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6 must-visit sights for travel enthusiasts in the Taupō region

Welcome to the Taupō region, filled with breathtaking natural beauty and captivating landmarks that will leave you in awe. Whether you're a nature lover, adventure seeker, or simply looking for a tranquil escape, this region offers something special. Join us as we explore the must-visit scenic sights and landmarks that will make your trip an unforgettable experience!

Huka Falls from the Huka Falls River Cruise

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Huka Falls

Prepare to be amazed by the sheer power and beauty of Huka Falls. Witness the spectacle of nearly a quarter of a million litres of water per second erupting from a natural gorge and plunging 11 meters into the Waikato River below.

It's no wonder that Huka Falls is Aotearoa's most visited natural attraction. Get up close and feel the mist on your face as you marvel at this incredible display of nature's force.

How to get there:

Created over four years by carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell and his team, it stands tall as a symbol of ancestral connection and artistic devotion. Surrounded by smaller sculptures depicting ancestral guardians, it weaves a narrative of the history of the Taupō region, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Aotearoa’s vibrant culture and history.

Discover the different ways you can experience the magic of the Ngātoroirangi Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings, whether it's by boat, kayak, paddleboard, sailing tour, or scenic flight. Each option offers a unique perspective and a chance to appreciate the intricate details of these magnificent carvings.

How to get there:

  • Cruise along on a scenic boat tour
  • Fly over them with Taupō’s Floatplane
  • Kayak to the Māori Mine Bay Carvings with Taupō Kayak Adventures
  • Skate across Lake Taupō on a jet ski with Taupō Water Sports

    Aratiatia Dam & Rapids

    Experience the raw power and beauty of the Aratiatia Rapids, where thousands of litres of water are released from the Aratiatia Dam multiple times a day.

    Summer release hours (October to March) - 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm

    Winter release hours (April to September) - 10am, 12pm, 2pm

Marvel at the spectacle as the water rushes through a narrow gorge, creating a breathtaking display of nature's forces. Be sure to time your visit right. It's a sight that will leave you spellbound.

How to get there:

Note: Aratiatia Rapids IS NOT a safe place to swim. The dam can release water at any time and without warning.


Ātea - Tapuaeharuru

Prepared to embark on an extraordinary journey through the new lakefront Atea - Tapuaeharuru. Atea, a Māori term meaning "space," serves as a welcoming meeting place for all visitors. At the heart of Atea stands a remarkable masterpiece—the pou—a monumental pillar meticulously crafted by master carver Delani Brown from a 2,000-year-old Totara tree.

Surrounding the central piece are 13 metal pou, symbolizing the 13 primary rivers and tributaries that flow into Lake Taupō, offering both a geographical reference and a captivating visual display.

How to get there:

Beyond these remarkable features, you'll encounter four black timber pou, which represent the cardinal points and acknowledge individuals from around the world and pay homage to the four elements, four seasons, and four distinctive bird species.

Step into this shared space, where the environment, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality of its people will leave you feeling deeply connected and inspired.


Tongariro National Park

As you enter Tongariro National Park, prepare to be transported to a world of stunning landscapes and cultural significance. This dual UNESCO World Heritage Site holds immense Māori cultural and spiritual significance and offers unparalleled natural beauty.

 

Explore the vast network of walks and hikes, from short walks, and day hikes to multi-day traverses that lead you through diverse terrains, from ancient forests to volcanic landscapes.

Some walks and hikes highlights:

Don't miss the world-famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a 19.4km trek that takes you through breathtaking scenery and offers views that will leave you breathless.


Tongariro River

Calling all fishing enthusiasts! The pristine Tongariro River is a paradise for trout fishing. Flowing from the snow-clad peaks of Tongariro National Park, this river is considered one of the world's best trout fishing spots.

To stay on land, explore the Tongariro River Trail, a rolling track perfect for walking or mountain biking, offering stunning views of splashing trout, the river and its surrounding landscapes. Make a stop at the Tongariro National Trout Centre to witness the fascinating underwater world of trout and catch a glimpse of the endangered native Whio (blue duck).

How to get there:


Taupō's scenic sights and landmarks offer an abundance of natural wonders and cultural treasures to discover.

From the thundering Huka Falls to the mesmerizing Ngātoroirangi Māori Mine Bay Rock Carvings, and the awe-inspiring landscapes of Tongariro National Park, there's something for everyone in this enchanting region.


 

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  4. 6 must-visit sights for travel enthusiasts in the Taupō region