The trek from Taupo to Turangi and then on down the Desert Road to Waioru is one of stunning beauty.
Taupo is located on the northern edge of Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand which is really the caldera of Taupo Volcano. Fortunately, it has not erupted for nearly 2000 years. The lake provides great sport for skiing, boating and fishing. Just north of the town are the Huka Falls. (I had to mention them even though the focus for today is heading southward.)
Follow the lake edge south from Taupo to Turangi for more fishing or white water rafting on the Tongariro River.
Head further south along the Desert Road towards Waioru. The road passes through Rangipo Desert, a stark, alpine environment. It borders Tongariro National Park where three active volcanoes can be found: Mt Ruapehu; Mt Ngauruhoe (see yourself as a Hobbit climbing Mount Doom); and Mt Tongariro. It’s a paradise for serious landscape photographers.
In Winter, the road is sometimes rendered impassable by heavy falls of snow. I think the coldest I have ever been (and yes I have been to some cold places in the world: Prince George BC, Canada; Harbin in China, for example) was in Waioru in Winter. Brr! And that was without snow!
Still, a visitor looking to find some iconic New Zealand scenes, should take the time to explore this part of the North Island.
And now the haiku:
Taupo, Turangi and the Desert Road
fire and ice on Desert Road …
Take time to explore!