Exploring Kuratau

I love watching the mornings here. We have a fantastic view out across the lake from the living room and deck. The days always start out with a blanket of soft coloured clouds hanging in the bays. The water is still and the bird song echos around. Our tree house accommodation really is in the most perfect location. As the day unfolds, the clouds move away, revealing a brilliant blue sky.

It is our last day here and we still have exploring to do. We head to Kuratau, a couple of bays over and take a walk at Whiowhio Park, a track that leads alongside the river. This is my favourite walk I have done on this trip. The path leds through shady trees, a welcome relief to the heat from the midday sun.

For a lot of the walk, you don’t see the river, and then there will be a clearing and in the words of Lachie

‘Wow Auntie Lani, this view is so beautiful’

Yes, it really is.

Bullrushes dance in the breeze, their long slender stems swaying so elegantly. The tall white cliffs contrast against the lush green forest and the clear, cool water that looks so inviting. The bird song is beautiful and again we are able to pick wild blackberries along the way.

And just when we are starting to feel hungry, thinking we must turn around and go back to get some lunch, we pass some people who tell us that Floating Rock Cafe is at the end of the track.


Set amid a small vineyard, the alfresco lunch is so good. Normally they serve wood fired pizzas but as it is a public holiday, they only have the snack menu available. Disappointing as I love a good wood fired pizza, but in the end, our big selection of snack food that we order for the table is all we need. We sit, eating, chatting and enjoying our surroundings.

Although we are doing a walk alongside the river, we didn’t come across anywhere suitable for a swim so once we get back to the car, we drive 1 minute down the road to arrive at a lovely little bay (sandy this time, thank goodness!) There are lots of people in kayaks, I have been wanting to do this all weekend. After making an inquiry with a kayaker, we find out they are for hire nearby. So Dad and I are straight down there and pick up a kayak and a paddleboard.

The paddleboard was probably the wrong decision for today, its a bit choppy out on the lake making the board rather unstable. I manage to paddle it up the lake to where the rest of the family are and then need a break – it was hard work! Later I get a go in the kayak and it is so much easier! They handle the waves a lot better! We spend a bit over an hour at the bay, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding and enjoying the sun. The river feeding into the lake is quite calm and it is much easier to paddleboard there.

While heading back to the rental place a wave catches the board and tips me in. Unfortunately the waves have been pushing me closer and closer to shore so when I fall in, there is only a foot of water below me and I manage to scratch up my leg. I was filming on my gopro at the time –

This has been such an amazing few days. The weather has been perfect, the location has been perfect, it’s been a real summer holiday. If you love to be busy, enjoy shopping, and lots of attractions, then Taupo center is probably the place for you. If on the other hand, you want to experience quiet, peaceful bays, surrounded by trees, where the way of life is slow paced and relaxed, head to Pukawa or Kuratau or Hatepe or Omori. These places are little gems waiting to be discovered. And once you have found them, you wont ever want to leave.

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