Driving along the main hwy from Taupo at the Northern end of the lake to the Southern end of the lake offers some stunning views, the famous Waitahanui River is the first place to stop along here there is a car park right beside the river, walk along the bridge and you will be guaranteed to spot a Rainbow Trout in the clear water below, there is also a great picnic spot just north of the Waitahanui bridge right on the water front.
Once through Waitahanui the road heads up onto the plateau and through the pine forest you will not see the lake again until you drop down the plateau into Hatepe a small settelment on the lake shore there is a great sandy beach to walk along and take in the views, the road now hugs the lake front offering great views out across the lake and there are numerous places to stop, the Tauranga Taupo river is located on the eastern shore line which is another great trout fishing river and is the last river before Turangi at the southern end.
Turangi is the gate way to the Tongariro National Park which is located south of Turangi township there is access here to the Desert Road on the eastern side of the park or State Hwy 47 this will take you on the western side of the great National Park this route takes you past Lake Rotoaira, this lake feeds the hydro electric power stations that are located around the area.
The Tongariro River is located at the southern end of Lake Taupo and is the most well known river for anglers from all over the world, the river is a world class trout fishery, there is a walking track starting just outside of Turangi and accessed off State Hwy one, the track takes you up the river and past the Tongariro Trout Hatchery, this is a must see tourist spot when in Turangi, the track takes you past the famous pools of Admirals and Major Jones and is a great walk in the summer time.
The Tokaanu power station is located further along the lake the water for the turbines are funneled through the mountain from under ground man made rivers high up on the plateau and drop down a great distance to the turbines at the Tokaanu tail race, there is an aquaduct located on the under side of the bridge that crosses the Tail race river and caries an important stream for trout migration, the tail race construction cut this stream in half so now the stream can carry on over the tail race river uninterrupted.
While you are at the southern end there are hot pools to soak in located at Tokaanu, you can drive out to the end of the Tokaanu tail race to where it enters the lake there is a jetty here that stretches out across the river, and further around the lake on the western side there is Lake Kuratau up on the plateau and the small lake side settlements of Omori and the settlement of Kuratau a little further north this where the Kuratau river enters the lake.