Motuoapa & Motutere - Holiday Towns near Turangi

Destinations worth visiting near Turangi are the lakeshore settlements of Motuoapa and Motutere.

As Motuoapa is only six kilometres from Turangi, it has a large population of permanent residents but is mainly made up of holiday homes.

Motuoapa has a marina, a cliff-top walk with panoramic views of Lake Taupo, a revitalised campground with great accommodation and the award-winning Licorice Café. Motuoapa was developed in the 1950's but really took off in the 1980's with a new subdivision on the hill.

The Motuoapa Marina from above

Further on lie the settlements of Oruatua, Te Rangiita and Waitetoko – all with wonderful access and/or views of the lake. These are populated mainly by permanent residents and holiday homes. There is a private campground and the beautiful Waitetoko Church.

Motutere has a campground called Moturere Bay Holiday Park, located on State Highway One with sites right on the lakeside, or on the hill with fantastic views. This campground is so popular with New Zealand families during the summer holidays that you often need to book a year in advance.

Motutere is home to the famous Bulli Point, a popular swimming spot with locals as they can jump off a huge bluff into the deep lake below. There is also a hidden walk which starts from the gravel parking spot just past the motor camp. It winds above the road through delightful bush with secret vistas of the lake and back again. It takes an hour and is a great place to pick blackberries in the summer.

On the western bays past the Kuratau turnoff on State Highway 32 is Whareroa – people who own houses here truly feel like they are getting away from it all as it is 35km to Turangi and a 40 minute drive to Taupo. There is no shop so people have to stock up, but once there, it is a beautiful and peaceful place to stay.

Driving further on there is the track to the Waihaha Hut. This is a lovely bush walk which takes about five hours return. On the other side of the road a mountain biking track has been developed. It is a relatively easy three to four hour bike ride; a great family day out with a picnic.

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