Jumping into the Saddle

When you come to New Zealand you have arrived in one of the world's best locations for natural beauty and jaw-dropping scenery. It's unspoilt landscapes, crystal blue waters, acres of lush green land and impressive mountain backdrops make it impossible to visit without getting out into the fresh clean air and enjoying the activities on offer. What better way to get into the heart Taupo than to jump into the saddle and see the scenery from horse back or bike?

By Eve Pearce - Guest blogger

Canter through the countryside 

Trek through the Wairakei Forest

There are several equestrian centres in the area so you will have plenty of choice to see Taupo from the saddle. Taupo Horse Treks provide 25 years experience of trekking around Taupo and have a genuine love and passion for their horses and ensure all riders have great fun.

Mountain Biking in Lake Taupo

Riders of any age and ability can trek through the Wairakei Forest and see the natural thermal wonder that is known as Craters of the Moon. You will see a breath-taking birdseye view the Waikato River as you trot through to stunning Lake Taupo. With trekking throughout the summer and winter, you can enjoy the scenery year round.

Fun on two wheels 

If you would rather take full control and experience Taupo on two wheels, then the miles of forests and riverside trails makes the area a mountain bikers dream. Rapid Sensations offer some great biking adventures whether you want the freedom to explore the surroundings on your own, or have a guided biking tour to ensure you see all the best locations and attractions.

There is over 50kms of tracks and trails to discover and they range in difficulty to ensure there is something for everyone. The 21-speed, front suspension bikes are also replaced every year, so you know your bike is in tip top condition and helmets, pumps and spare inner tubes are all provided as part of the package.

Bike Taupo also offers scenic rides and trails that are suitable for all the family. You can ride along the Waikato River, see the ‘craters’ in the Wairakei Forest and ride along the formidable Great Lake Trail. If you are feeling really energetic, then you can also enjoy day trips out from Taupo and spend the days exploring the huge amount of trails around Tongariro National Park and mountain woodlands. 

With so many ways to see Taupo and so much beauty right on the doorstep, every day will be a new discovery. Exploring the area from horseback is a must when visiting even if you are a novice and the vast amount of options for bike riding has now recognised Taupo as a world class riding destination by the International Mountain Biking Association. 

Planning your Trip

When you are spending your days trekking through the picturesque landscapes, the last thing you want to be worrying about is money, insurance or mishaps, so plan for the essentials beforehand. Check out the activities on offer and what you want to partake in; action and adventure does come hand in hand with risk, so ensure you have the appropriate travel insurance to cover you for both the trip itself and the activities. Many people also forget about finances when they are away and leave getting their currency until the last minute. 

It pays to prepare, so check out the best exchange rates before you go, consider getting an overseas credit card and apply in plenty of time to get the best deals. Many travellers are opting for pre-paid travel cards instead of carrying large amounts of cash or using their own debit or credit card. If the card is lost or stolen you only lose the amount pre-loaded to it and won’t be coming back home to a maxed out card or bank account that’s been wiped clean. 

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