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Get to Taupo this summer!

Get to Taupo this summer!

Taupō is looking and feeling sharp this summer with a spruced up town centre, newly-opened restaurants, exciting new activities and some seriously cool events happening throughout the holiday period.

It’s an exciting time in Taupo and the local community is buzzing as new businesses and activities are emerging just in time for summer. Vanessa Freeman, General Manager for Destination Great Lake Taupo, says, “If you’re still thinking about where to go this summer, why not make it Taupō and be part of our holiday vibe.”

And what a vibe it is! Taupō town centre has had a major refurbishment which now features a large pedestrian-friendly Heu Heu St with plenty of space for roadside entertainment. Quirky recycled car-tyre bicycles, funky Xmas trees, unique sculptures, new drinking fountains and special boulders from the surrounding mountains add character and colour to the town.

Local restaurants, bars and cafes are climbing on board the summer buzz this year with newly –opened outlets and special summer fare for the warmer weather. A great place to start your culinary tour is The Bistro, a new restaurant on Tamamutu Street that focuses on ‘simple but nice’ kiwi cuisine. If it’s Italian you’re after, Olives Italian & Continental Cuisine offers great fusion food with an Italian twist. Other new restaurants include the ever popular Lone Star for a hearty meal and the Coffee Club where excellent coffee is served up.

The opening of Whitewater World, home to Rafting New Zealand on Ruapehu Street, introduces a world first to the Taupō town centre. The 4D river adventure simulator transports visitors on a special effects journey, allowing them to experience the thrills and spills of rafting down the Tongariro River. Be warned – you may even get wet! Whitewater World opens their doors to the public on 27 December.

For a different type of adventure, hop on Eruptor Taupo, an exhilarating powerboat ride on the lake to the Maori Rock Carvings which made its debut last week. Powered by twin 250hp Yamahas, the boat promises top speeds of up to 95km per hour. It is the fastest way, not to mention the most exciting, to the Maori Rock Carvings, and passengers can leap from the boat into the cool waters to take a closer look at the carvings if they wish.

Slip and slide your way down four inflatable waterslides as Waterslide Mania rolls into town from 28th December to 2nd January. Small and ‘big’ kids can frolic in the water under the sun. An entire day’s entertainment for as little as $10 per person. Bring your togs, towel, a picnic and lots of sunscreen!

For a once in a lifetime opportunity to fly over an active volcano, take off with Izardair and take in the stunning views over Great Lake Taupo and Lake Rotoira on route to the majestic Mt. Tongariro. Witness the new thermal and volcanic activity from Te Maari Crater as it happens. Aside from the geothermal activity, you will see colourful craters and lakes, the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing track and Ketetahi Springs.

If your style is sitting back to take in the action, you won’t want to miss some of the speed-filled events in Taupo this summer. Highlights include the New Zealand Drag Racing Summer Nationals at Taupo Motorsport Park on 2nd and 3rd January and the Lakeland Powerboat Club Regatta on Lake Maraetai on 5th and 6th January. Another great family day out will be the Taupo Rodeo on 29th December and the Interislander Summer Festival Taupo Races on 30th December. There will be local food and wine, activities for kids and of course plenty of horse racing.

There are many options when it comes to places to stay in Taupo, and it pays to look out for the special summer deals on offer. Lake Taupo Top 10 Holiday Resort has a great deal with their ‘Take the Tent Home Superdeal’ – a $999 camping package for 7 nights that includes a six person tent. Suncourt Hotel’s $167 ‘Fun and Sun’ package offers great value for families, with one night in a one bedroom garden unit and a full day family pass to the world famous Huka Prawn Park.

If you are looking for a little luxury, you’ll find it at Hilton Lake Taupo. Book from now till 14th February and stay from now through to the end of 2013 and enjoy up to 25% off your room and breakfast.

Huka Lodge is inviting guests to indulge and stay a little longer by treating them to a complimentary one-night stay if they stay for three consecutive nights. Guests have the choice of extending their stay, visiting the lodge at another time or gifting their one-night stay to someone special.

“Whatever your agenda, you’ll find something fresh and fun to do in the Great Lake Taupo region this summer. It’s the perfect time to visit the Great Lake with so many new things happening and a summer vibe that’s hard to beat,” adds Vanessa.

For more information on what to see and do throughout the Great Lake Taupo region visit


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