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48 hours in Taupo

Heading to our glorious lakeside paradise for a couple of days? Here’s how to have a truly memorable 48 hours.

Day One

Whether you arrive by air or by road, Taupo will greet you with sweeping views of its ancient, snow-capped volcanoes, bush-clad hills and the crystal blue water of the massive Lake Taupo.

Experience genuine kiwi hospitality at lakeside accommodation such as the boutique Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels, the family-focused Anchorage Resort or the exclusive Lake Taupo Lodge.

Once you are settled in, wander into town and choose one of our many restaurants where you can indulge in fresh local cuisine such as Taupo beef and lamb, locally grown truffles, microgreens and saffron, and a bevy of other organic and free-range ingredients.

Day Two

Wake up to the lake at your doorstep, a sunrise of epic proportions and a day promising adventure. Enjoy breakfast at Storehouse, Replete or Cafe Baku and discover divine dishes to fuel your day.

Morning

Tackle a bungy jump or Cliffhanger extreme swing with Taupo Bungy. If getting airborne is more your thing, Taupo Tandem Skydiving or Skydive Taupo will send you soaring through the sky with the best view in the North Island.

For a gentler option, hike along the trail that leads from Spa Thermal Park to Huka Falls. Walk all the way to the famous falls and back (2 hours return) or just as far as you fancy.

Lunch

Combine a delicious meal with some art and visit either L’Arte Cafe and Gallery or Lava Glass Studio, Gallery, Sculpture Garden and Cafe. Discover magical sculpture-filled gardens, artist demonstrations, excellent coffee and a great selection of fresh baked goods and menu dishes.

Afternoon

Head to Orakei Korako Geothermal Park and Cave, dubbed by Lonely Planet as the best geothermal area left in New Zealand. A short ferry ride will take you to a hidden valley of gushing geysers, hot springs, bubbling mud pools and some of the most incredible silica terraces in the world.

On your way back to Taupo, stop and take a long, hot soak in the healing mineral waters of the adults-only Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa or Taupo De Bretts Spa Resort.

Dinner

Vine Eatery & Bar promises an upmarket experience with its tapas dishes and impressive whiskey and cocktail menu. Families can’t go wrong at Dixie Browns with their extensive menu and divine desserts. Both options offer al fresco dining for those balmy summer evenings.

Day Three

Have breakfast at a cafe in town before embarking on a walking tour of New Zealand’s largest collection of street art that was created during the annual Graffiato: Taupo Street Art Festival. A downloadable walking tour map is available.

Mid morning

Board a scenic cruise to the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings with Sail Barbary (pre-book as these trips fill up quickly). Cruise to the 14-metre high carvings that are hailed as one of New Zealand’s most extraordinary contemporary Maori artworks.

On your return, make a pitstop at Stir Cafe at Taupo Boat Harbour for killer coffee and sweet or savoury crepes.

Afternoon

Hop on a thrilling jet boat ride with Hukafalls Jet or Rapids Jet. With Hukafalls Jet you’ll experience the awesome, turbulent power of Huka Falls from the crystal-blue pool at its base, and with Rapids Jet you’ll experience the best rapids ride in New Zealand.

Wrap up your Taupo trip by warming up in the natural hot springs in Otumuheke Stream at Spa Thermal Park. There are river edge lounging platforms, a coffee kiosk and storyboards explaining the historic significance of the area.

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