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Turangi has been known as a fishing paradise for decades; in the 1920s American adventure author Zane Grey fished here and wrote Tales of An Angler’s Eldorado about chasing trout of mythic size. The first trout caught in Taupo was landed in April 1904, weighing 1.36kg. Hiring a fishing guide who can show you their favourite fishing pools and organise your licence is the best way to get your feet wet.
On days when the fish aren’t biting, there are superb grade two to four white water rapids for rafting, the scenic 15km Tongariro River Trail for biking and walking, the Tokaanu Thermal Pools for a relaxing soak, and charming cafes, with great coffee and freshly stocked cabinets.
Ten minutes from Turangi town centre, the two-hour loop walk to Lake Rotopounamu takes you through cool beech forest populated by native birds, to the hidden gem of a white sand beach perfect for picnics.
Turangi is an easy 40 minute drive by car or bus from Taupo town. In the other direction, it’s also 40 minutes to Whakapapa Ski Area, and 20 minutes to the start point for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.