.
The “river cure” in Turangi is renowned throughout the world.
21 Fishing Tackle Shops – Consider this comparison. Taupo has two tackle shops for a population of about 25,000. That is one tackle shop for every 12,000 residents. OK.
A similar pattern is evident in many other fishy tourist towns. But in Turangi there are three tackle shops for a resident population of less than 3,000 – one for every thousand residents.
But there is more… Other tackle shops closed when they discovered they were selling more ‘online’ than over the counter. There are also several other well-established tackle dealers businesses operating undercover through their websites. Some have just fly patterns. Others offer a full range of gear. So the competition is hot.
You should hold off buying any freshwater fishing gear until you arrive in Turangi. We had better name them – Creel Tackle in Taupahi Road, Sporting Life and Grieg Sports in the CBD mall.
22 Wilderness trails – All the surrounding mountains have tracks left over from the early logging or when they developed the hydropower scheme or from vehicle access track to power pylons so there are many un-named tramping tracks throughout the region. The deer and pig hunters know them all.
The most popular Umukarikari and Urchins tracks provide access over into numerous Kaimanawa trampers huts.
23 Fly fishing – Unlike most other trout fisheries, the Tongariro River is restricted to fly fishing only. (Only DOC can explain why. DOC – Department of Conservation manages the Taupo Fishery) The more common fishing from a boat – trolling or jigging, etc. – or bait fishing, cannot be compared. Fly fishing is something else far more sexy and satisfying and enjoyable, being closer to nature. It requires different skills too – ask any fly fisho. It is wonderful therapy.
The Tongariro River alone is the most popular trout fly fishing trout river in NZ and regularly will support over 100 anglers spread over 50 pools. Yet there will still be quiet side channels and fiesty runs and backwaters untouched. Fly fishing is simply why we and many others live here.
24 Hamburgers – (This is for WG) You really have not eaten a hamburger until you buy one from the RUST bar – a new restaurant 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 is another reason why TRM have bikes free for guests. You cannot get a traffic ticket returning from the RUST bar on a bike.
25 Sunsets – Whilst 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 shoreline 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.
(2019 warning: Many have objected to any tourist promotion or mention of this popular “Bombs Away” spot due to the lack of safe parking and rubbish left behind by kids. But it is so well known that any list of summer attractions would be remiss not to list it. The critics should address their complaints to the council rather than try to hide it. If it was closer to Taupo the council would soon provide ample parking and signage, but this southern end of the lake has been neglected – again…)
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 follow 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 in the world, dating from about 400 AD. These were mainly unearthed during the excavation of the Tokaanu Power Station tailrace. In 1970 over 250,000 tourists visited the exhibition, but when the Ministry of Works left town at the end of the hydropower project, it was closed…
The museum is still there, the exhibits are stored out of public sight, as it was closed by Taupo Museum. Go figure!
Keep asking at the tourist information office and one day they will realise it should be re-opened.
29 Native birds – All of these bush-walks along the Tongariro Riverbank 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 TRM deal to spiders and any other little insects.
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). TRM strongly recommend RaftingNZ for a great memorable family day out. A full safety briefing is provided. Other options include cliff jumping and river swimming. Everything is provided. All apparel including wet suits and helmets and spray jackets and hot chocolate for morning tea and the best facilities with fresh showers and changing rooms on your return. Other options include are a family fun trip Grade 2 for smaller kids and their fishing trip for bigger kids. They also can arrange trips to other rivers in this region. Then there are raft fishing trips – see video. Rafting NZ is recognised as the best rafting operators in NZ. (2019 Update – confirmed by a recent Government appointment to train local raft operators)
Continued tomorrow with ten more reasons to visit Turangi.