Taupo is a beautiful place to visit. There are many things to do in Taupo, New Zealand. Taupo is a small town nestled in the center of New Zealand’s North Island. It’s known as the “gateway” to many of the country’s most popular destinations, including Tongariro National Park, Lake Taupo, and Ruapehu. Taupo is located on the North Island of New Zealand. It is an amazing town with many different attractions. If you are looking for things to do in Taupo, New Zealand then you have come to the right place.
This article will give you some ideas about what fun things you can do while visiting Taupo.
Visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
If you’re looking for something to do in Taupo, New Zealand, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. This park is full of geothermal wonders that will leave you feeling like you just stepped into another world. The Taupo Volcanic Zone has one of the highest geothermal activity ratings in the world. It lies in the beating heart of New Zealand’s North Island and stretches from Mount Ruapehu into the Pacific Ocean past White Island.
Wai O Tapu’s, whimsically named, Thermal Wonderland is a series of brightly colored geothermal pools, stinky sulfur mud baths, and explosive geysers, directly in the middle of this volcanic zone. They are mainly observed as gaseous expulsions from vents, cauldrons, and colorful geothermal pools. The distinct sulfur smell, similar to that of rotting eggs will accompany you throughout your visit to this fascinating natural wonder.
Take a scenic flight over the volcano
“A Taste of Taupo” scenic flight with Taupo’s Floatplane involves a watery take-off from Taupo Bay, turning over beautiful Acacia Bay, the headwaters of the Waikato River then across to the bubbling mud pools and steam vents of “Craters of the Moon” thermal area. The “A Peek at the Lake” scenic flight takes off from the waters of Taupo Bay, past Acacia Bay to Rangatira Point viewing the crystal clear waters of Whakaupo and Mine Bay. We fly over Turangi, Lake Rotoaira, the Blue & Emerald Lakes, Tama Lakes, and onto the summit of Mount Ruapehu where a circuit of the summit allows you to view Crater Lake and the ski fields on the slopes of Ruapehu.
We continue onto Mt Ngauruhoe where you can peer into the center of this classic volcano before viewing the Red Crater and the old lava flows including the most recent activity of the Te Mari Crater before landing back on the waterfront.
Go skydiving or bungee jumping
Taupo is a great place for adventure, and there are several activities you can do while you’re here. If you want to get your heart pumping, try skydiving or bungee jumping at the Taupo Bungy Centre. From bungee jumping into the Waikato River and skydiving experiences over snow-capped mountains, Taupo has plenty to offer adventure travelers. Three of the most popular activities in Taupo – are Skydiving with Taupo Tandem Skydiving and NZ’s highest water-touch Bungy and swing with AJ Hackett Bungy. Ranging from 40 to 134-meter jumps there is a height to suit everyone where your adrenaline levels will be at an all-time high. These jumps, over some of New Zealand’s most beautiful scenery and you will experience adventure on another level.
Explore the Huka Falls
The Huka Falls are the largest falls on the Waikato River, near Taupo on New Zealand’s North Island. Huka Falls is located in Wairakei Park. The name Huka is the Maori word for ‘foam’, which is appropriate as the falling water and rapids certainly resemble foam, especially under flooding conditions. This is only a short 5-minute drive north of Lake Taupo. Or you can choose the 30-minute riverside walk as a way to get to the several viewing platforms that are available.
The Waikato River is one of New Zealand’s longest rivers and it drains Lake Taupo – the largest freshwater lake in all of Australasia. The pristine color of the water is just as impressive as the powerful flow of the water itself. The falls are a must-see for anyone visiting the area. You can hike down to them from the top or just sit back and enjoy them from the viewing platform at the car park.
Visit the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is heralded as the best one-day trek in New Zealand. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is located in the Tongariro National Park – New Zealand’s oldest national park and a dual UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tongariro National Park is rich in both cultural identity and dramatic, awe-inspiring natural scenery. Unique landforms, including the volcanic peaks of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro, and Ruapehu ensure the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered a world-renowned trek. It is a 19.4-kilometer (12-mile) hike that takes you through the area where they filmed Mordor in The Lord of the Rings.
Go fishing or boating on Lake Taupo
Lake Taupo is one of New Zealand’s premier freshwater fishing destinations and is an internationally renowned trout fishery. Taupo offers superb fishing for large brown and rainbow trout all year: mainly boat fishing in summer and fly fishing in winter. The most popular method for fishing the lake is trolling, including leadline trolling, wire lining, or the use of downriggers to troll at a deeper level.
In the rivers, during the summer months, there can be good dry fly and nymph fishing, particularly in the early morning and evenings. Similarly, after dark from late summer, large brown trout beginning their spawning migration can be caught using a large wet fly swung downstream into the tail of the bigger pools, or at stream and river mouths. Lake Taupo’s clean waters are refreshing but swimmable through spring, summer, and autumn (and winter if you’re brave!). You can kayak, fly high above the lake on a parasail, stand-up paddleboard, hire a sailing boat, waterski, wakeboard, or windsurf.
Visit the Taupo Museum and Art Gallery
When you’re in Taupo, New Zealand, and you want to learn more about the history of the area and its people, the Taupo Museum and Art Gallery is a great place to go. Taupo Museum contains an array of exhibits with everything from Māori treasures, a ‘cute as’ Kiwiana caravan, a ‘virtual’ tour of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, art galleries, and a fishing tale or two.
The Ora – Garden of Wellbeing, winner of a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show, 2004 is a special ‘living’ exhibit on permanent display at Taupō Museum. The garden has been made a “Garden of National Significance’ by the NZ Gardens Trust. Changing exhibitions of contemporary New Zealand artwork from paintings to fiber art, sculpture, and photography are on display and for sale in our two art galleries. The main towns around the Taupō region have galleries, gift shops, artist studios, and boutique design stores offering a creative edit of furniture, homewares, and handcrafted objects.
Visit the Orakei Korako Cave and Thermal Park
The Orakei Korako Cave and Thermal Park is one of the most popular activities in Taupo, New Zealand. It’s a beautiful park with gorgeous scenery and lots of different things to do. Kayaking through geothermal features along the Waikato River, stopping for a warm shower and soaking under a natural hot springs waterfall (optional), and wandering through the hidden valley of Orakei Korako Geothermal Park is without a doubt the best way to experience the spectacular scenery and the geothermal wonders of New Zealand. The park is home to two caves: Waiau Cave, which is the deepest cave in the country, and Ruakuri Cave, which has been classified as a world heritage site.
Take a dip in the hot pools at the Spa Thermal Park
The Spa Thermal Park is a public park in Taupo famous for Otumuheke Stream which has rejuvenating hot springs. The springs are part of the geothermal activity that is intrinsic to Taupo- including the ‘Craters of the Moon’ and the Taupo lake that has hot springs around its periphery. The Spa Park also has a walking trail about 7 kilometers long that takes you to the Huka Falls- a majestic 11-meter-high waterfall on the Waikato river.
The Otumuheke Stream has piping hot geothermal water with sulfur that combines with the Waikato river waters to offer soothing pools for visitors to bathe in. Take a dip in the water and relax with the view of the lush greenery all around. Don’t forget to take a walk around the place to make the most of the experience.
Take a scenic drive or bike ride around the lake
Taupo is a beautiful lake town in New Zealand, and the surrounding area is full of recreational adventures. If you’re looking for a way to experience the beauty of the area without having to climb a mountain or paddle a boat across the water, one of the best things you can do is take a scenic drive or bike ride around the lake.
This will give you an opportunity to see all of the natural beauty that Taupo has to offer without having to exert yourself too much. Taupo’s riding experiences range from grade 1-2 family and e-bike tracks to epic overnight adventures, grade 5 downhills, mountain bikes, and BMX jump parks. There are a wide variety of long scenic trails, and the Great Lake Trails, Timber Trail, and Waikato River Trails are all part of The New Zealand Cycle Trails network.
We hope that you have enjoyed this guide to the best things to do in Taupo, New Zealand. If you’re looking for a place to spend a relaxing afternoon or evening, Taupo is a great choice. There are plenty of museums and historical sites that you can visit, as well as plenty of places to relax and enjoy the scenery. Whether you’re a traveler or a local, we hope that this guide has helped you find something new and exciting to do in your city.