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Turangi i-SITE FAQs
We've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions by visitors to the Turangi i-SITE, about things to do and places to stay in Turangi and the wider Great Lake Taupo region.
1. Tongariro Alpine Crossing. How, why, when, how much?
Information about the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is our most sought after request, so we have created a special Tongariro Alpine Crossing page to answer all your crossing-related questions. Shuttles from Turangi to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing cost $45 per person return.
2. Are there any short walks in the Tongariro National Park and how far is it from Turangi?
Whakapapa Village is a 45 minute drive from Turangi. There you will find the Chateau Tongariro and Department of Conservation headquarters. Here you can ask about walks or pick up a walking brouchure from the i-SITE for $3.00. The walks in the area are well signposted, ranging from a 10-minute walk to the Tawhai Falls or the five-hour Tama Lakes walk.
3. Where is the Tongariro National Trout Centre and where can I find the best trout restaurant?
The Tongariro National Trout Centre is 4km south of Turangi, on State Highway One (SH1) and is open daily from 10am-4pm.
You cannot buy trout in New Zealand as it is a wild fishery, meaning trout can’t be farmed or harvested. The only way to enjoy trout is to purchase a Taupo Fishing Licence and catch your own. You can buy a fishing licence from us or from one of four specialised fishing stores in the Turangi town centre.
Flyfishing is only permitted on the Tongariro River, however there are spin fishing areas. Whatever fishing method you use, you will need to purchase a Taupo Fishing Licence before heading out. For more information pop in or call either the Turangi or Taupo i-SITE.
4. Can we do a scenic flight and how much does it cost?
Yes, drive to the Chateau airstrip and look for Mountain Air. Sometimes they fly to and from Turangi, offering fabulous aerial views of the Tokaanu Tailrace, Tongariro River Delta and Lake Rotopounamu. There are also two helicopter companies from Taupo who fly to the Turangi airstrip for a scenic volcanic flight.
5. Is there a chairlift up Mount Ruapehu?
Yes, the chairlift is located six kilometres past Whakapapa Village, a 45 minute drive from Turangi. It is open for sightseeing from December through to April. During the summer you can join a guided trip to the Crater Lake.
6. Where is the river walk in Turangi and can we bike it? Where are the other walks around Turangi?
You are never left wondering what to do in Turangi with the many scenic walks on offer. Turangi is home to the popular Tongariro River Trail. This beautiful walk takes four hours to complete and there is now a loop, popular with mountain bikers, especially from Major Jones Bridge to Red Hut Bridge and back. It's an easy one hour mountain bike ride, suitable for most levels. If walking, it takes two hours to complete. You can hire bikes from the team at Tongariro River Rafting. Ask at the Turangi i-Site for a map and directions.
Lake Rotopounamu is a 10-minute drive from Turangi and is an easy two-hour loop walk around the beautiful green lake. This is the crater lake for Mount Pihanga, set spectacularly on the side of the mountain. Surrounded by Beech forest and revealing a lovely long white sandy beach, this walk is truly the jewel in the crown for Turangi.
There are also short walks in the Kaimanawa Forest Park 15km south of Turangi, ask for a map before heading out. 20 kilometres west of Turangi on SH41 are the lakeside settlements of Pukawa, Omori and Kuratau. There is a beautiful two hour return walk from the Kuratau rivermouth to Pukawa that meanders along the lake, through lush Podocarp, Rewarewa and Kamahi forest. There are also many Kowhai and Kohuhu trees. Bird watchers will love this walk. You can pick up a local walk brochure for $3.00 from the Turangi i-SITE.
7. Are there thermal mineral hot pools in Turangi?
Yes, the thermal mineral hot pools are located in Tokaanu, five kilometres west of the town centre on SH41. Tokaanu Thermal Pools have a heated swimming and toddlers pool and several private thermal pools, ranging in temperature from 39 to 41 degrees. There is also a free 20 minute thermal walk beside the Tokaanu Thermal Pools.
9. Can we book a bus here and where do they leave from?
10. Where are the restaurants in Turangi and is there is a good café nearby?
Absolutely, we have a town map and a Turangi brochure with a guide to cafes and restaurants with all their phone numbers.
11. Can you book a motel in Turangi for us?
Yes, we can book local Turangi motels as well as any motels throughout New Zealand.
12. Can you book us on the ferry?
Yes, there are two ferry companies in New Zealand. Turangi i-SITE is an agent for both and we can get you the best price available.
13. Can we book a white water rafting trip or fishing guides?
Yes, we have two white water rafting companies and several fishing guides who fly fish in the Tongariro River. There are three operators who can take you out on the southern end of the lake.
14. Can you book the Waitomo Caves and/or the Whanganui River Journey?
Yes. We have a list of operators we use to book the river trip. The Whanganui River is now a Great Walk and the huts and campsites must be booked online during the summer months. We are an agent and can do this to coincide with the company we have booked you on.
The Waitomo Caves are a two and a half hour drive from Turangi and there are many options, ranging from guided walks through the caves to full-on adventurous black water rafting trips.