All in all, this is just the place I was looking for to write into a story. A perfect blend of fact and fiction could make this into something else, or just plain hiding in plain sight.
If you are not skiing, not hiking, not horseriding, and have come for the fishing, this is the place to be.
There is something about a summer resort town in the middle of winter.
Or maybe it’s like this all the time. After all, I have been here in Spring and Autumn and it was just as deserted on the main street.
And not just deserted it is almost like a ghost town, and I suspect the few people that are here are the few hapless tourists wandering about wondering where everyone else is.
It’s about 2 pm and we are heading for the local Coffee club for lunch and coffee. It might be past lunch but I don’t think that’s the reason why there are so few customers
There is just no one here.
Perhaps it’s probably a different story on weekends when the city people come down for the snow and are passing through.
But, essentially, Taupo is a holiday town, and if you take a closer look, all you will see is cafe’s, dining establishments and motels. A quick tour of the shopping center shows more shops are closed or vacant than there are open.
It’s not surprising that a lot of businesses cannot survive, because to stay in business, you need a steady stream of customers all year round, not just in Summer.
Unlike their winter counterparts, the ski resorts who seem to have a different working model, take as much as you can while you can, they only have to operate a few months of the year, use non-permanent seasonal workers, and can adjust if there’s no snow.
An indication of just how much custom there is in Taupo in winter is trying to organize horse riding. Admittedly it is rather cold for both humans and horses, but not every day is a loss. We sought out the local Taupo horse riding establishment and found it closed for Winter. Understandable perhaps, but the more telling point was the fact it had a big sign up “Business for Sale”
To me, after visiting the town for the fourth time, there’s no reason to go back again. I don’t fish, there is precious little to do there in winter, and I prefer to stay closer to the snowfields in winter, or even summer when there is more than just skiing.