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Tongariro River, Tūrangi
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Tūrangi

Nestled on the plains below the forest-clad Kaimanawa Ranges, Turangi is a basecamp for world-class fly fishing for trout on the pristine Tongariro River, and the gateway to the awe-inspiring beauty and adventure of the Tongariro National Park.

It’s an incredible 40 minutes drive south from Taupō to Tūrangi, where you’ll wind around the lake’s edge and take in breathtaking views. And on arrival to your destination, you will find a bustling tourist town with plenty of fantastic activities on offer, all year round.

Built on the banks of the mighty Tongariro River, Tūrangi is as unique as the terrain that surrounds it. From untouched mountain-tops to the burnt orange desert rocks of the central plateau and the bright blue crater lakes of volcanoes that dot the landscape - it’s diversity at its very best, delighting all those who visit this truly special location.

A brief history of Tūrangi


The history of Tūrangi dates back many hundreds of years when those who came to New Zealand on the Te Arawa Canoe moved south from their settlements in the Bay of Plenty and the East Coast. Known as the Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe, they settled around Taupo Moana (the island sea) from the 16th century.

In more recent times, the present town of Tūrangi was developed as a ‘hydro town’ to provide housing for the influx of workers employed to build on the Tongariro Power Project in the 1970s. However, unlike other temporary townships set up for the construction of hydro power stations around the country, Tūrangi was designed to remain a town after the project was finished.

Once the Tongariro Power Stations were complete, many workers left, but a number did stay on and Tūrangi was able to establish itself as a centre for leisure activities, as well as farming, forestry, fishing and hunting.

Today, Tūrangi is a friendly, tourist town as well as the entrance to Tongariro National Park - New Zealand’s oldest national park and one of only 29 sites around the world with dual World Heritage status. This is in recognition of both the park’s Māori cultural and spiritual significance, alongside its unique volcanic features.

Things to do in Tūrangi

An easier question to answer would be ‘what is there not to do in Tūrangi?’; Because it sure packs a punch when it comes to adventure and experiences.

Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

Stay in Tūrangi

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  • Motels

    Waitahanui Lodge

    Classic, rustic, charming, quirky, nostalgic - all descriptions guests have used to describe the Waitahanui lodge. It's a kiwiana treasure right on the lake edge and just 10 minutes drive from the centre of Taupo and 5kms from the airport.

    $99 - $209 Book now
  • Boutique & Lodge

    Tongariro Lodge

    Tongariro Lodge is New Zealand's most iconic trout fishing lodge. Situated on the banks of the legendary Tongariro River on the Southern shores of Lake Taupo. Enjoy the outdoors in style perfect for trout fisherman and outdoor enthusiasts.

    $235 - $595 Book now
  • Holiday homes

    Five Mile Bay Bach

    Homely, original style family Bach that has everything you need for a great family holiday in Taupo. The property offers an amazing location in Five Mile Bay right by the Lake.

    $160 - $449.99 Book now
  • Self Contained & Serviced

    Turangi Leisure Lodge

    Explore the scenic beauty of the Tongariro National Park area and Taupo. Turangi Leisure Lodge is the perfect spot to set out and explore the mountains, rivers, and lake all within minutes.

    $109 - $309 Book now
  • Holiday parks & campgrounds

    Motuoapa Bay Holiday Park

    Motuoapa Bay Holiday Park is situated on the southern shores of Lake Taupo. 40 kms south of Taupo, 9 kms North of Turangi and 40kms to local Ski Fields. We offer Lake front sites, Luxurious Motel Units, Standard Cabins and exciting new Kombi Cabins.

    $20 - $100
  • Motels

    Angler's Paradise

    Situated just 600 metres from Turangi town centre, Anglers Paradise is 5 minutes’ drive from the Tongariro River, which is ideal for fishing or guests looking for a weekend getaway.

    $110 - $135 Book now
  • Motels

    Turangi Bridge Motel

    Relax and unwind in our Lodge-style New Zealand accommodation. Turangi Bridge Motel offers warm and sunny units located on the banks of the Tongariro River. Onsite Restaurant and Bar.

    $139 - $220 Book now
  • Urban attractions

    Accessible New Zealand Partnership

    Our tours are specialized for travellers with physical disabilities and mature travellers. For travellers who want to enjoy the culture, scenery and adventure that comes with travelling but who may need assistance or extra care along the way.

    $600 - $10,000
  • Motels

    Tongariro Junction Accommodation

    Tongariro Junction in Turangi is adjacent to SH 1 at the gateway to Tongariro National Park, close to the mountains and Lake Taupo. We offer a wide variety of reasonably priced accommodation to suit all needs, from motel units to basic campsites.

    $155 - $235 Book now
  • Motels

    Creel Lodge Motel

    19 quiet garden suites set in park-like grounds. Private access to famous Tongariro trout fishing river. 45 minutes to Ruapehi Ski Fields, 5 minutes to Tokannu hotpools, kayaking, restaurants, rafting. Wi-Fi, air conditioned

    $140 - $190
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