Turangi & Tongariro Tourists’ Choices

For the school holidays, all your questions answered from Tongariro River Motel’s inmates comprehensive updated Q&A surveys over the last ten years:

Opinions are solely of Tongariro River Motel.

Brief Questions on Turangi as answered by Tongariro River Motel.

1     What is it? 
Turangi is the little town that could. It is a little gem.

Fly fishing in Turangi


2    Why it is there?  
Trout fishing! Although a new town was built in 1970′s for the Tongariro Hydro Power Project – NZ version of Snowy Mountain scheme.

3    Where is it
Half way to everywhere in the North Island midway Auckland-Wellington, midway Napier New Plymouth.

4    Population? 
About 2,700 residents but during peak holiday periods it can grow to over 10000.

5    Short history?
Targeted by fly fishos for Tongariro River trophy trout for the last 100 years.

6    Famous identity?
American author Zane Grey fished here in 1920′s and wrote “A Fishermans Eldorado” so we adopted him.

7    Town Museum? 
Archaeologists found fabulous pre maori village artifacts for the museum which is now closed… The Tongariro National Trout Centre museum is of historic interest to more than just fishos.   

8    Town image?
Trout.  Tongariro River.  Trout.  Travelling from south it is the “Gateway to Taupo”.  Trout.  Travelling from North it is the “Gateway to the Tongariro National Park”. 

9   Major employer? 

Tourism businesses predominate. 

Turangi's pride - their trout


10    Source of pride?
Trout. The Tongariro River is claimed by many as the best wild trout fishery in the world.  More books have been written about the Tongariro trout fishing than any other river in NZ.

11    Best reason to stay?
Trout. Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro River loop trail. Half way Auckland Wellington. Did we mention trout? 

12     Nearby attractions? 
Tongariro River, Tongariro National Park – a world heritage area, Whakapapa ski fields.

13    Best place for kids?
Tokaanu thermal pools, Tongariro River Trails, Tongariro National Trout Centre

14    Best place for a drink?
Turangi Tavern – meet genuine local retired anglers (instead of other tourists).  RSA.

15    Best coffee?
Creel Cafe on Taupahi Road is part of an historic tackle shop. Foodies will love it.  Very intimate fishy setting. Rafting NZ HQ opposite the climbing wall. Great atmosphere and friendly service.

16    Best cafe food?
See 16 above

17    Best bakery? 
Turangi Bakery – try their famous pies.

18    Best recreation activity?
Fly fishing, walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, biking the Tongariro River Trail.  Skiing at Whakapapa.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing


19    Best walk trail? 
Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro River loop trail.

20    Best bike trail?
Tongariro River Trail, Waihaha loop trail.

21    Best tourist view?
Watching anglers from SH 1 Bridge. State Highway 47 lookout, Mt Ruapehu chair lift.

22    Best playground? 
Taupahi Park, big park with dog exercise area, adjacent river walking tracks.  Even has toilets..

23     Best swim?
Tokaanu hot thermal pools. Breakfast Pool on Tongariro River.

24    Best kept secret 
Mud pools in Tokaanu,  Tongariro River Motel.  Pillars of Hercules.

25    Best shop?

Sporting Life.  Turangi has one major supermarket and three tackle shops…

26    Best wildlife? 
Watch BIG wild trout from Tongariro road bridge. Look out for the endangered Whio (Blue Duck) along the Tongariro River.

27    Best family day trips?

Tongariro Alpine Crossing is NZ’s most popular one day walk – 6 hours (Summer only).
Alternatively shorter walks include Lake Rotopounamu circuit – 2 hours.
Taranaki Falls (from behind the Chateau) Mt. Ruapehu – 2 hours.
Tongariro River lookout loop walk – 1 hour.

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