The picturesque village of Mangakino hides many gems and as city slickers look for ways to escape, the word’s out.
Nestled beside the jewel-like waters of Lake Maraetai on the Waikato River, Mangakino was built as a settlement to house dam and power station workers during the 1940’s. It was meant to be temporary, but the beauty of the surroundings and promise of ongoing work meant people stayed.
Today Mangakino is a popular weekend escape. The secret has been let out and people have discovered the opportunities for watersports, scenic lake cruises, trout fishing, mountain biking, hiking and golf. Holiday homes abound and many can be rented or there are local lodges, motels ,B&B and farm-stay options in the local area. There’s great coffee and food at the café lake-front plus free camping for motorhomes, campervans and tents on the Mangakino Lakefront Reserve.
Donna Jarden, Marketing Manager for Destination Great Lake Taupo, says to escape the busy pace of city life, you can’t beat Mangakino. “You’ll feel yourself starting to relax as you pass by the dairy pastures of the South Waikato until you arrive lake-side and soak in the peace. Once revived, the Waikato River Trails beckon riders and hikers alike”
The Lake Maraetai section of the Waikato River Trails is a stunning weekend ride. Part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail, this fun track winds its way for 12.2km along Lake Maraetai to the village of Whakamaru. With dazzling lake views and a 70m long suspension bridge to cross, it’s a great day’s ride for the whole family. Mountainbikers looking for a longer adventure can add either the Waipapa or Whakamaru sections of the trail.
“Anyone wanting to uncover the hidden gems of the Great Lake Taupo region needs to add Mangakino to their itinerary” commented Donna Jarden. “Steeped in hydro-electric history and flush with native flora and fauna it’s ever a place that the locals can’t wait to welcome you. You’ll go home refreshed and revived”
Mangakino can be reached through regular flights between Auckland, Wellington and Taupo, then a scenic 45 minute drive from Taupo via State Highway 32. Driving from Auckland will take 3 hours 15 minutes via Tirau and Tokoroa.
Source = Mangakino