Daily Scenic Cruises – Maori Rock Carvings
Our daily departing Scenic Cruises leave from the Taupo Boat Harbour on the Cruise Cat. You’ll enjoy cruising in comfort and style aboard a launch with fabulous views from both the top and bottom decks. It is fully enclosed, and there are large outdoor decks to enjoy close up views of the Maori Rock Carvings. Children are welcome, and we have colouring-in sheets and wheel certificates available for them. Cruise Cat is also wheelchair and push chair/stroller accessible.An informative commentary is given on the volcanic history and Maori mythology surrounding Lake Taupo, and you’ll enjoy a complimentary hot homemade muffin and tea/coffee as you take in the fabulous views of secluded bays and the spectacular snow capped mountain peaks of the World Heritage Tongariro National Park.
Your trip will take you from the Taupo Marina along the northern shores of Lake Taupo and on to Wharewaka Point (4 mile bay). From here we cross the main bay of Tapuaeharuru out to Rangatira Point and on to beautiful Mine Bay where we will see the famous Maori rock carvings. As you travel along Mine Bay you will notice a ledge 111 feet (34 m) above the water line where the lake level was thousands of years ago. The return trip back to the harbor is along the western shoreline past picturesque Acacia Bay. Morning departures feature tea or coffee and a hot muffin to warm you up and afternoon departures have a fishing demonstration. Passengers are welcome to participate in a brief bit of fishing after the demonstration, but must hold a valid Taupo fishing license (see Additional Info for more details).The Lake is 25 miles (40 km) long, 18 miles (30 km) wide and 610 feet (186 m) at its deepest point. The surface area is 388 square miles (625 square km). Many hot water areas can be seen along the northern and southern ends of the lake and a natural hot water beach runs along the lake front of the Taupo Township. These springs occur naturally as a result of the volcanic fault line which forms part of the Pacific Volcanic fault. Vertical features in the rock formations caused by heat dissipation can be clearly seen in Kaiapo bay. The heat fractures pushed around to form a fan in the volcanic core in Whakaipo bay which is exposed due to the drop in the eastern side of the Crater Lake. The Maori rock carvings were commissioned by the Queen Elizabeth Arts Council in 1980 and were created by members of the local Tuwharetoa tribe to represent many of their legends. The carvings feature mostly ‘Taniwha’ the protectors of the Lake whose power extends to include the island of Motutaiko where many tribal chiefs are buried. From here, we return back to the Lake Taupo Boat Harbor.