A beautiful lake right in the heart of the North Island is fairly accessible from anywhere on the North island and is definitely worth the visit considering it is also located next to the famous Tongariro National Park. Known for the beautiful walks in the region, along with a fair number of other activities, the town of Taupo on the edge of the lake is a fairly popular destination for travelers. A visit to the local I-site and a very short drive to the freedom campsites meant we were able to get a feel for this attractive, compact town which had everything within touching distance.
With no regular access to wifi as our super wagon lacked the technology, we made a rare visit to a cafe in order to update our blog and plan where to head to next aswell as keeping in touch with the world. Despite only getting half an hour before it closing, the owner gave us permission to park outside its entrance for the evening in order to continue using their wifi.
With one of the freedom campsites set a couple of metres from the waters edge, it meant we woke to a gorgeous morning with a view of the beautiful lake with snow topped mountains from Tongariro National Park in the background. This ideal location also meant we were able to enjoy a short walk along the waterfront before planning the day ahead over our daily weetabix.
We can now safely say, nothing really beats the feeling of being sat on the edge of a plane at 12000 feet followed by free falling at approximately 200kph for about 45 seconds before opening the parachute and gliding for around 5minutes. It unfortunately all happens so quickly but at least we have the photos and video to re-live it over and over again until the next time.
A spot of souvenir shopping ended our amazing stay in Taupo before heading south to Turangi mid-afternoon where we camped at the opposite end of Lake Taupo at another of the freedom campsites. Despite not being fully self-contained we can still usually get away with staying at these free campsites which are usually in parking lots set away from the main roads.
Free falling from 12,000 feet
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With our hike in Tongariro National Park planned for the following day meant we had a day to enjoy around the lake before heading to Turangi. After a second visit to I-site and little hesitation we spontaneously booked a sky dive over Lake Taupo. We always had it in our mind to sky dive at some point during our trip but we never thought it would be as spontaneous as it was and so didn’t really give us time to have any doubts. With the beautifully clear day and Skydive Taupo offering a great deal we couldn’t let the opportunity pass us by and so the greatly anticipated wait was over.
As soon as we made the decision our pickup was on its way and so within ten minutes we were picked up in a stretched Limo and driven out to the Skydive Taupo Centre. Here we were given our jumpsuits, safety briefings and most importantly our tandem instructors, Marley (Lou’s) and Chris (Myself). Just outside the hanger was our plane which took us and ten others up to 12000 feet before plummeting to the ground.