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Discover short hikes and easy walks in the Taupō region

Are you searching for the perfect short walk in the Taupō region? Look no further!

The Taupō region is not just a haven for adventurous souls; it's also brimming with easy walks & hikes that offer serene connection, from leisurely strolls around emerald lakes to gentle treks through ancient forests; the Taupō region's diverse trails welcome everyone.


Lake Rotopounamu | Tongariro National Park

One of the most enchanting easy walks near the Tongariro National Park is Lake Rotopounamu. This 5 km loop track, nestled into Mount Pihanga's western side, is a favourite for families and nature lovers.

The path winds around Lake Rotopounamu through native bush, offering glimpses of local birdlife and inviting waters perfect for a post-hike swim or a beachside picnic.

Need to know:

  • 5 km
  • Allow 2 hours for the loop
  • No dogs
  • Toilets available along Ten Minute Beach

Tawhai Falls | Tongariro National Park

For a quick yet memorable experience, Tawhai Falls is a standout among short walks in the Tongariro National Park. Picture this: a path winding through a lush mountain toatoa and beech forest, leading you down to this gorgeous 13-meter-high waterfall.

For a 2-hour walk that's just a 5-minute drive away, trek the Taranaki Falls loop, starting at Whakapapa Village. Walk through native forests to this ancient lava flow. Along the trail, soak up the panoramic views of Mt Ruapehu and Mount Tongariro.

Need to know:

  • 0.5 km
  • Allow 15 – 20 minute return
  • No dogs
  • Carpark available at the start of the track

Silica Rapids | Tongariro National Park

For a visually enticing walk, Silica Rapids is unbeatable. It's one of those hidden gems in the Tongariro National Park, offering a kaleidoscope of colours and magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.

This track is a great way to experience the Taupō region's geological wonders, like the Silica Rapids, gorgeous creamy-white terraces that look like something out of a fairytale. The walk isn't just about the rapids, though. You’ll pass through a mix of swamp areas and tussock lands, with all sorts of subalpine plants adding splashes of colour to your journey.

Need to know:

  • 7 km
  • Allow 2.5 hours (loop via Bruce Road 2.5 kilometres above the starting point)
  • No dogs allowed in the national park
  • Toilets available at Whakapapa Village

Rimu Walk | Tongariro National Park

Located in the Tongariro National Park forest, the Rimu Walk is ideal for those looking for a short walk in the Taupō region. It's this cozy little trail nestled among towering rimu trees and abundant native birds. As you meander across a footbridge, don’t forget to peek upstream – you might just catch a glimpse of the elusive whio, or blue duck. The trail weaves its way through a carpet of ground ferns and kāmahi, criss-crossing a peaceful mountain stream.

The little bench near the stream is the perfect spot to take a breather, soak in the forest vibes, or do a bit of birdwatching. Trust us, it’s moments like these that make this walk extra special.

If you're up for another short adventure, head towards Whakapapa Village for the Whakapapanui Track. This delightful 6km return trail weaves through beech forests and alongside picturesque streams, leading you to the Whakapapa Village. Pack a delicious lunch, soak up the scenery, and retrace your steps for a fantastic day out.

Need to know:

  • 1.7 km
  • Allow 2.5 hours return
  • Dogs are allowed only with DOC permits
  • Toilets available at Whakapapa Village

Pukawa to Omori Track | Pukawa Bay

Ready for a peaceful escape? Come and discover the serene beauty of the region's forests with this lakeside walk. It’s perfect if you’re in the mood for a short, scenic stroll along Lake Taupō's southern shores.

And if you’re up for a little more exploration, why not add the Pukawa Bush Walk to your day? It’s a wonderfully refreshing walk through lush rewarewa forests. The real treat? The amazing chorus of native birds singing along the way adds an extra sense of relaxation.

Need to know:

  • 1.4 km
  • Allow 1.5 hours one way
  • Dogs are allowed on leash
  • Carpark is available at Omori Boat Ramp

Rangatira Point Track | Acacia Bay

This easy walk is perfect for families and leisure seekers. It's the kind of walk where every few steps, you're greeted with a new, stunning view of Lake Taupō. And there are little beaches dotted along the way, perfect for a bit of exploring.

You can make the walk as long or as short as you like. Just park at one of the various carparks along the track and off you go. And if you wander all the way to the end of the track to Whakamoenga Point. The views there? You’ve got Lake Taupō in all its glory, with the majestic peaks of Tongariro National Park in the backdrop. If you’re visiting in summer, don’t forget your togs – there’s nothing quite like jumping off those volcanic rocks into the crystal-clear waters below.

Need to know:

  • 3 km
  • Allow 1.5 hours one way
  • Dogs are allowed on leash
  • No facilities

Spa Thermal Park to Huka Falls Walk | Taupō town

Among the short walks in Taupō, the Spa Thermal Park to Huka Falls Walk stands out for its stunning river views and the mesmerizing Huka Falls. Imagine strolling along the Waikato River, starting from the natural hot springs in Spa Thermal Park all the way to the awe-inspiring Huka Falls.

Start at Spa Thermal Park to cross the bridge over the Otumuheke Stream. Here’s a tip: take a moment to soak in the stream's naturally hot waters. It’s completely free and so relaxing! For more, take some time to walk around Spa Thermal Park.

You can extend your journey from Huka Falls to Aratiatia Dam. It’s a bit of a trek, about a 4-hour return walk, but totally worth it. You’ll follow the river right up to the Aratiatia Dam and Rapids (be sure to time it with the opening times of the dam).

Need to know:

  • 3 km
  • Allow 2 hours one way
  • Dogs are allowed on leash
  • Toilets available at Huka Falls carpark and Spa Thermal Park carpark 

Mount Pureora Track via Link Road | Pureora Forest Park

This track is not just a hike; it's a journey through the heart of Taupō's spiritual landscape. It's one of the most rewarding short hikes in the Taupō region, offering panoramic views with a deep connection with the land.

On a day when the sky is clear, the panorama is nothing short of spectacular. You get to see across Lake Taupō, take in the Mamaku Ranges, and even catch glimpses of Mount Taranaki and Mount Ruapehu.

The track itself is dotted with bridges over streams and a boardwalk leading you towards the summit. As you climb, watch how the scenery changes – it’s fascinating! You start off surrounded by these tall podocarp trees at lower altitudes, and as you go higher, the trees shrink, making way for an open, almost magical landscape at the top.

Need to know:

  • 3 km
  • Allow 2.5 hours return via same track
  • Dogs are allowed only with DOC permits.
  • Carpark directly across the start of the trail. Facilities available at Ngaherenga Campsite

The Taupō region is a treasure trove of hiking experiences, with its array of short hikes and easy walks catering to every age and ability. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, Taupō's trails offer something special for everyone. So why wait? Lace up your boots, hit the trails!

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  4. Discover short hikes and easy walks in the Taupō region