Tokaanu Wharf is an interesting historical segway from the Tokaanu Thermal Walk. The wharf itself is long and a mix of dilapidated original and more recent repairs. It’s also a popular place for shags to hang out. You can walk most of the way to the end, which gives you nice 360 degree views. If you look west, you will see the steaming cliffs of the Hipaua Thermal Area. Look a little further north and you can pick out the 75 metre high Waihi Falls.
Back in the 1800s, before there were any long distance roads linking the Taupō and volcanic plateau regions, there was a NZ “grand tour” route. Essentially tourists with enough resources could visit many of the prime attractions around NZ, thermal activity in the central North Island being particularly popular. The thermal pools at Tokaanu were quite easily accessed as you could cross Lake Taupō by boat, hence the historic wharf at the end of the road.
Keep an eye out for a sign that says Wharf Road as you head north along SH41 through Tokaanu to find the wharf.