I’ve been living by Lake Taupo since January and I can’t imagine a better place to spend a relaxing 6 month honeymoon. My husband and I have really enjoyed touring the country, hiking, kayaking and just relaxing in our home while we stared at the lovely lake. Here are 10 of my favorite things about living in Motuoapa next to the lake.
1. My View – There are lots of excellent views around Lake Taupo. Some of my favorites include the lookout off of State Highway 1, near Huka Falls, the Motuoapa Lookout and the lookout at the top of Mosquito Hill near Turangi. BUT nothing beat lounging on my couch and looking out the large sliding glass door. I spent hours on my balcony every week just enjoying the view, the fresh air and the birds chirping.
2. Kayaking to Motutaiko Island – This island is gorgeous. You can’t go on Motutaiko Island, but paddeling around it offers great views of alcoves, birds and vegetation. My husband and I bought a kayak when we first arrived and had so much fun navigating around the lake and nearby rivers.
3. Sipping Coffee at Piccolo Cafe in Taupo – The atmosphere is cozy and the staff is friendly. I love going inside to warm up after exploring Taupo’s quaint streets and interesting shops.
4. The Waterfall at Waihi Village – Did you know you can view a waterfall from Lake Taupo? AND it is the only way to view this waterfall unless you have permission to enter the Maori village. We paddled out to the waterfall from a public access point south east of the Waihi Village Falls.
5. Eating Lamb at Plateau Restaurant – When you want New Zealand cuisine this is the place to go. They have a great selection of local food, every chef is a true Kiwi, most are even from Taupo. We had New Zealand cheese, wine and lamb – Everything was delicious!
6. A Glimpse of Thermal Activity at Tokaanu – At the southern tip of the lake there is a great park where you can see bubbling mud and steaming ponds. I enjoyed it more than the Thermal Wonderland of Wai O Tapu and it was free! See my post about Tokaanu Thermal Springs for more information.
7. Trout – You must fish while you are here.
8. Wine Tasting at Scenic Cellars – yum
9. The Lizard Carving – Everyone has heard of the Maori Carvings on Lake Taupo, but you usually only see the gigantic face carving. There are lots of smaller carvings next to the face and I’m partial to the lizard.
10. Huka Falls – Everyone loves Huka Falls. On my first visit I was disappointed by the size of the falls, but then I realized the real beauty was the magical blue color of the falls and the rapids above it. The water looks like millions of blue diamonds being stirred on a sunny day.