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How to spend a day on Lake Taupo

There are countless ways locals and visitors alike can enjoy the lake; from simply swimming, picnicking and sunset watching, to parasailing and jet skiing, fishing and diving, and even cruising in motorised inflatable donut!

Here are five of our favourite ways to make the most of our moana:

1. Scenic cruising

On a calm summers day, nothing beats cruising along the glass-like waters of Lake Taupo with friends and family, taking in the glorious 360 degree view.

Cruise to the Ngatoroirangi Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings:

We're lucky to have so many great operators on the lake that are passionate about sharing the beauty that is Lake Taupo, and the stunning carvings created by Matahi Brightwell and his team of four artists, that was completed in 1980 after four years of work.
For tours out to the magnificent Ngatoroirangi Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings, climb aboard with:

Chris Jolly Outdoors, Cruise Cat - the biggest boat on the lake,
Ernest Kemp - the family friendly replica steam boat,
Sail Barbary Eco Sailing - the electric 0% emissions yacht,
Taupo Sailing Adventures - the big and beautiful blue yacht, Kindred Spirit.

Want to see the entire lake?

Big Sky Parasail - if you want the ultimate scenic view of Lake Taupo, then parasailing is the way to do it! View like the birds do and rise up to 1000ft above the lake.

2. Visiting the Western Bays

The Western Bays, known for their crystal, turquoise waters, towering cliffs and secluded beaches, are one of Taupo's best 'hidden' gems. Although these bays are inaccessible to most visitors, you can head to the harbour and jump onboard with:

Taxicat Adventures - Lake Taupo's newest tour vessel to the Western Bays. The Taxicat can take you out to explore this untouched wilderness on a kayak. They also offer transport to the Western Bays, perfect for hikers, bikers, and sightseers exploring the Great Lake Trails.

3. Ride the rivers

The awa (rivers) that surround Taupo are thriving; the unspoiled Tongariro River that feeds into the lake, and the mighty Waikato River that is fed by the lake. Both have an array of activities to enjoy, whether your an adrenaline junkie or scenery admirer.


Hukafalls Jet the only jet boat to take you to the base of the mighty Huka Falls for unique water-level views.
Rapids Jet - on the powerful white water rapids of Aratiatia, jump onboard the impressive Chevy V8 jet boat.
Tongariro River Rafting - ore in-hand and a guide at the helm, you'll ride your way over the Tongariro's raging rapid.
Rafting New Zealand - ride over 60+ rapids while you cover 14km of the Tongariro River.


Huka Falls River Cruise - enjoy the incredible views of Huka Falls in comfort on this purpose-built riverboat.
Taupo Kayaking Adventures - grab a paddle and head out onto the gorgeous Waikato River, or to Orakei Korako to explore the geothermal waters.
Canoe & Kayak - enjoy an easy ride down the Waikato River while you marvel at the spectacular cliff-faces and try to spot trout in the gin-clear water.

4. Catch some kaimoana

Have you ever tried Rainbow Trout? Well here, catching it is the only way you can! Let Taupo's passionate anglers and guides show you how to reel in a fat fish for dinner:

Fly fishing:

Chris Jolly Outdoors - whether you want to cast into some of our regions pristine spawning rivers, or head into raw New Zealand backcountry, the Chris Jolly guides can get you there, with all guidance and gear provided.
Tongariro Lodge - with 36 years experience, the Tongariro Lodge guides provide access to the best wilderness trout fishing in the world by 4WD, boat, raft and even helicopter.
Riverstone Fly Fishing - catered fishing itineraries to suit your style of adventure through out Taupo, Tongariro and the Central North Island.

Lake fishing:

Chris Jolly Outdoors - as well as fly fishing adventures, Chris Jolly Outdoors have charters to take you out to popular fishing spots on the lake.
Fish Lake Taupo Charters - fish for wily trout on the fully refurbished twin Volvo Penta Vindex 350, then enjoy the sun on the spacious upper deck.

Raft fishing:

Tongariro River Rafting - not only can you ride the rapids with the TRR crew, you can try to catch some trout while you're at it! Reach spots only accessible by raft and kayak.

5. Hire a vessel

Private vessels (i.e boats, jetski's and kayaks) are welcome on our Singapore-sized lake (see here for boating fees and vessel operating rules), but if you don't have one of your own, there are many options to get you out on the water.

Motorized vessels:

Want to cruise at your own leisure?

LAKeFUN - hirage of two seater jetskis and boats that can carry between 4 to 8 passengers. All boats are suited for sightseeing, fishing and waterskiing/biscuiting, making for a great few hours on the water!
Chris Jolly Outdoors - offers gorgeous charter boats for larger groups between 6 to 75 people. A licensed driver will cruise you around, and all vessels have food and beverage services or facilities available.
Doughboats - these six person inflatable 'donuts' let you cruise along the lakefront at a leisurely speed to enjoy the panoramic views of Lake Taupo. Bring your own food and music along to really make this experience your own.
Sail Barbary Eco Sailing - their 24 passenger, all-weather launch 'Kakariki' is great for group bookings who are keen to check out the Ngatoroirangi carvings, take a dip in the pristine waters of the Western Bays, or try catch some dinner!
Regal Flyer - luxury and comfort describe the essence of the Regal Flyer. Able to hold 70 passengers, its perfect for groups, work functions, and even wedding receptions!

Kayaks or SUPs (standup paddle boards):

Want to be able to glide your hands across the diamond like water? Then a kayak is the way to go! Locals, and visitors alike, often begin kayaking from Acacia Bay and make the 3-4 hour round trip out to the Ngatoroirangi Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings and explore the serene Western Bays.

Taupo Kayaking Adventures - offers tours and hirage of kayaks to take out on our expansive lake.
LAKeFUN - offers kayak and SUP hirage all year round. 
Canoe and Kayak - offer exclusively SUP hire this season.
Two Mile Bay Sailing Club - After a pizza and local craft beer, ask the Two Mile Bay team about their kayak, SUP and sail boat hire.

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