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Your guide to Kinloch
Welcome to Kinloch
The Waikato region of New Zealand astounds with its pastoral beauty. Undulating green pasturelands unfurl alongside gorgeous lakes, the rushing Waikato River, and volcanic black-sand beaches. Dairy and sheep farms dot the landscape, as do rows of grapevines that power the area’s celebrated wine scene. Thermal waters feed steamy hot springs, and picturesque waterfalls churn up mist from the pools below.
Perched on the edge of serene Lake Taupō — the largest lake in Waikato — is little Kinloch, a popular town devoted to all things outdoors. Here you can go boating on Lake Taupō, fish for trout in the Waikato River, and tee off at the area’s vaunted golf courses, including one designed by a famous golfer. Kinloch is also a magnet for cyclists, who come here to navigate the scenic and challenging Great Lake Trail, which circumnavigates Lake Taupō. Visitors who prefer a more low-key approach to sightseeing can hop on one of the many hiking trails that thread through the unblemished landscape.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Kinloch?
Spring and summer are the high seasons here, when balmy weather attracts visitors who come here for outdoor adventure. Crowds lessen in fall, although cyclists and golfers find plenty to do here. In winter, Kinloch can be a low-key base for exploring the region’s ski areas. In November, the Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge, the country’s largest cyclist event, featuring thousands of riders and cheering fans, shoots through Kinloch.
What are the top things to do in Kinloch?
Great Lake Trails
Mountain bikers flock to the gateway village of this storied biking trail that offers breathtaking downhills, challenging switchbacks, and epic scenery. Traversing the rim of Lake Taupo, the trail offers sweeping views of waterfalls, gorges, rock formations, and beautiful Tongariro National Park. Seasoned cyclists can tick this ride off their bucket lists, while families and casual riders can hop on easier stretches for a unique way to experience the Waikato landscape.
Maori Rock Carvings
These large, intricate rock carvings, created over the course of four years by artist Matahi Brightwell and completed in 1980, represent some of New Zealand’s most significant modern Maori artworks. They’re accessible only by water, so you can hire a boat to take you to these nearly 50-foot-high cliffside masterpieces, or if you’re feeling ambitious, hop in a kayak and paddle over on your own.
These gorgeous falls astound viewers with their sheer volume. Every 11 seconds, enough water thunders from the top of the fall to the gorge below to fill an Olympic swimming pool. Begin your trip to the falls with a hike that takes you past natural hot springs, which you can access from a well-marked trail, where you can ponder the restorative power of water as you luxuriate in the thermal pools.