Just 20 minutes from Taupo town, Kinloch is home to two excellent golf courses, including the Jack Nicklaus designed The Kinloch Club that has been ranked as the best golf course in New Zealand. It’s overlooked by the imposing castle-like luxury lodge The Kinloch Club designed to pay tribute to the Scots heritage of the township (kinloch is from Scottish Gaelic, meaning ‘head of the lake’).
At the village, the Great Lake Trail, part of Nga Haerenga – the NZ Cycle Trail, diverges east and west. By mountain bike or foot, the bush-clad trail gradually climbs to cliffs above Kinloch where your efforts are rewarded with magnificent views right across Lake Taupo.
Lake cruises and fishing charters can depart or drop off at the Kinloch marina. If you catch a trout, you can barbecue it fresh from the water in the shade of the poplars at the lakefront park. If you’ve been unlucky, just order fish and chips at the local Kinloch Store to eat on the beach, or dine at the charming Tipsy Trout cafe and restaurant while the kids play with toys from the public beach library and toybox shed.