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Discover Taupō's incredible scenic wonders by bike

Discover a network of biking and walking trails winding along the shores of the stunning Waikato River, connecting Taupō town with Huka Falls, Aratiatia Dam, Wairakei Tourist Park and Craters Mountain Bike Park. The trails serve up an abundance of stunning scenery, natural wonders and many exciting activities to enjoy along the way! Read on for highlights on what you can see, do and eat while exploring the Huka Trails.

Ride, walk or run – it’s up to you! The Huka Trails have multiple access points, and you can complete them in either direction to tailor your trail experience to suit your schedule – from a couple of hours to a full day, there is plenty to see and do along the way. Most sections of the trail are an easy grade 1-2, whilst some parts are grade 3 intermediate.

If you don’t own a bike, no problem - Taupō is lucky to have several bike retailers and rental operators catering to the bustling mountain biking community, with e-bikes available too! Head in-store to rent your gear, and the team will point you toward the Huka Trails, easily accessible from Taupō town - you can either start at the Control Gates Bridge, Spa Thermal Park or ride from the town centre.

Taupo town bike hire:

The Hub bike hire:

AJ Hackett Taupō Bungy & Swing

Access from the River Side Trail

As you wind your way around the River Side Trail from Control Gates Bridge, you will pass Cherry Island, an idyllic setting amongst sheer cliffs and emerald green crystal-clear waters. From here, you may hear the excitement from bungy jumpers echoing down the gully as they leap from a platform high above the waters of the Waikato River! Follow the trail up to AJ Hackett Taupō Bungy & Swing, famed for its awe-inspiring location, and face your fears at New Zealand’s only clifftop bungy site.

Otumuheke Stream

Access from Spa Thermal Park (Spa Thermal Park to Huka Falls walk)

Taupō is a geothermal wonderland - the benefits of which have been celebrated by locals and visitors for hundreds of years. Be sure to pack your togs and towel and call by the natural geothermal hot pools of Otumuheke Stream!

Located in Spa Thermal Park, the popular bathing spot sits where warm geothermal waters gently flow from the Otumuheke Stream into the Waikato River. There are changing rooms available here, as well as coffee and treats from Lil Something Cafe before you carry on to the mighty Huka Falls via the Rotary Ride (cyclists only) or Spa Thermal Park to Huka Falls walk (walkers only).

Huka Honey Hive

Access from Wairakei Tourist Track and Karetoto Road

The kids will love this stop! Call in and check out New Zealand’s largest collection of artisan honey products and learn about the humble honeybee. Adults can enjoy mead and liqueur tastings while the kids watch the live beehive display or grab an ice cream or sweet treat from Café Hive @65.

Hukafalls Jet

Access from Wairakei Tourist Track and Karetoto Road

You may see the 360˚-spinning action from the clifftops or hear the roar of twin V8 engines veering up and down the river. This is the sound of Hukafalls Jet - one of the country’s most iconic tourism operators.

The 14-seater jet boats transport visitors on the stretch of river between Aratiatia Dam and the base of the Huka Falls – giving you a whole new perspective on the falls. If you want to give it a spin, head down Karetoto Road off the Wairakei Tourist Track.

Huka Prawn Park

Access from Wairakei Tourist Track and Karetoto Road

If you're hungry or have the kids in tow, make a stop at New Zealand’s only Prawn Park. You could easily spend a couple of hours here with prawn fishing, outdoor games, water activities and hatchery tours. Indulge in a prawn feast at the Riverside Restaurant overlooking the Waikato River before you get back on your bike.

Wairakei Terraces

Access from Wairakei Resort Track, Aratiatia Loop trail

The perfect après trail activity. Soak those weary muscles in geothermally heated natural pools at the adults-only Wairakei Terraces. Pools of varying temperatures have been strategically positioned below silica terraces and waterfalls, taking full advantage of the geothermal water flow drawn to the earth’s surface from 1.5km underground. You may want to keep this activity for your day's last stop!

Aratiatia Dam and Rapids 

Access from Huka Falls to Aratiatia Dam trail, Aratiatia Loop trail

The Aratiatia Dam has been generating hydropower since 1964, and the daily opening of the gates creates quite the spectacle. Witness thousands of litres of rushing water being released from the Dam down through the Aratiatia Rapids.

Check out the Dam opening times and plan this into your journey:

Summer – October to March
4 times a day at 10am - 12pm - 2pm - 4pm

Winter – April to September
3 times a day at 10am - 12pm - 2pm

Did you know that the Aratiatia Rapids featured in Peter Jackson's movie, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug? The scene where the Dwarves are escaping the Elves by hiding in barrels thrown downstream!

Kefi at The Hub

Access from Café Track, Wairakei Tourist Track, Junk and Disorderly

Right across from the Craters Mountain Bike Park at The Hub, you can pull in for a snack, hearty lunch or a coffee! You won't miss it, as a giant Sikorsky helicopter is on the ground. Kefi at The Hub is the perfect place to rest your legs and fuel up between bike rides.

Huka Falls River Cruise

Access from Huka Falls to Aratiatia Dam trail, Aratiatia Loop trail

The family-friendly Huka Falls River Cruise operates from its base at the Aratiatia Dam up to the Huka Falls. The 80-minute cruise glides alongside native bush-lined riverbanks, where you can see natural hot streams and abundant bird life as you travel towards the base of the Huka Falls – providing the perfect spot for photographs. What’s more, the purpose-built riverboat offers indoor seating, so if the weather packs in, it doesn’t mean your adventure has to!

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  4. Discover Taupō's incredible scenic wonders by bike