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10 ways to be an awesome tourist in the Taupō region

We sure love manuhiri (visitors) here in the Taupō region. That’s because we’re happy to share what makes this place so special!

We are also more than happy to let you in on some ways that will make the most of your visit to the heart of living waters. It’s about capturing the true essence of the wider Taupō region, to ensure you maximise every part of your stay.

So, tick these things off your ‘to do’ list, and enjoy your time in our beautiful corner of the world.

1. Tiaki Promise - travel sustainably

We want future generations to encounter the same beauty we’re privileged to experience in the present day. Which is why ‘treading light’ is important. It’s about acknowledging everyone’s role as guardians of the natural environment, and doing what we can to protect and preserve this place we call home.

From getting off the beaten track, to ditching the car where possible and slowing down while you’re here, there’s plenty of ways that tourists can travel more sustainably when they come to town.

2. Be interested in the local history

There are some incredible stories to be heard about this regions’ past (and journey to today).

From the powerful volcanic eruptions that created the caldera volcano of Lake Taupō, to the Māori history and heritage of the Tūwharetoa iwi who have lived in the Taupō region for centuries. Make sure you pay a visit to Taupō Museum; it may be small, but it's fascinating information and displays are mighty.

3. Enjoy our local produce

Not to brag, but we have some pretty impressive local delicacies that are sure to delight your taste buds. And it would be an absolute crime to miss out on them!

Many of our cafes and restaurants serve fresh, locally-sourced produce, including beef, brews, coffee, honey, chocolate and so much more. See if you can spot them on the menu, or ask for recommendations when you’re dining in. And if you want to go straight to the source, head to Market Central Taupō on Sundays, where you will find local artisans in their element and always up for a friendly chat.

4. Live in the moment

Unless you’re taking a photo, we say put the phone away and be present to your adventures. 

There’s so much to see and do, and the only way you can soak everything up is by giving it your full attention.

5. Learn something new

What’s a holiday experience without learning a new skill or finding out something you didn’t know? That’s all part of the fun! And Taupō certainly doesn’t lack new adventures to be had.

You could try mountain biking, attend a cultural dinner, have a go at fly fishing, take in the incredible Ngātoroirangi Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings and find out how they were made, or watch glass being blown into beautiful art pieces.

6. Ready to experience what’s on offer

When a tourist comes to the Taupō region, it’s a good idea to be open to everything that is happening here.

We have outdoor activities aplenty, and while you may have never thought about doing an epic swing over the Waikato River - you can do that here! We also have a world class race track (the New Zealand home of Supercars), so you could whip around the track at a thrilling speed. Or get out on the water and appreciate the immense size of the spectacular crater lake (that’s roughly the size of Singapore!).

7. Take a photo at the LoveTaupō sign

Cameras at the ready! No visit to Taupō town is complete without getting your photo taken at the infamous LOVETAUPO sign along the waterfront. It’s a busy little spot, but if you offer to take someone’s photo for them, you’ll probably get the favour returned.

During the day, the lake and mountains are a spectacular backdrop to the large block letters, and at night it’s lit up all fancy like a lovely Christmas tree.

8. Be curious of your surroundings

Look up and around. What do you see, feel and hear? From towering cliff tops to lush native bush, amazing bird life, alpine forests, bubbling hot water springs and beautiful urban artwork you never know what you might find if you let yourself wander a little bit further.

Be fascinated by the environment around you, it’s pretty incredible when you observe it with an inquiring mind.

9. Seek extraordinary experiences

As a collective, we (people) can be quite nervous when it comes to trying something new. What if you don’t like it? What if you embarrass yourself? What if….?

But what if you love it? And it’s the most awesome time of your life.

Go on. Be bold and try something you never have when you’re in town. The only regrets we have are the chances we don’t take.

10. Take home stories

We hope that anyone who visits the Taupō region is able to return home with exciting tales of their adventures. Share what you learned, the amazing things you saw and the fun activities you dove head first into.

Who knows, maybe you’ll inspire someone else to discover everything you did while you were here - and that’s a pretty awesome gift to give.


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Art & Culture

The Haka Shop: ‘kia ora, welcome to our place’ 

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What is the Sunday market like at the Taupō lakefront? 

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