Travelling beyond the immediate vicinity of Taupo, SH1 hugs the lake as it heads southwest to Turangi, while SH5 veers southeast along the NapierTaupo Road, a twisting ninety-minute run through some of the North Island’s remotest country. Much of the early part of the journey crosses the Kaingaroa Plains, impoverished land cloaked in pumice and ash from the Taupo volcanic eruption and of little use save for the pine plantations which stretch 100km to the north. The history of this route is traced by the NapierTaupo Heritage Trail; pick up a free booklet from either town’s i-SITE.

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