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- 25 Aug 2019, 3 nights
- 2 Guests
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Savouring the crisp, fresh air of the small town of Turangi is one way of making sure the stunning scenery doesn't take your breath away. Located alongside Lake Taupo, outdoor activities like rafting, kayaking, mountain-biking, trekking and skiing are abundant here. Turangi is close to Tongariro National Park, which has dual World Heritage status in recognition of its exceptional natural beauty and cultural significance. Home of Māori legends, the park has three active volcanoes and was used in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy as the location for Mount Doom.
The great outdoors dominates the Turangi hostel scene. Most stays are set on verdant, tree-lined properties near the Tongariro National Park. Look out for Turangi hostels with shuttles to the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing. You'll find snug common areas (some with a cosy fireplace) and grassy outdoor spaces with mountain views where you can wind down after a day of trekking. Perks at some Turangi backpackers hostels include free Wi-Fi, free laundry and a barbecue.
There's plenty of wilderness to explore in and around Turangi. Located on the shores of both a lake and river, it's a haven for water-based activities like fly fishing and rafting, as well as scenic hiking and cycling. Tongariro National Park, with active volcanic sites, is around 9 minutes drive away. For winter adventures, the Whakapapa ski area on Mount Ruapehu is a 40-minute drive away. There are also some pretty villages and historic lakeside settlements, including Tokaanu and Pukawa, close to Turangi.
One of Turangi's main attractions is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (known as the country's greatest day walk). This trek across the Tongariro National Park takes in dramatic peaks, turquoise pools and the sacred landscape of the Māori people. Thrill-seekers can try white-water rafting on the Tongariro River. There's also a thermal mineral baths complex at Tokaanu, where you can soothe tired muscles after a day outdoors.
There are daily flights to Taupo Airport from Auckland (50 minutes) and Wellington (1 hour). From there it's around a 35-minute drive to Turangi or you can walk 25 minutes to Waitahanui and catch a daily bus that gets you to Turangi in around 35 minutes. If you're travelling by bus from Auckland, it's about 6 hours. To get around Turangi you can rent a bike and there are shuttles to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.