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In 2020, international mountain bike legend Bas van Steenbergen and three-time Canadian downhill national champion Vaea Verbeeck holidayed in Taupō after Crankworx Rotorua.
Between riding epic trails, they threw themselves into adventure, soaked in geothermal pools, and experienced Taupō's famous lakeside views and delectable dining.
If you're looking for a holiday of both premium rush and relaxation, this one is meant for you.
Between the long days of travelling and riding, you'll instantly unwind in the comforting luxury of a one-bedroom suite at Anchorage Resort. Check in easily, unpack and choose how you'd like to chill out for the night.
Situated by the lake, you will revel in Taupō's remarkable sunsets. The rolling hills of Acacia Bay and the alpine peaks of Tongariro National Park are the perfect setting for the pinks, oranges, and yellows, reflecting off the lake.
Or relax by the onsite heated pool and spa before your days of adventure up ahead.
You make your way, both refreshed and energized, to the lakeside settlement of Kinloch.
This morning you begin your epic journey on one of the Ngā Haerenga Great Rides of New Zealand!
Ride the Waihaha section of the Great Lake Trails along rocky ravines, cliff-top lookouts, and native bush with FourB. The towering rock cliffs and the spectacular views alone draw riders worldwide. An incredible bonus, though is a waterfall hidden deep in the valley.
Your final reward is racing down to Kotukutuku Beach. Take a well-earned dip in Lake Taupō, where the water couldn't get any more refreshing on a warm summer day.
To get to and from the Waihora section, a water taxi is a must - Taxicat Adventures.
If you're keen to ride further, you can arrange for the water taxi to drop you at Kawakawa Bay. The second half of the K2K of the Great Lake Trails back to Kinloch (9km) won't disappoint!
Need to know:
On a summer day, especially after a huge ride like the Great Lake Trails, there is nothing better than a cheesy pizza or classic burger to satisfy your hunger.
Once back in Kinloch's marina, a local secret is the wood-fired pizzas at the Kinloch Store (only served during the summer season). Grab a pizza (or one of their delicious burgers) and enjoy the quaint beachfront.
Keep your adrenaline pumping at AJ Hackett Taupō Bungy. Bring your toes over the edge of New Zealand's only clifftop bungy. Don't look down but look up to the picturesque Waikato River. Even the thrill of falling 47 meters can't distract you from the Waikato's kaleidoscope of crystal-clear water.
Try to elegantly angel-dive like Vaea, or choose the infamous "sole-dive,” a refreshing dive ankle-deep in the river.
For those wanting another rush, the anticipation is electrifying during the seconds before the AJ Hacket Taupō Swing drops you below the canyon, reaching speeds up to 70km per hour.
If you’re brave, try the swing upside down.
Lake Taupō is one of the region's greatest treasures.
After a long adventure, you cannot beat sitting by the lakefront with a cold drink and watching the sunset wash over the mountains. While there are so many places to enjoy a lakefront evening drink, Two Mile Bay Sailing Club's outdoor patio sits right above the water's edge.
Pro tip: Two Mile Bay Sailing Club is just a short walk from your accommodation for those tired legs.
This morning take on the trails at the Craters MTB Park, just 10 minutes north of Taupō town. All trails run through exotic pine and eucalyptus plantations, suiting all ages and abilities from entry-level to technical, downhill trails. The volcanic pumice soils allow for all-year-round riding, ensuring perfect daily conditions.
Local favourites are the re-opened Tourist Trap!
Need to know:
Pro tip: Shuttle services and tours are available with FourB.
You're going to need some sustenance after an epic day at Craters. Kefi at the Hub will be sure you don't go hungry with some great hearty lunches like lamb meatballs and cheesy poutine (chips smothered with gravy, gooey cheese, and your choice of slow-cooked meat).
While in the Wairakei Tourist Park, just 5 minutes from Craters MTB Park is the iconic Huka Falls. One of Aotearoa's most visited natural scenic attractions, the sound and sight of thousands of litres of water rushing through the gorge is a must-see.
You'll even find a second wind to ride the Huka Trails from Huka Falls. These trails are another round of stunning natural scenery and adrenaline, cycling along the beautiful Waikato River.
Complete your epic adventure and rest your tired muscles at Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Spa adults-only thermal hot pools.
Surrounded by native bush and set below silica terraces and waterfalls, these thermal pools are rich in minerals and will have your body rejuvenated for another day in the saddle. Travelling from pool to pool at different temperatures is the perfect way to end your biking holiday like Bas and Vaea.
New Zealand's highest cliff-top Bungy Jump - located 47 metres (154 feet) above the Waikato River, check out the stunning views before taking the plunge into or towards the crystal clear waters below.$195
Located on the shore of Lake Taupo. Luxury studio & 1 bedrooms, family 2 & 3 bedroom apartments. Large outdoor area with heated pools & spa pool, furniture & BBQs. Indoor sauna. Free parking, complementary WIFI. Air conditioning.$195 - $500
Shuttle transfers for all sections of the Great Lake Trails in Taupo including booking the water taxi transfer from the Waihaha section in the Western Bays of Lake Taupo.$45 - $150
“Bikepacking is the synthesis of all-terrain cycling and self-supported backpacking.” Overnight bike trips increased in popularity for several reasons. But for Kate, bikepacking became the adventure of a lifetime. Here from Kate about how she got started and some tips and tricks for your own bikepacking adventure!