February 2018
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Taupo – Volcanic tours in New Zealand


Taupo is a town on the shoreline of Lake Taupo in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand; it is the seat of the Taupo District Council as well as it is situated in the the southern part of Waikato Region.
In 1953, Taupo was formally constituted as a borough; however from 1989 it is often administered by the Taupo District Council, the district which includes both Taupo by itself along with the surrounding hinterland. Because of this, it really is sometimes generally known as a city. It is the 20th largest urban region in New Zealand, along with the second-largest in the Waikato Region (behind Hamilton).
The term Taupo, for which the town is often identified, means to say “The great cloak of Tia”, wherein Tia is the term of the discoverer of the lake.

Geothermal activity

To find yourself in the heart of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, one really does not need to travel far to come across geothermal activity; as there are lots of samples of this around Taupo, even though these are not as greatly marketed or developed as those in close proximity of Rotorua; they nevertheless offer a fascinating understanding of the fragility of our planet.

Maori Culture

Enroll in an Eco-Cultural Tour to discover Maori culture. The guide is going to take you through the wonderful Pureora Forest Park; and also describe how the Maori individuals made use of the forest sources in their everyday lives.

Areas to see

There are numerous sights of interest in the Taupo area, the majority of that happen to be free of charge, so you ought to set per day aside to take a look at a few of the sights. To go around the sights transport is essential – a mountain bike at the minimum for those who have some physical fitness or maybe a rental car or shuttle for individuals who choose to relax while on holiday.

Aratiatia Dam

The initial dam in the Waikato Hydro power system. The gates are opened every day at 10AM, 12PM, 2PM as well as 4PM (10, 12 & 2 in the course of winter), these causes the breathtaking recreation of the Aratiatia Rapids.

Huka Falls

These falls are New Zealand’s most traveled to place in terms of natural appeal, situated just to the north of the town on the Waikato River. New Zealand’s greatest river is forced between a thin split in the bedrock. It is quite an amazing spectacle with streams often exceeding beyond 220,000 litres per second.


A fairly lakeside village 15 minutes drive west of Taupo.

Lake Taupo Museum and Art Gallery

This is a little museum situated in close proximity to the centre of town behind the Great Lake Centre on Story Place. Includes displays on the Maori, Volcanic as well as early European history of Taupo. A Maori conference house has been recreated within the building as well as exhibitions of art by local as well as New Zealand artists happen. The “Ora” garden which earned the 2004 Chelsea Flower Show has been recently added in a particularly created outside region.

Lions Walk

A walkway beginning in the town, and then proceeding south for around 5 miles following the lake edge. Provided in places by way of the efforts of local service clubs. Walking like this is great.

Mount Tauhara

The mountain, located on the eastern side of town can be climbed fairly easily (obtain directions from whichever hotel you are staying at) along with the views from the top on a definite day are remarkable, take your camera with you.

Waipahihi Botanical Reserve

Situated in the suburbs, this reserve has both vehicle as well as walking tracks, having both forest and also gardens. Additionally boasts the most effective vantage view points of the lake as well as mountains of the Tongariro National Park.

Craters of the Moon

A simple 45min/2.75km walk through a lively and ever transforming geothermal wonderland.

Volcanic Activity Centre, Karetoto Road

Just north of town in the Wairakei Tourist Park is the Volcanic Activity Centre which offers an understanding of the Taupo Volcanic Zone. There are numerous interactive exhibits and educational trips which can be arranged.

Fun Things to do

• Bungy jumping
• Jet boating
• Skydiving
• Cruising/sailing
• Chartered & Fly Fishing
• Chartered Trout Fishing
• Fly Fishing
• Scenic flight
• Walking / Hiking
• Mind Junction
• Topgun Paintball
• Lilliput Farm
• Taupo Horse Treks

Best time to visit (weather)

The weather of Taupo is cold as well as windy; when compared to other areas of the North Island. This really is because of the town being situated inland, which ends up in a weather condition where there is a lot of amassing of dry air leading to serious frost during winter season. Nevertheless snowfall in Taupo is uncommon. The summer weather in Taupo is mild with highest average climate reaching 23 degrees as well as a minimum average temperature of ten degrees.


Great Lake Cycle Challenge: This event began in 1977 with simply 30 riders; over a period of time, this 160km path cycle around Lake Taupo now appeals to over 10,000 entrants each year. Additionally it is now a part of the prestigious UCI Golden Bike Series. The last Saturday in November is the timeframe for the event.

Ironman New Zealand: Taupo continues to be home to this event ever since 1999. Ironman New Zealand is the oldest event beyond the borders of the world championships in Hawaii. It is held on the first Saturday in March each and every year.

Levene Half Marathon: New Zealand’s biggest half marathon as well as the biggest in the southern hemisphere, covers the shoreline of Lake Taupo for the majority of the course. It is held in early August each year.

Oxfam Trailwalker: The world’s most effective team challenge for anti-poverty as well as overcoming injustice provides you with a rewarding physical endeavor, an exciting experience to share with buddies as well as colleagues; along with the opportunity to take action amazing on your own and others.

Taupo on Google Maps

How you can get there (flights / airport, bus, trains, driving)

By plane:
Taupo Airport is serviced by Air New Zealand. You will find flights every day from Auckland. This airport also provides for private jets as well as other aircraft; which is the most active parachute drop zone in New Zealand. Panoramic flights as well as skydiving are a well known appeal for the area.

By bus:
InterCity, Manabus as well as Nakedbus offer bus facilities to Taupo many times per day from all through the North Island.

Adventure travel networks, for example Kiwi Experience, Stray as well as Contiki additionally visit Taupo (each day in summer).

By car:
Approximate time for driving is:
• Auckland – 4hours
• Samilton – 2hours
• Rotorua – 1hours
• Napier – 2hours
• Wellington – 5hours

Get around:
Tours nearby and local regions can be viewed using any of the following:
• Shoursuttle
• Taxi
• Rental Cars

Distance from major cities
• Choursathoursam Island and Taupo (853, 98 km.)
• Old and Taupo (70, 24 km.)
• Gisborne and Taupo (169, 07 km.)
• Taranaki and Taupo (159, 35 km.)
• Manakau and Taupo (237, 19 km.)
• Nelson and Taupo (372, 60 km.)
• Napier and Taupo (115, 46 km.)
• Taupo and Manawatu-Wanganui (128, 00 km.)
• Taupo and Whoursangarei (363, 69 km.)
• Taupo and Kamo Bypass (368, 84 km.)
• Taupo and Whoursakapara (384, 35 km.)
• Taupo and Diamond Sarbour (616, 68 km.)

Overall, Lake Taupo is beautiful and an area which is fun filled, exciting and filled with adventure and beauty.

Blogs about Taupo

Taupo Travel Guide (link)
Taupo New Zealand Travel Blogs (link)
Andy’s Travel Blog (link)
Local secrets of Lake Taupo (link)
Taupo Guide (link)

Images of Taupo

At Tripadvisor(link)
Lake Taupo photos (link)
Photos of Rotorua – Taupo (link)

Videos of Taupo from youtube

Free things to do in Taupo:

CastleCrusade across Lake Taupo

Huka Falls – Jet boat


Travel – Muscat – Oman – Part 1

Muscat is the capital of the country of Oman. Additionally, it is also the seat of government and also the biggest city in Muscat.

Overview of Muscat

• As of a census in the year 2010, the population of the Muscat metropolitan region was approx 735,000.
• The metropolitan region of Muscat is not too large, covering an area of about 1,500 sq. km. The region also consists of 6 provinces which are called as wilayats.
• Muscat has been known for many centuries, from the period of the 1st century CE, known as a significant trading port between East and West.
• Over the history of Muscat, control of the city has varied between different sets of rulers – these were sometimes different native tribes and at other times, these were outside powers such as the Portuguese or the Persians, depending on which time frame in the history of Muscat is being seen.
• In the 18th century, Muscat was known as a local army power, and the influence and power of Muscat extended to a larger region such as Africa, to the regions of East Africa and Zanzibar.
• Because Muscat was a major trading city, it also drew in a number of outsiders such as tradesman and had a number of settlers such as the Balochs, the Persians, and Gujaratis.
• In the last 40 or so years since Qaboos bin Said took over as the Sultan of Oman in 1970, there has been a focus on the infrastructural growth of Muscat.
• Overall, the focus on development of the past many years has resulted in the creation of a multi-ethnic society and increased economic growth.
• In terms of geography, the significant geological influence on Muscat is the rocky Western Al Hajar Mountains.
• The location of Muscat is found next to the Straits of Hormuz, and right on the Arabian Sea, along the Gulf of Oman.
• The north-eastern boundary of Muscat forms the port-district of Muttrah, along with the corniche and harbour.
• The primary economic activities of Muscat’s economic system are trade, petroleum as well as due to the presence of the port.

Geography of Muscat

• Muscat is situated in the northeast part of Oman.
• The latitude of the region is such that the Tropic of Cancer goes near the south of the region.
• Some of the boundaries of the region include the western boundary of the plains of the Al Batinah Area with the eastern boundary being the Ash Sharqiyah Area.
• The inner plains of the Ad Dakhiliyah area lie to the south.
• And to round off the boundaries of Muscat, on the northern and western boundaries, you have another large natural boundary, The Gulf of Oman. On the coastline, you have the Western Al Hajar Mountain ranges navigating through the northern region of the coastline of the location.
• There are 2 natural harbours along the coastline of Muscat, since the water is deep. These harbours are called Muttrah and Muscat.
• Volcanic rocks are the natural types of rocks in and around Muscat, because they are comprised of serpentine and diorite advancing along the Gulf of Oman coast for 10 or 12 kilometres from the district of Darsait to Yiti.
• Plutonic rocks make up the hills and mountains of Muscat and thus span about 30 miles (48 km) from Darsait to Ras Jissah.

These types of igneous rocks are comprised of the following types
– Serpentine
– Greenstone
– Basalt

• These rocks are not different from the types of rocks found in the Southeastern parts of the Arabian Peninsula.
• As one moves geologically south of Muscat, there is a change in the volcanic rock strata; it splits up and also becomes distorted, with an increase in elevation reaching an elevation of 6, 000 feet, in Al Dakhiliyah.
• These elevated regions also includes Jebel Akhdar, the country’s highest range.
• These mountain hills to the south of Muscat are barren, with very little vegetation, but are abundant in iron.
• The halophytic sabkha kind of desert vegetation is prominent in Muscat.

Best time to visit / climate

• As you would expect from a region in this area, the weather of Muscat is warm and arid; the summers are very hot and the so called winters are also warm. Summer temperatures can go upto 40°C.
• Rainfall levels in Muscat are low, with the annual rainfall being approx. 10 cm (with this amount happening primarily between December and April). Given a total of 10 cm, many months can go by without any rainfall.
• The humidity levels in summer are high, around 40-60%, rare for this kind of hot temperature.

Location on Google Maps

View Larger Map

How to get there?

1. By plane
• “Fly Dubai” offers four flights every day. They travel from Dubai to Muscat.
Oman Air offers flights to Muscat from:
– Abu Dhabi
– Al Ain
– Amman
– Bahrain
– Bangalore
– Bangkok
– Beirut
– Cairo
– Chennai
– Chittagong
– Dar Es Salaam
– Delhi
– Doha
– Dubai
– Frankfurt
– Hyderabad
– Islamabad
– Jaipur
– Jeddah
– Karachi
– Kathmandu
– Khasab
– Kochi
– Kozhikode
– Kuala Lumpur
– Kuwait
– Lahore
– London Heathrow
– Lucknow
– Male
– Mumbai
– Munich
– Paris
– Ras Al Khaimah
– Riyadh
– Salalah
– Thiruvananthapuram
• Gulf Air operates flights from Bahrain to Muscat.
• Emirates operate seven flights every day from Dubai with a flying time of about an hour.
• Air Arabia operates two flights every day from Sharjah with a flying time of about 55 min.
• Etihad Airways offers three flights every day from Abu Dhabi with a flying time of about an hour.
• Britsh Airways operates flights from London Heathrow to Muscat on a daily basis.
• KLM offers flights from Amsterdam to Muscat. They operate on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The flight time for the journey is about 8hrs 30min.
• Lufthansa operates flights from Frankfurt to Muscat. These operate from Sunday to Friday with a flying time of about 8 hours.
• Royal Jordanian operates from Amman to Muscat. They operate on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
• Egypt air operates flights from Cairo. They operate on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with a flying time of about 4 hours.
• Turkish Airlines offers flights to Muscat from Istanbul per day. There is a stop in Bahrein.

2. By bus
Oman National Transport Company operates buses to Muscat from:
• Dubai (duration 6 hrs)
• Abu Dhabi (via Buraimi)
Within Oman to Muscat from Buraimi there are buses. There are buses to:
– Nizwa -2hrs 20min
– Salalah- 13 hrs
– Sanaw and Sur-4hrs 15 min
Long distance busses reach at the Oman National Transport Company at:
– Ruwi
– Al-Jaame Street

3. By car
• It is possible to get to Muscat by road from the United Arab Emirates.
• The trip will take approximately 5hours by passing the boundary in Hatta/Al Ain.
• It is possible to drive from Al Ghaydah in Yemen.
• The trip is approximately 6 hours through the boundary passing at Sarfeit to Salalah after which another 10 to Muscat.

Some Travel Books on Muscat – Oman

The Rough Guide to Oman Lonely Planet Oman UAE & the Arabian Peninsula Oman – Culture Smart!

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at tripadvisor.com
Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at hotelscombined.com
Hotels at booking.com

Blogs/Sites about Muscat – Oman

blogs at wikitravel.org
blogs at omantourism.gov.om
blogs at wikipedia.org
blogs and reviews at tripadvisor.com

Images and photos about Muscat – Oman

images at wikitravel.org
images at omantourism.gov.om
images at wikipedia.org
images at google.com

Videos about Muscat – Oman