I ended up in Taupo after a rather turbulent few months, over a decade ago. I remember how I felt as i breasted the hill and looked down to the lake and on to the mountains. It felt like home and, although i dont live there any more, it still feels like it.
To come here for a weekend is to leave everything behind and sit on the beach looking at beauty. it is always sunny here (but it was not when I lived here) and perhaps that gives it an edge.
There are a myriad of opportunities for tramping and we used to disappear every weekend into the Kaimanawas, the Kawekas or onto Tongariro, using huts and campsites.
But even the hardiest of trmapers sometimes just needs to sit and eae the muscles with a gentle stretch. What better place to do it than Taupo.
Our favourite walk must be from Aratiatia to Spa Park, via the Huka Falls. This is needs some kind person to drop you off and pick you up, or you could walk both ways. Whatever you do it is a beaustiful walk along the river past the hot water stream in Spa Park, the camp sire by the kayaking section, Huka Lodge, Huka falls and onto the rapids. It is a constantly changing vision of peace, calm, violence and beauty, and takes about 2 to 3 hours. Gorgeous.