Taupo Kayaking Adventures

Phone: 07 376 8981
Email: info@tka.co.nz
Website: www.tka.co.nz

Maori Rock Carvings

Beginning in the sheltered waters of Acacia Bay, come out with us and explore the secluded Rock Carvings at Mine Bay. Paddle below native bush, past steep cliffs and mini inlets that can only harbour a kayak before the amazing 100 metre-high carvings come into view. Your experienced guide will explain the carving's cultural significance to the lake and surrounding areas while you float beneath them.

On our return we stop for gourmet refreshments, where you can take the opportunity to swim in the clear waters of our beautiful lake. If the breeze comes up, we can raft our kayaks together and sail back – bliss!

No experience is necessary, as all our trips are guided and full instruction is given. Our double kayaks are safe and easy for everyone to use. Children under the age of 12, must be accompanied by an adult in our kayaks.

This is truly a unique trip and one you will remember for ever.

Allow approx 4 hours per trip (3 hours on the water)

Tours includes:
◾Full instruction
◾Top quality kayaking equipment
◾Gourmet refreshments
◾Transport from/to Taupo Information Centre – 30 Tongariro St, Taupo

Times (can be flexible with times for group bookings):
◾Summer: 8.30am and 1.30pm
◾Winter: 10am

Full Day

If you're looking for a longer day experience on the water, this is the trip for you.

We'll begin our adventure in the sheltered waters of Acacia Bay. We paddle below native bush, pass steep cliffs and inlets that can only harbour a kayak, then prepare to be wowed by the Maori Rock Carvings towering 100-metres high at Mine Bay.

Then it's on to Masons Rock – an impressive volcanic fan of rock emerging from the lake. Your experienced guide will explain the carving's cultural significance to the lake and surrounding areas while you float beneath them.

During our trip we will stop for refreshments and a relaxing gourmet lunch, taking in the magnificent mountain views, with an opportunity to swim in the clear waters of our beautiful lake. On our return, if the breeze comes up, we can raft our kayaks together and sail back – fantastic!

There are a number of different options available for this trip, contact us and we are more than happy to tailor the trip to your requirements.

No experience is necessary, as all our trips are guided and full instruction is given. Our double kayaks are safe and easy for everyone to use. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult in our kayaks.

Allow approximately 6 hours (4 - 5 hours on the water).

Tours includes:
◾Full instruction
◾Top quality kayaking equipment
◾Refreshments and a gourmet lunch
◾Transport from/to Taupo Information Centre – 30 Tongariro St, Taupo

Time:
◾9.00 am

Optional extras:
◾Board a boat (11 metre Catermaran), and trout fish or just enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbly or beer while returning to Taupo
◾or return by float plane, for the more adventurous. (Price on Application)

Evening on the lake

Lake Taupo at one of its most magical times, with a relaxing evening paddle.

We'll take you for a leisurely paddle along the Taupo lakefront, where you can take in the sunset and beautiful mountain views from your kayak, spotting wildlife as you go, and sampling our gourmet refreshments. What better way to unwind?

No experience is necessary, as all our trips are guided and full instruction is given. Our double kayaks are safe and easy for everyone to use. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Allow 1-2 hours.

Tours include:
◾Full instruction
◾Top quality kayaking equipment
◾Gourmet refreshments
◾Transport from/to Taupo Information Centre – 30 Tongariro St, Taupo

Time:
◾5:30pm, also available during the day and please contact us if you would like to arrange another time

Overnight Trip

After a day kayaking majestic Lake Taupo, prolong your adventure by spending the night in this outdoor sanctuary.

Heading out for a short overnight trip is a great way to introduce yourself to multi-day paddling.

During this trip we can pass the historic Maori rock carvings and Masons Rock, stop for lunch, before continuing to our campsite near the shores of the lake.

While we prepare dinner, you can relax in bush surrounds and enjoy the magnificent mountain views, go for a stroll, or swim in the clear waters of our beautiful lake.

The evening brings a chance to experience gourmet outdoor delights, in a tranquil setting. Where we can, we'll start up a campfire for the ultimate outdoor ambience.

Wake up to the sound of birds, or simply sleep in. Take a leisurely breakfast before loading your kayak to explore the inner water ways.

No experience is needed, full instruction will be given from our guides, but some level of fitness is preferable.

Our overnight trips offer you quality time to experience your own personal adventure, with lots of fun along the way.

Trips can be tailored to suit your individual needs, including multiple days, and we can combine walking, mounting biking, fishing, hunting too, so get in touch so we can help you create your own adventure.

Tour includes:
◾Full instruction
◾Top quality kayaking equipment
◾Camping equipment or accomodation
◾all meals provided
◾Transport

Explorer Package

Our Explorer package is without a doubt the best way to experience the spectacular scenery from the Great New Zealand Cycle Trail, and phenomenal views of the stunning Lake Taupo region.

In one day, you will enjoy a leisurely 2-3 hour mountain-bike ride, and 3 hours kayaking on the crystal clear waters of Lake Taupo.

We start our day in Whakaipo Bay just west of Taupo, where we bike the Grade 1-3 track over the headland towards Kinloch Bay. There is an alternative option along the headland loop, offering coastal riding and spectacular views, or a shorter route over the hill leads to a lookout for a well earned rest and endless views toward the southern end of the lake.

The relaxed descent into Kinloch Bay travels through bush-clad tracks with fantastic unspoiled views of the glistening lake below.

After a lunch stop in Kinloch Bay, we set off on our kayaking journey around the headland towards Whakaipo Bay. We will pass sheer tree-lined cliff faces that drop into the lake, and spectacular volcanic rocks that emerge from the clear blue waters of the magnificent Lake Taupo.

We will enjoy a gourmet afternoon tea at Whakaipo Bay, before returning to Taupo by road.

There are a number of different options available for this trip, contact us and we are more than happy to tailor the trip to your requirements.

Tours include:
◾Full instruction
◾Mountain bike and helmet
◾Top quality kayaking equipment
◾Gourmet packed lunch, morning and afternoon tea
◾Transport by road from/to Taupo

Times:
◾9.00am, allow 6-8 hours

Optional extras:

Board a boat (11 metre Catermaran), and enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbly or beer while returning to Taupo via the world famous Māori Rock Carvings, or return by float plane, for the more adventurous.
Price on Application

The Ultimate Escape

On our Ultimate Escape trip, we'll take you across the pristine waters of Lake Taupo by boat (catamaran) to the remote shores of the Western Bays. Here you'll see some of Lake Taupo's most spectacular scenery, only accessible by water.

We launch the kayaks into the lake and paddle to the base of the spectacular Waihaha Waterfall, while taking in the beautiful natural scenery that surrounds the area. On return to the boat, we stop for a gourmet barbeque lunch, and a chance to swim in the crystal clear waters. After lunch we continue onto the Otopuotu Falls, a unique spot where water cascades off the cliff straight into the lake. At the end of the day, while cruising back to Taupo, enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbly or beer.

This is truly a unique trip and one you will remember forever

Optional extras:
◾Trout fishing
◾Skeet/Clay Bird Shooting
◾Helicopter Transfers
◾Full licensed bar

Ultimate Escape package includes:
◾Boat trip
◾Full kayaking instruction
◾Top quality kayaking equipment
◾Morning and afternoon tea, gourmet barbeque lunch and refreshments
◾A complimentary glass of wine, juice or beer.

Kayak Fishing Tours

Come and fish beautiful Lake Taupo out of purpose-built fishing kayaks Fish for Rainbow Trout, and the odd trophy Brown, while enjoying the serenity that only kayaking provides.

So many ways to catch a fish…

Have a go at Jigging, where you locate a deep ledge or drop off (reef feature) using both GPS and a fish finder, then drop three assorted flies or lures to the depth of the feature or fish sign on the sounder.

This method is used if the fish are sitting too deep for harling or spin/fly fishing, as they often are in summer as the surface temperature gets uncomfortable for the cold preferring trout.

This surface warming (thermocline) is great for getting out and having a swim though, and also makes the trout easy to target because in the heat of the day you know most of them are down deep in the much cooler water.

Or try Harling, where you tow a lure and/or a trolling fly around, following a certain depth change or reef location from shallow to deep. This is a great thing to do when moving from one jigging location to the next, or when there is a shallow reef feature dropping into deep water, as the bait fish will school in these reefs, and the trout hunt them from below. Harling is best early in the season before the thermocline forms. It can also produce great results in the mornings and evenings or in colder, overcast conditions.

We also have a lead-line trolling set up that can fish down to 50 feet or more. This is great for those long paddles when the fish are sitting deep. And the catch rate is pretty high!

There's Spin fishing from the land. And you can also get out of the kayaks and cast heavy lures off the steep drop offs and ledges at certain locations. This method often attracts the big fish, and a great opportunity to get out of the kayak, have a walk around and a picnic. There are also some fly fishing opportunities at certain remote river mouths.

No experience is necessary, as all our trips are guided and full instruction is given. Our sit-on-top kayaks are safe and easy for everyone to use.

We'll do our best to help you get a good catch, fishing is a sport…so the strike rate and amount of fish landed can vary day-to-day, and angler-to-angler.

But the good numbers, and at times quite veracious feeding habits of the Taupo Rainbow Trout, four hours around here with a good guide rarely goes unrewarded.

Why not give all of these fishing methods a try, by booking on one of trips listed below.

Half a day – Kayak fishing Tour

Jig fishing and harling or spinning around either:
◾Acacia Bay and Jerusalem Bays
◾Easter Side (CBD) fish along the waterfront and cliffs, and river mouths

During the trip we will stop off for refreshments and a gourmet delight on one of the beautiful beaches along the way.

Allow approx 4.5 hours per trip (3-4 hours on the water)

Tours include:
◾Full instruction
◾Top quality kayaking equipment
◾Gourmet refreshments
◾Transport from/to Taupo Information Centre – 30 Tongatiro St, Taupo

Times (can be flexible with times for group bookings)
◾Summer: dawn or 8.30am and 1.30pm
◾Winter: 10am

The Squeeze Trip

Our squeeze trip is without a doubt the best way to experience the spectacular scenery through the Waikato River and down to paradise valley.

We begin our adventure at the Tutukau Bridge, that leads us through the remarkable landscapes and natural beauty of the gorge and past the hidden valley (Orakei Korako, geothermal park) where you can see gushing geysers, silica terraces and boiling mud pools from sitting in your kayak.

On the way we will stop at the squeeze challenge where you will disembark from your kayak into knee deep water, we take you towards a narrow gap in the cliff faces where we start maneuvering our way through narrow crevasses, climbing boulders and wading through warm waist deep water you emerge in stunning native New Zealand bush and where you can stand under hot flowing water falls. With a small climb you can take the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere while relaxing in the thermal waters of a naturally heated bathing pool.

We then squeeze our way back to the kayaks, to embark onto our next journey of paddling down to paradise valley, which is a big lagoon with little off shoots of hot
thermal water that leads into the lake ohakuri. Here you can kayak across the hot pools and feel the temperature below you, whilst being surrounded by natural farmland and forest.

No experience is necessary, as all our trips are guided and full instruction is given. Our double kayaks are safe and easy for everyone to use. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult in our kayaks.

Allow approximately 5 hours (3 hours on the water).

Tours include:
◾Full instruction
◾Top quality kayaking equipment
◾Gourmet refreshments
◾Transport from/to Taupo Information Centre – 30 Tongariro St, Taupo

Time:
◾9am

Waikato River Float

Gently paddle through the un spoilt beauty of the Waikato River, through the pumice gorge with crystal clear slow moving water. Be amazed by the stunning cliff faces and lush native forest. We begin our journey just minutes from Taupo Town Centre and finishes at Reids farm, which is located 900m from the Huka Falls.

Whilst paddling we will pass various islands and swimming spots and drift past the bungy platform (let's hope someone's jumping). Along the way we will stop at the natural hot springs where you can take the opportunity to soak in the beautiful mineral water. At the end of this trip we will stop for refreshments.

Perfect for families looking for a gentle kayak adventure.

No experience is necessary, as all our trips are guided and full instruction is given. We have the option of single or double kayaks which are safe and easy for everyone to use. Children under the age of 4 must be accompanied by an adult.

Allow 2 hours.

Tours include:
◾Full instruction
◾Top quality kayaking equipment
◾Gourmet refreshments
◾Transport from/to Taupo Information Centre – 30 Tongariro St, Taupo

Time:
◾9:00am & 1:30pm

Wilderness Trip

On this trip we will take you through the wilderness. You will sense the feeling of isolation and freedom.

We will be paddling on the Hinemaiai dam, an early hydro lake which gave Taupo its first electricity back in 1953.

It is a gentle paddle across calm water/ stream through native bush covered hills, pumice cliffs.

We pass tops of old trees and manuka bushes poking up from the bottom of the lake. You will see the odd brown and rainbow trout racing away from your kayak, or the Danada Geeese (aquatic bird). We will pass an old swing bridge- reainants of our old tramping bridge, up to a narrow gorge with a waterfall, tumbling over moss covered rocks.

Perfect for families looking for a gentle kayak adventure.

No experience is necessary, as all our trips are guided and full instruction is given. We have the option of single or double kayaks which are safe and easy for everyone to use. Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

Allow 3 hours. (1 to 2 hours on water)

Tours include:
◾Full instruction
◾Top quality kayaking equipment
◾Gourmet refreshments
◾Transport from/to Taupo CBD

Time:
◾9am

The Great Lake Trail (walking or biking)

The Great Lake Trail is one of the 23 Great Rides of the NZ Cycle Trail. It is purpose built single-track that crosses the ridges of Lake Taupo's western bays and drops down to lake level in between. The Great Lake Trail is comprised of 4 sections: The Whakaipo To Kinloch (W2K) section including the headland loop, The Kinloch To Kawakawa section, The Orakau Stream section, and the yet to be completed Waihaha section (respectively from east to west). This is a grade 3 trail and is challenging in its climbs but is generally not a very technical ride.
A courtesy vehicle or bus and boat shuttles are available – which help ease the access to get aroad the Great Lake Trail, so talk to us about these options too.

The following is an in depth description of the sections of the Great Lake Trail:

The Whakaipo To Kinloch (W2K) section:

This fantastic track is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. If you like riding your bike off road and enjoy NZ's native bush you will surely have a great time! The W2K is 14km over to Kinloch and there is a 9km loop that can be added on the headlands at the top. To ride this section of the Great Lake trail, start off in the west end of Whakaipo bay just a stones throw away from the crystal clear waters of Lake Taupo. Cross the bike specific style over the fence where you find a map of the trail then head up across the grass pasture past the sheep and bee boxes. In about 300m the track heads into the bush. The more steeper and more consistent part of the climb up to the headlands is off the start while it is a more undulating climbing once you get about 4km along (about halfway up the top/junction). This Great Lake Trail is packed soil and pumice in its natural state. There was no major importing of gravel into this track, the surface it just way a real mountain bike track should be. Looping around some contours on the hillsides there are excellent views of the Lake and the Tongariro National Park to the south. Along the Great Lake Trail listen for native birds and wind in the bushes at one of the nice viewpoints. There are some great fast flowing sections of trail as you approach the junction of the headland loop, but beware this is a two way track and please respect other users.

At the junction there is a toilet and map but no water supply. Here there is an option for riders to add another 9km loop section onto the route to Kinloch. The headlands loop can be ridden in either direction, start from the junction with the shelter or ride it counter clockwise from the other end of the loop just 1km along the W2K trail towards Kinloch. The headland loop is part of the Great Lake Trail, however it is narrower and more technical than the rest of the W2K section. On the Headlands Loop there is no major rooty or rocky sections, just tighter corners with plenty of fast flowing descents. It's one of those rare gems that feels like there is more descending than climbing. A masterfully built trail.

Once you rejoin the main W2K section of the Great Lake Trail it is almost all downhill for 6km to Kinloch. The riding is fast and flowing as the trail traverses the bushy hillside for a while before emerging round a rocky hillside clearing to a stunning view of Kinloch and the bay. From here it is consistent downhill to Kinloch and the track remains a nice packed soil surface. Enjoy the switchbacks and watch out that trees don't jump out at you! There is a small gate at the bottom of the track before crossing a residential road. This section of the Great Lake Trail then follows a gully, goes past a few big boulders, and onto a boardwalk before emerging onto the beach. Riders then follow the beach access road to the boat harbour and cross the arched bridge over the the Kinloch lakefront domain. A refreshing beverage or coffee can be enjoyed at the Tipsy Trout. Jump in the lake for swim or just enjoy the view from the beach.

The Kinloch to Kawakawa section:

This section of the Great Lake Trail is 10km, it crossing the ridge between Whangamata Bay and Kawakawa bay. The trail starts heading west on a grassy path just a few meters up from the sandy beach. There is a small bridge to cross where the Whangamata stream comes out to the lake. This point is the junction of the Whangamata Stream Trail that goes up to Whangamata Rd. The Kawakawa section of the Great Lake Trail continues on into the bush and soon crosses a larger bridge over the Otaketake stream. From here the real climbing starts. Gradients are not too steep and the track is not very technical.

The trail surface is well graded, maintained and is a nice mixture of packed soil and packed pumice in some parts much like the W2K section. At the 4km mark the trail climbs more steeply and the highest elevation of the trail is reached at about 6.5km where there is a rock lookout over a stunning view of Kawakawa bay. There is no mistaking how this bay got it's name with all the Kawakawa trees below. On the left of the panoramic view some cliffs can be seen that are often used by rock climbers. The far west bays of Waihaha and Waihora can also been seen. If you are riding on one of our expeditions it is also interesting to note that Mt. Pureora (of the Pureora Timber Trail) can be seen on the western horizon if it is a clear day.

Now the 2.5km descent begins! It's a long, flowing, fun, and exilerating ride down into the bay right to the water! At the bottom, take the right turn to head onwards (onto the Orakau Section) or go straight to find the toilet and beach. Just west of the toilet (along the next section of track for 50m there is campsite that the track currently goes straight through. Sit on the nice fine stoney beach, enjoy the crysttal clear waters, listen to the breeze in the Kawakawa trees along with the Tui birds, Tomtits, Fantails, and other native birds. Look out over our beautiful lake and ponder how it all came to be.

The Orakau Section:

This 10km section of The Great Lake Trail is newer (completed mid 2012) and joins the pre-existing Kawakawa track. This section (just like all the rest) is a two way track and is commonly done from west to east, especially when doing a day ride. Continuing on, as riders would do in our expeditions, the Great Lake Trail parallels the beach for a short while. The stones under your tyre treads will make you aware that you are actually riding on the beach which is now covered in bush!

Riding under a ponga tree frond (or dozens for that matter) the trail then crosses two bridges before starting the climb and soon cyclist will arrive at a couple of bench seats. Here there are stunning views of the volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park just south of the Lake Taupo. The Great Lake Trail winds on through native bush and continues to climb a fairly gentle gradient with some small descents along the way as it joins the Orakau stream valley. Traversing the sides of this small valley the trail descends to a wide bridge (without handrails) to cross over the stream. The trail emerges onto a clearing with hardy grasses before heading back into bush and arriving at another seat. With the lake and mountains out of view now the trail rolls in and out of bush and Harakeke (flax) wetland areas. There are a couple of boardwalks with excellent views of the wetland/stream valley with the pastureland visible on the nearby rural hillsides.

Eventually riders weave through a few gullies around pine trees before arriving at Whangamata Road and the car park. (If riding from Whangamata road down to the bay (west to east) then the vast majority of trail is downhill).

The Waihaha Section:

Currently this section of the Great Lake Trail is under construction. It is accessable from the Western Bays Rd. SH32. There is amazing riding found here, rocks have been blasted, and many big bridges built to access waterfalls and more untouched shores of the beautiful Lake Taupo! All for your riding pleasure! Visit the information site or a local bike shop to get a trail map.

Maori Rock Carvings

  • NZD $100.00 pp

Full Day

  • NZD $240.00pp

Evening on the lake

  • NZD $60.00 per person

Overnight Trip

  • Price and Time on application

Explorer Package

  • NZD $250pp, minimum 2 people

The Ultimate Escape

  • Time and price on application.

Kayak Fishing Tours

  • Price on application

The Squeeze Trip

  • NZD $195 per person, minimum 2 people

Waikato River Float

  • NZD $45 per adult
  • NZD $25 per child

Wilderness Trip

  • NZD $90.00 pp

The Great Lake Trail (walking or biking)

  • Price on application. This is listed on our website under "other activities"