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Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand. Close to the ski-fields on Mt Ruapehu, the water gets very cold in winter and spring, but warms quickly in summer. It is clean and clear of weeds. A busy place in the holidays, Taupo has plenty of accomm- odation and lots to do - mountainbiking, thermal areas, hot pools and visit the awesome Huka Falls. 36km long and 25km wide, and only about 25 local sailors so it's not too crowded! Local resources include the windsurf shop, windline (07) 377-0048, hire at 2 Mile Bay and the Taupo Windsurf Club. There are also numerous other activities to explore when there's no wind, such as mountain biking, tramping, mountain climbing, ski-ing, canoeing, rafting etc. etc. etc.

Dial-a-forecast: 0900 999 13
Info Centre: 13 Tongariro St, Taupo. Ph 07 378 9000
Local Shop: Windline. Town centre. Ph 07 377 0048


Wave sailingChop jumpingSlalomRace boardLearnerRiggingHIRE
Right at the main street of Taupo, there's a sand beach with toilets, parking and grass rigging areas.
Suits: Slalom, longboard,(wavesailing in southerlies).Beginners......
Wind: All onshore winds - S,SW. SE = sideshore
Water: Flat - short chop - lake swell up to 1 metre.

  • That you keep to areas designated for windsurfers and be courteous to other beach users.
  • That you don't go out for long expeditions unprepared as lakeconditions can change suddenly.
  • That you wear a good wetsuit, hypothermia is a risk in coldertemperatures.

In Detail: In a SE the lake front is an option, providing good slalom conditions, although it can be difficult for the first 100m offshore. Southerlies provide good learner/beginner conditions until it strengthens when it gets better fro beginner wave sailors with chop on the nearby bar.


Chop jumpingSlalomRace boardLearnerRigging
5 minutes drive from main town, turn right off lakeside road. Sand/pebble beach, toilets, BBQ area, grass rigging etc.
Suits: Slalom, longboard. Beginners.......
Wind: W,N,NE. S,SW are best and reach up to 30 knots.
Water: Flat - wind swell.
Watch: A few submerged rocks at the southern end of the point especially when lake levels are low.
In Detail: On the right as you head south from Taupo township (before you get to the airport), Wharwwhaka Point has plenty of parking, grass rigging, toilets/changing rooms and easy launching. Water gets deep quickly (not good for kids). This is the location of numerous funboard events. Predominant wind is a SW, and in strong conditions a big wind-swell can develop from the southern end of the lake.


Chop jumpingSlalomRace boardLearnerRiggingCamping
Parking, grass rigging and toilets at most bays.
Suits: Slalom, longboard. Beginners.....
Wind: S,SW,W,NW,N.
Water: Flat - lake swell.
Watch: A few rocks, and other lake users.
In Detail:

  • Watahanui, Five Mile Bay and Hatepe:For more adventurous sailing keep heading south, these beaches offer access to good wind swells although the steep shelf creates a mean beach break. Off shore (5km) is the Horomatangi Reef, an underwater pinnacle which should be investigated with care and company.
  • Mission Bay, Te Rangita, Tauranga Taupo River Mouth and Stump Bay: These are also worth a look if you've got the time.
  • Kuratau: In the SW corner of the lake, this is a "local secret", with wind tunneling down off the hills to give a wind at least 1 sail size smaller than the northern end of the lake.
  • Whakaipo Bay and Kinloch: To the West of Taupo township, these spots allow sailing up to the cliffs.

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