Taupo, located on the edge of Lake Taupo in the centre of the North Island and the largest freshwater volcanic lake in New Zealand, is a popular tourist destination. Holiday makers are not only drawn by the magnificent scenic beauty of the area. There are many exciting activities for tourists and travellers to experience in and around Taupo.
You are sure to find something in this list that will have you including Taupo in your New Zealand travel itinerary. It is en route to Wellington, and a natural stop as you tour the country.
Scenic Boat Cruises
There is a choice of scenic boat cruises to take you around Lake Taupo, including the Maori Rock Carvings, only reached by boat. You can opt for a modern cat cruise, a luxury cruiser, or something more historic… a replica steamboat, or a 1920’s sailing boat once owned by Errol Flynn.
There are jetboats and cruises to view the Huka Falls, and the Waikato River, and a Riverboat to tour the different geothermal activity spots in the area, including Orakei Korako.
Taupo is a great spot for kayaking – both scenic kayaking, or white water kayaking on the rivers… for those who need some thrills. You can choose a guided kayak tour, or self guided tours. Explore the many bays around the lake, the Waikato and Tongariro Rivers and many other streams and inlets. You will meander past steaming geothermal areas, sheer cliffs and beautiful bush…with just the birdsong to break the silence. There are kayak sessions for anything from a few hours to a few days. All levels of ability are catered for.
Taupo is rekowned for its trout fishing. It attracts people from all over the world, keen to take a break and try the art of fly fishing in the Tongariro River, or Lake Taupo. Others prefer to charter a boat and fish on the lake.
Geothermal power is harnessed in Taupo… the first in the world. You will see the large pipes and billows of steam as you enter the town. There are many pockets of exciting thermal activity which are fascinating… with boiling mudpools, steam vents, geysers and the general eerie feeling of the colourful terrain. Orakei Korako and Karapiti Craters of the Moon are both excellent experiences.
Thermal Pools and Spas
There are many thermal pools in the area, but some are a little out of the way. Swimming in natural thermal pools leave you feeling wonderfully relaxed. De Bretts Thermal Pools and Spa on the southern side of Taupo have long been the place for enjoying Thermal Hot Pools and Spa. Tokanuu is another, where you can enjoy a relaxing soak.
Hiking and Tramping
Hiking and Tramping tracks abound in this area. The Tongariro National Park has may tracks for all levels of fitness, from the famous Tongariro Crossing one day walk – 17 kilometres of fairly demanding walk, to short but very beautiful bush walks. Both around Taupo and National Park… you will find plenty of lovely walks. Although in winter, you will more likely be skiing or snowboarding at National Park. The road from Turangi can sometimes be closed if the weather is bad.
Adventure Activities – for those who want Excitement and an Adrenaline Rush
- Tandem Sky Diving
- Parasailing – the views are stunning, as you sail through the air above the lake.
- Taupo Bungy Jump is a very popular bungee.
- Jetboating down the Waikato River
- White Water Rafting – there are different grades for different nerves!
- Mountain biking