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Staying in Lake Taupo for one week from Dec 14-21

Virginia Beach...
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Staying in Lake Taupo for one week from Dec 14-21

We will be driving down from Paihai to Taupo - is this too far for one day drive if we start early?

How long will it take to drive to Waitomo caves from Taupo - is it a doable day trip?

Also, what is the best place to view the geo-thermal attractions in the Taupo and Rotorua area? My tour book has several places listed but most have pricey admission costs of 35 NZD or more. Any suggestion on which is best?

We just want to do day hikes in the Tongariro Nat Park or other closeby areas - any suggestions on best scenic places for easy to moderate hikes up to 3 or 4 hrs return?

Thanks for any help.

Joyce

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1. Re: Staying in Lake Taupo for one week from Dec 14-21

It is about 150 ks from Taupo to Waitomo caves and should not take more than 2 hours in a car.

Wellington, New...
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2. Re: Staying in Lake Taupo for one week from Dec 14-21

The drive from Paihia to Taupo is not an arduous one. If you leave Paihia around 8.00 am you can be in Auckland for lunch and a break and be in Taupo a further 3.5 hours later. We do this stint fairly often stopping at Albany Mall just north of Auckland for lunch and a break of around 40 - 45 minutes. Stay on the motorway south to Tirau and stop for a coffee break ( around 2 hours from Albany) and then to Taup around 1.5 - 2 hours later. You will arrive refreshed ready to go.

Rotorua is definitely the area to see geothernal activity.

Christchurch, New...
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3. Re: Staying in Lake Taupo for one week from Dec 14-21

Craters of the Moon is a very cheap "local" thermal attraction in Taupo, which has steam & mud but no geysers.

Wai-o-tapu is the pick of the bunch in my view - half way between Taupo & Rotorua. In Rotorua, Kuirau Park is free (mud pools) and there are some interesting sights on the lakeshore behind the Polynesian Pools, plus you can watch Pohutu Geyser for free if you are "cheap", from the lookout/carpark near the hotel at the end of Fenton St.

On the shore of Lake Taupo, I think it is called 4 mile Bay, you can park & walk down to the lake & see hot water bubbling up through the pumice. My students love throwing pumice into the lake!!

Wellington, New...
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4. Re: Staying in Lake Taupo for one week from Dec 14-21

Zhuhai I think you will find that Craters of the Moon has closed as has been closed for some time. I seem to remember that as the place was staffed by volunteers it became too expensive to maintain and keep safe for visitors.

Christchurch, New...
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5. Re: Staying in Lake Taupo for one week from Dec 14-21

Oh what a pity. I visited there in October last year and had a pleasant chat to the volunteers who were running it.

Virginia Beach...
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6. Re: Staying in Lake Taupo for one week from Dec 14-21

Thank all of you for the information - you all are truly the very best!

The geothermal activities sound very much like Yellowstone Park in the States. We stayed at the Old Faithful Lodge in the park one evening - so saw the geyser often during the evening - so nice when there are not busloads of tourist everywhere. So seeing the geyser from a parking lot may do - LOL!

So I assume the 2 hr drive from from Taupo to Waitomo caves is one way - is that correct? Guess that we can do this on our drive back to AKL to fly out to Queenstown since we are spending the night at AKL prior to our early morning flight.

Guess I am a bit ambivalent about the caves - as I had a friend that was not impressed with the gloworms. Once again, a bit pricey - I will have to do more research on the prices. What do you experts think?

Joyce

7. Re: Staying in Lake Taupo for one week from Dec 14-21

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