If you’re traveling to New Zealand, see if you can stay at Whakaipo Lodge. The lodge is located at the center of the North Island in a country setting near the shore of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, just outside the charming city of Taupo. This wonderful bed and breakfast-style lodge offers a perfect blend of comfort and luxury and has welcoming owners who can help you take advantage of the area’s abundant outdoor opportunities.
Whakaipo Lodge is owned by Garth and Angie London, who will make you feel like guests in their home when you visit the lodge. Garth and Angie are great hosts, and it shows in the lodge they’ve created. When you arrive, Garth and Angie will prepare afternoon tea, espresso, and coffee (and maybe some homemade chocolate cake) to help you unwind from your travels (Garth whips up excellent cappuccinos and lattes).
Kick back and settle into your plush accommodations. The lodge has two comfortable suites with private patios and soft king-sized beds with lots of pillows. You’ll find New Zealand-made toiletries in the bathroom along with a towel warmer that allows you to stay nice and toasty between taking a shower and wrapping up in a big soft bathrobe.
In the later afternoon, Garth and Angie will welcome you into the backyard for wine and canapés (on colder days, you can stay inside and sit in front of the fireplace in the living room). The yard is quiet and peaceful, so you’ll probably find yourself hanging out in one of the hammocks along the tree line. The hammocks are an ideal spot to get lost in that book you’re reading.
There are plum trees near the hammocks, which Angie uses to make delicious jams. After a good night’s sleep, you can enjoy some of that jam with a full breakfast, along with fresh eggs from a nearby farm, all prepared by Angie and Garth. It’s a full breakfast buffet (you’ll be full afterward) with fresh fruit, muffins and pastries, home-made muesli, and a cooked breakfast. Have food restrictions? Angie and Garth are happy to build a menu that works for you.
In addition to breakfast, afternoon coffee and tea, pre-dinner drinks, and canapés, Whakaipo Lodge offers free wi-fi, use of mountain bikes, and a courtesy airport shuttle. Inside each suite, there is a king sized bed, air conditioning, comfy chairs, a desk, and a television. The room has a refrigerator as well as a tea and coffee maker.
At the lodge, you will be wrapped in friendly luxury, and if you’re eager to get outdoors, you’re in good company. Garth and Angie are both outdoorsy, with first-hand knowledge of Taupo’s hiking, biking, and other recreation opportunities. You can also pick their brains about wherever you’re traveling next, as these active Kiwis have probably been there, done that. In addition to owning Whakaipo Lodge, Garth and Angie operate Adventure Shuttles, a great way to get between Taupo and world-class trails like Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Of course you don’t need to be super energetic to enjoy Whakaipo Lodge or its surroundings. Take a 3-kilometer trip to nearby Whakaipo Bay and relax on the edge of Lake Taupo. This is also the start of a bike trail along the lake. At night, there is great stargazing in New Zealand, and because Whakaipo Lodge is in the country outside Taupo, there’s no light pollution to interfere with your view of the Milky Way. If you’re visiting from USA or other places in the northern hemisphere, prepare to be impressed by a whole new set of stars in New Zealand!
For nearby eats, get fish and chips (a Kiwi classic) from Shaynes, or try gourmet pizza at the Bay Bar and Brasserie, both in the nearby town of Acacia Bay. Of course, Garth and Angie can recommend several other restaurants in the Taupo area. If you feel like staying in, you can even request a fine dinner prepared at the lodge (Angie is a great chef).
Whakaipo Lodge is a fantastic place to stay and will be a highlight of any trip to Lake Taupo. To check rates and book your stay, visit whakaipolodge.co.nz. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (64) 7 378-9298.
Directions: From the center of Taupo, take Tongariro Street (Thermal Explorer Highway) north for less than one kilometer and turn left onto Norman Smith Street. Drive 750 meters and turn left on Acacia Bay Road. Take this road for 3.6 kilometers to the town of Acacia Bay. Just as the road becomes Wakerman Road, turn right onto Mapara Road and drive another 5 kilometers to the driveway on the right up to the lodge.
Lodge address: 504 Mapara Road #1, Acacia Bay, Taupo, 3385, New Zealand
Lodge coordinates: -38.687907, 175.984261 (38° 41′ 16.46″S 175° 59′ 03.33″E)
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