Five Mile Bay Recreation Reserve (Amenity Area)-Lake Taupo

I should declare a bias for Lake Taupo having spent many weekends as a child there getting into all sorts of mischief in and around the lake. The 'great lake' is the largest in New Zealand by surface area (616 square kilometres) and located in the centre of the north island. It's a haven for swimming, fishing, water skiing and the chosen destination for many weekend warriors and tourists alike. CamperMate AppAbout 8kms south of the town you'll find the Five Mile Bay Recreation Reserve (a.k.s. Five mile Bay Amenity Area), a designated freedom campsite managed by the Department of Conservation. The area is a large parking area where as of the time of writing (9th April 2014) if you're a self-contained campervan you can stay for a maximum of four nights in a single calendar month. There are a number of these free Department of Conservation 'restricted' freedom campsites around this area, that are available for freedom camping, however with restrictions. Mostly, the restriction is that you need to be self-contained, however in some cases there are also restrictions such as only a maximum of five vehicles can camp there (not in this case however). If you're in the area you'll be able to find all the restrictions on the CamperMate app. Having many of these campsites within 100kms means they are often very well maintained and facilities are clean. The Five Mile Bay Recreation Reserve is right on the edge of the lake. It has a number of picnic tables and a public toilet. The lake is very safe for swimming and if you purchase a licence for fishing, you can try and catch some dinner. There is a river mouth a little bit south from here that is quite popular with fly fishermen, as the trout position themselves near the river mouth in order to catch any insects that come down the stream. A 24 hour fishing license will cost you $17. Taupo While it's located right next to State Highway 1, it's far enough away to be out of earshot. It's a busy road for trucks around here as forestry is big in the area, however these won't other you and the site is actually quite peaceful. There's lots of areas to park in, so space isn't really an issue. It's a very convenient location with toilet facilities and located right on the edge of the great lake, a 5 star rating for these reasons. IMG_1037 (Large) [mc4wp_form]