It is business as usual for tourism operators and holidaymakers in the Lake Taupo region, despite the threat of a landslide above Waihi Village at the southern end of the lake.
Turangi’s accommodation providers, who earlier this week housed some of the evacuated Waihi Village residents, are now preparing for the busy school holiday period.
Ruapehu and Tongariro have had a fresh covering of snow during the last few days, adding to the snow base by five to ten centimetres. Walkers on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing say the conditions are fantastic. “The fresh snow is squeaking beneath our feet. It’s a really exciting time of year to be up here,” says mountain guide, Stewart Barclay.
Manager of the Turangi i-Site Centre, Maryke Wilson, describes Turangi as a hub for adventure and leisure. “If the mountain happens to be closed by weather, there is still plenty to keep visitors entertained. They can fish or raft on the Tongariro River, check out the National Trout Centre, soak in the Tokaanu Thermal Pools… just visit us for some ideas!”
While there is a 600-metre exclusion zone for boats around Waihi, the remaining 616 square-kilometres of Lake Taupo is open and ready for trout fishing.
Visitors heading to Turangi or Whakapapa are advised to check for road updates before their journey. If SH41 between Tokaanu and Pukawa is still closed for precautionary reasons, motorists should use SH1 through Taupo or SH4 through National Park.
For help arranging accommodation and activities, contact Turangi or Taupo i-SITE Centres or visit www.laketauponz.com.