Taupo is a beautiful and popular holiday location in the centre of the North Island of New Zealand. Based at the northern end of Lake Taupo, the township has a long strip of lakefront leading into it from the south and the CBD is where the road bends and heads north.
Whilst there are motels throughout the area, the majority are either along the lakefront, or just to the side of the town center. It is important to decide where you want to stay, based on your requirements and transport options so that you make the most of your stay.
The first main area of accommodations are the lakefront motels in Taupo which stretch from Two Mile Bay right around to the start of the shops and cafes in the town itself. As a starting point you need to decide if you want to be on the lakeside, or across the road. The ones on the lakeside generally cost a bit more which is understandable as you have stunning views and can walk direct to the water. They are all further away from the middle of town so to get to the main bars and restaurants you’ll need a car or taxi, unless you don’t mind walking a mile or two. The walking option is obviously dependent on the weather and which time of the year you stay.
The motels on the other side of the road leading in to Taupo are dotted all the way into town. This gives you the benefit of having a lake view, as well as being closer to walk to the shops and bars. One negative to consider is road noise as there is a lot of traffic. A bypass has recently been built for highway traffic and trucks but the road along the lake edge is still busy in summer. If you are looking at motels in this area check how far they are set back from the road and if they have double-glazing on the windows. Read online reviews to see if anyone has complained about the noise, or commented that they are quiet. Aside from road noise it also means it can be busy crossing the road to the lake, a factor to consider for elderly people and those with small children.
The other common area for motels in Taupo is near the central business district (CBD) and back from the lake. There are a number of motels along Heu Heu Street and between lower Rifle Range Road and the shops. These generally do not have the same views as the lake front ones, but are more convenient for those who want to walk to town and back. They are often quieter and may be a little cheaper as the owners aren’t charging for views. Many too will be single level with no stairs to contend as they have not been built higher to catch views of the lake or mountains.
As mentioned, there are more motels all around Taupo and a search on Google Maps will show you most of them. The clusters are along the lake and near the town centre. If you want to sit in your room and enjoy the magic views, or dip your toes before breakfast, choose a lakefront option, if you prefer to walk to shops and bars then look a little closer in to town.
Wendy specialises in the accommodation sector of the Tourism Industry in New Zealand. She is the Past President of the Lake Taupo Accommodation Association (LTAA) and is proactively involved in accommodation and tourism marketing, both locally and internationally. Her involvement in the LTAA means that she is in constant contact with accommodation providers across the spectrum, from motels and hotels to apartments and lodges, and is therefore up to date with the issues, challenges and trends in the accommodation and hospitality industry.