BUG New Zealand travel guidebook
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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook


BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > Waikato > Lake Taupo > Turangi


Turangi, 50km southwest of Taupo, bills itself as the “Trout Fishing Capital of the World”; if that thought turns you on, this is the place to go. If you’re really, really into trout there’s even the Tongariro National Trout Centre nearby, a hatchery with a viewing chamber and picnic areas.

But if fishing on the Tongariro River is not your thing, Turangi doesn’t offer much else to attract backpackers. There are a couple of very good hostels, and it’s a quieter alternative to the touristy scene in Taupo; many of the activities in Taupo can be booked from here.
Turangi also makes a base for tackling the Tongariro Crossing or any of the other walks in Tongariro National Park. It’s less than an hour to the Whakapapa ski area on Mt Ruapehu. The Tokaanu Thermal Pools are five minutes away. Turangi is the midpoint between Auckland and Wellington.

Practical information

Turangi i-SITE Visitor Centre

1 Ngwaka Place, Turangi
Tel (07) 386 8999
Website www.laketauponz.com
Open 8.30am-5pm daily

Department of Conservation

Turanga Place, Turangi
Tel (07) 386 8607
Open Mon-Fri 8am-5pm

Coming & going

InterCity Coachlines (tel (09) 623 1503) and Nakedbus.com stop in Turangi en route between Auckland and Wellington. They stop at the Turangi i-SITE Visitor Centre (1 Ngwaka Place, Turangi).

Alpine Hotbus (tel 0508 468 287) operates a daily shuttle bus for hikers tackling the Tongariro Crossing. It departs Turangi at 7am with an additional 6.15am service during summer (Nov-Apr). The return fare is $35.

Hostel accommodation

A Plus Lodge

41 Iwiheke Place, Turangi
Tel (07) 386 8979

Backpackers Habitat (YHA Turangi)

25 Ohuanga Road, Turangi
Tel (07) 386 7492

Extreme Backpackers

26 Ngawaka Place, Turangi
Tel (07) 386 8949

Riverstone Backpackers

222 Tautahanga Road, Turangi
Tel (07) 386 7004

Eating & drinking

Turangi doesn’t have the variety of restaurants or the nightlife that Taupo does, but there are a number of places for backpackers to grab a bite. There’s a Burger King (corner State Highway 1 & Pihanga Street, Turangi) right on the State Highway at the Turangi turnoff. Grand Central Fry (Ohuanga Road, Turangi) in the town centre is the locally famous place for fish and chips. Close by is Four Fish (corner Ohuanga & Pihanga Roads, Turangi), a bistro/pizza joint that’s pricier. Thyme for Food (35 Ohaunga Road, Turangi) is a café in the town centre.


If you’re preparing your own food, there’s a New World supermarket (Ohuanga Road, Turangi).

Of course, you can always catch and smoke or fry up your own trout here in New Zealand’s trout fishing capital.


Most travellers use Turangi as a base for hiking in the Tongariro National Park (in Manuwatu-Wanganui). White water rafting is the other main activity.

White water rafting

Rapid Sensations (tel 0800 35 34 35), River Rats (tel 0800 333 900) and Tongariro River Rafting (tel (07) 386 6409) operate rafting trips on the Tongariro River.

The Tongariro river has over 50 grade 3+ rapids that make a fun day of rafting although there are wilder rivers elsewhere in New Zealand. Trips cost $99-115.

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