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The insider's foodie guide to Tūrangi and beyond

Tūrangi and the southern bays of Lake Taupō are bustling with hidden gems when it comes to dining, many of which are nestled amongst the most magical of settings! You’ll find a carefully curated selection of must-eats created by locals who are passionate about making fresh and delicious food for hungry folks who stop by.

Here's a round-up of food and beverages to enjoy while visiting the adventure-filled riverside town of Tūrangi and the surrounding lakeside settlements.

Tūrangi must-eats

If you’re spending time in and around Tūrangi, you’re likely to build up a pretty epic appetite. So fueling yourself with delicious food is crucial!

First up is Creel Tackle House & Cafe. Tucked away behind a fishing tackle and gift shop, it’s well worth visiting this cosy establishment. They serve the best pastries this side of Paris, as well as scrumptious home-cooked food and great coffee to boot.

Hydro Eatery is right in the heart of Tūrangi and is a popular eatery with hearty dishes and cabinet food that will be sure to fill you up after a ride on the Tongariro River Trail. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and superb service.

If you have a hankering for a hot pie, make sure you pay a visit to the Tūrangi Bakery & Cafe. Here you’ll find award-winning pies with uniquely New Zealand flavours, like venison, kumara and gravy, or lamb, kumara and mint.

Much of Tūrangi is built around its world-famous trout fishing, and at Tongariro Lodge, you’ll find lodge dining at its best. With an open fire in the winter months, from beautiful fresh produce, to meat and game, it’s all prepared simply to let the flavours shine through. In a beautiful garden setting, near the Tongariro River, the it’s open for casual dining alongside lodge guests.

Hare & Copper Eatery & Bar is the ideal place to head for delicious share plates. Here you can enjoy a range of eats from dumplings to popcorn chicken and bao buns. There’s also a special menu for the kids too, including the ‘I Don’t Know’ (cheeseburger and fries), ‘I Don’t Care’ (fish and chips) and ‘I’m Full’ (mini doughnut with ice cream). This place is magical outside in the summer.

Monsoon Splash of Spice serves up consistently delicious Indian cuisine, right in the heart of Tūrangi, with an extensive menu that’s takeaway only. Grab your food to go and head down to the riverbank for a scenic dining experience.

Parked up at the start/end of the Tongariro River Trail is the Delta Coffee Cart, with incredible coffee, amazing saussie rolls, ice creams, muffins and more. With plenty of parking, it’s the prime position for a pre or post-ride snack or to watch people fly fishing in the river next door.

Toi Toi Food Co. is another food truck in Tūrangi with baps, burgers and bento bowls on the menu, alongside loaded fries and sweet and savoury treats in the cabinet. While they can be out and about catering for events, their permanent ‘spot’ to park up is 103 Atirau Road, Tūrangi.

For a slice of pizza, and an authentic experience of Italy too, head to Valentino's. This Tūrangi icon was opened in 1990 and has always been Italian-owned (with the bonus of an Italian chef). Today it’s still serving up quality Italian food to those keen on a carbonara, or leek and walnut tortelli - both favourites from the menu.

Licorice Cafe in Motuoapa is a delightful place to stop for breakfast or lunch while on your travels. They have a range of yummy cabinet food, a menu full of all sorts of delights, and their outdoor courtyard is just stunning in the summer. In winter, you can snuggle up next to the fireplace.

Southern Bays of Lake Taupō

Floating Rock Vineyard and Cafe, located in Kuratau (23 km from Tūrangi) is a superb destination amongst the vines. Enjoy delicious woodfired pizzas paired with wines which are produced from hand-picked grapes harvested from their single-block vineyard.

Omori Estate is another winery located in the Southern Bays, with a cellar door that is open for wine tastings of private-label wines, ones which are often not found in retail stores. You can also order locally-grown cheese and fruit platters to complement your wines. Make sure you call ahead, as bookings are required to visit Omori Estate.

Even if you aren’t staying at Oreti Village, you can still head to their onsite restaurant and bar, where your meal comes with a side of panoramic lake and mountain views. Oreti has a mouth-watering menu, a cosy atmosphere and an extensive wine list. There’s also the option to dine alfresco during the warmer months - all in the company of native birds. Just a note, bookings are essential.


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