Lake Taupo & Mt. Ruapehu

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Lake Taupo is in the central north island of New Zealand.  Only 1 hour drive from Rotorua and approximately 3 hours drive from central Auckland.

Surrounded by stunning volcanoes, bush clad mountains and a spectacular landscape lays the largest freshwater lake in the southern hemisphere, Lake Taupo. When you think of Lake Taupo region, Think Fresh… as in fresh air, snow, trout, volcanoes, rivers, lakes, people, fun, food and attitudes.

A few thousand years ago Lake Taupo was created by the largest volcanic eruption of the past 5,000 years, it was so big records say the sun went hazy in china.  Today what remains is the largest fresh water lake in Australasia.

Visitors can sky dive over the lake, taste geothermally breed prawns, play golf on internationally acclaimed golf courses, ski on an active volcano or even bungy jump over New Zealand’s largest river ? the Waikato.

Huka Falls located in Wairake Tourist Park, just a short drive north of Taupo is New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction.  The thundering Huka Falls provides a fantastic photo opportunity ? more than 220,000 litres of water tumbles over the cliff face per second!

Here the Waikato River drops 11 metres.  Its source, the outlet of Lake Taupo about 8 kilometers upstream, is controlled, so the flow over the falls varies, depending on both rainfall and the need for power generation from the hydro-electric dams on the river downstream.  Huka is the Maori word for foam.

The Waikato River system is the most highly developed for electricity generation in New Zealand.  It supplies eight hydro-electric stations and provides cooling water for two geothermal and one thermal station.

The eleven stations on the Waikato produce 65% of the North Island’s power generation and approximately 25% of New Zealand’s hydro power.  This is 15% of New Zealand’s total power.

Huka Jet Give it a Whirl! ? One cannot miss this.  Here you feel the exhilaration and the power of a Huka Jet boat ride.

Marvel at the incredible water level views or the spectacular Huka Falls, and enjoy the sensation as you slide past cliffs and trees at 80km per hour.  Then get ready for a 360 degree spin, as the boat turns on its own length!  Thirty minutes of fun and excitement takes you along a beautiful river environment, lined with native bush and natural hot springs.  You’ll travel up to the very base of the Huka Falls, pass the Wairakei Thermal Power Station, Prawn Part and the Aratiatia Dam.

Mt Ruapehu, in the central North Island of New Zealand, is an active volcano with a crater lake at its summit.  Regular monitoring is carried out on this volcano and its lake, as continued volcanic activity from even small eruptions may cause potentially dangerous mudflows or ‘lahars’.

Mt Ruapehu (2797 metres) is one of the more active volcanoes within the Taupo Volcanic Zone.  It is New Zealand’s largest cone volcano and has gradually been build up and partially destroyed on several occasions during its history.  Ruapehu is unusual among the cone volcanoes as it has a crater lake.  This means even small eruptions may cause a mudflow or ‘lahars’, which can travel down the mountain at great speed, potentially threatening highway travelers and other people.

Mount Ruapehu, being the highest mountain of the North Island is the destination of many skiers and snowboarders.  During the warmer months of summer, hiking, kayaking, canoeing and jet boating through the breathtaking scenery is all possible.

No doubt Lake Taupo & Mt. Ruapehu is New Zealand’s favorite holiday destination.


Author: Melwin Pereira- New Zealand

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