Taupo: The best tourist place to be for Summer

Tucked away in the middle of the North Island and cuddled by a colossal lake, lies one of the major events destinations in New Zealand.

Summer is here which means Taupo’s events calendar is heating up.

What Taupo Has to Offer This Summer

Taupo hosts a number of different events during the summer.

Taupo2 2011 will host some of the biggest musical acts including New Zealand’s international superstar, Stan Walker along with Anika Moa, Dane Rumble and Ivy Lies. New Zealand soul singer Tiki Taane will also stop in on January 6 where he will perform at The Shed.

If you are looking for a more punk rock musical affair, Steriogram are on the road this summer with their Moving On Summer Tour, featuring special musical guests Shotgun Alley and Pistol Youth. They play in Taupo on January 7.

The Swimming New Zealand Epic Swim 2011 will begin on January 15. The competition provides the opportunity to swim with New Zealand’s best pool and open water swimmers. Members of the successful Commonwealth Games Aqua Blacks team will also be present on the day for enthusiasts to swim alongside.

!@M3 Sk8 Comp will slide off the ramp on January 22 at Taupo Skate Park which promises to be an exhilarating experience for both the professionals and those on the sidelines.

If you are interested in art and culture, there are no better attractions to visit than The Great Cloak of Tia and the waharoa. Both works of art carry cultural significance.

Someone Who Knows

Taupo resident Caitlin Madden, 21, who moved to Taupo in November 2009, knows the benefits of being in the town during the summer.

“It is a great place to be during the summer. There is always some type of event happening in the summer, you have the rodeo, Taupo2 is happening and then there is the Winery Tour. There is something for everyone at the Amphitheatre (Riverside Park & Unison).”

While many of the events over the summer are sports oriented, there are plenty of activities to choose from including art exhibitions and music concerts.

Caitlin is no stranger to thrill seeking.

As a journalist at the Taupo Times, Caitlin took part in an adventure series, which saw her participate in exciting activities Taupo has to offer while documenting her experiences. Marked off on her checklist was a skydive with Taupo Tandem Skydiving, fishing on Lake Taupo, and trying out Action World Taupo.

The Beauty of Taupo

With the summer sun glaring down from the sky and Lake Taupo’s waters sparkling, Taupo is beautiful during this season. The town is situated on the shore of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, and is home to around 22,300 people.

In the northeast part of the lake, it discharges to the Waikato River, and the river moves over the famous Huka Falls, which is north of Taupo. Taupo is also a hub of volcanic and geothermal activity and hot springs are also available to bathe in.

Taupo is spectacular because of its idyllic setting.

The secluded bush, inviting waters and panoramic views makes it a relaxed oasis. Everyone travelling this summer should mark Taupo on their map to enjoy the town’s blissful serenity.

Whitewater Rafting Adventures in New Zealand

NZ rivers present exhilarating opportunities for extreme travel adventures. Don a wetsuit, lifejacket and helmet and experience the thrill of whitewater action.
Whitewater rafting in the Central Plateau rivers of New Zealand’s North Island is geared to all levels of experience. Options are available from specific individual adventures, to group and team excursions. Whitewater rafting not only provides a once-in-a-lifetime water adventure but is also a wonderful opportunity to experience spectacular New Zealand scenery that is generally inaccessible by road.

Rangiteiki River Run and Wairoa Experience: Loads of Adventure

Halfway between Rotorua and Taupo, the Grade 4 Rangiteiki River Run is an all-day experience offering 14 kilometres of rapids and loads of variety on the water. Transport is available from Rotorua or rafters can meet the company at the Kaituna River base or Murupara camping ground where parking is safe and free of charge. Lunch is provided.

Experience the rafting adventure of a lifetime on the Wairoa River. This is a full-on Grade 5 rafting experience, open only 26 days of the year. The water released from the Ruahihi Power Station results in an exhilarating two-hour rafting trip through waterfalls and rapids surging between the walls of a rock and tree-lined gorge. The Wairoa River is between Tauranga and Matamata at the base of the Kaimai Ranges. Transport is available from Rotorua on request and lunch is provided.

Kaituna River: The Highest Commercial Waterfall in the World

At seven metres, the Tutea Falls on the Kaituna River is the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. Two smaller waterfalls allow rafters to practise before the big drop. The Kaituna River runs from Okere, only 20 minutes from Rotorua and about 45 minutes from Tauranga. The area holds special significance for local Maori. Behind the falls and along the river are caves where women and children were hidden during times of tribal wars. The Kaituna River is a Grade 5 rafting experience, needing about two hours.

The lower end of the Kaituna offers a Grade 3/4 rafting experience, and has only recently been opened for commercial rafting. Raftabout has exclusive access to this section of the Kaituna River, which presents rafters with the choice of extending their rafting trip, or enjoying the trip without taking in the Kaituna Falls.

Raftabout is the only company to have a private river base on the Kaituna with full amenities and private access. Rafters can meet the company at the Kaituna base or travel from Rotorua is available on request.

Rafting Guides are Trained and Qualified Professionals

Raftabout prides itself on rigorous safety standards and ensure that no corners are cut at any time. All Raftabout guides are trained and qualified professionals who have attained a NZ Guide Award. They are Swift Water Rescue (SWR) Technicians with the majority qualified in advanced SWR. Guides are first-aid trained to relevant NZQA and OSH standards. Raftabout is currently involved in the writing of White Water Sledging and Qualmark Standards and is a member of the New Zealand Rafting Association. Age restrictions apply to rafting participants and rafters must fit safety equipment.