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Think sunny days lakeside, various activities to keep the kids entertained, and plenty of fantastic places to grab a feed. And family-friendly accommodation is all sorted too! From incredible resorts where you can put up a tent or park a camper to boutique motels and hotels, there’s room for everyone in this slice of freshwater paradise.
If you’re keen to get planning, here’s a quick roundup of a few things you must see and do on your Central North Island holiday this summer.
One of Taupō’s newest attractions, Taupō Water Sports’ Banana Boats is one for the whole family to enjoy. Up to 12 people can fit on the inflatable double banana, and you’ll be towed around the lake’s inner harbour by a marine-certified Captain.
If you want to get back onto the water after your giant banana ride, Taupō Water Sports' also hire out jet skis and the one-of-a-kind doughboats.
Extensive work has been done to the Great Lake Pathway (Lion’s Walk) trail over the last few years, making it one epic way to check out Lake Taupō up close, and from various vantage points.
To see as much of it as possible, you could rent a mountain bike or eBike. There’s a number of places in town that have them for both kids and adults, as well as trailers and kid seats for the little ones. Just pop a picnic in your backpack, and you’re good to go for the day. (And don’t forget a towel, you’ll find heaps of picturesque spots along the way where you can stop for a swim).
There’s no place quite like the Two Mile Bay Sailing Club to the east of Taupō’s township. Here you can enjoy a bevvy or two and dine on their incredible wood fired pizzas, all while the gentle lake waves lap at your feet and the kids entertain themselves out on the floating raft. (They’ll probably come in for ice creams at some point, thankfully the Sailing Club has them on hand too).
It’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon. And here’s a tip - stay for sunset. It’s pretty amazing!
Hidden in the forest to the northwest of Taupō town you’ll find Craters of the Moon, a unique location offering two quite different activities to do. One is a fascinating walk around a geothermal park where you will spot bubbling mud and steaming geysers, and the other is hitting the trails at the nearby Craters Mountain Bike Park. With 50 kilometres of track, ranging from children’s entry level to technical cross country, it’s an epic morning or afternoon out.
If you’re looking for something truly unique to experience while in Taupō, head out to Huka Prawn Park. Here you can hand-feed baby prawns, walk through an interactive adventure trail, ride on aqua trikes, pedal boats and stand up paddle boards, and dine at the only riverside restaurant (where prawns are definitely on the menu!). At various times of the day you’ll also be able to catch the Hukafalls Jet Boat racing past at high speed.
Taupō’s Waipahihi Botanical Gardens is a wonderful place to explore on a hot summer’s day. With plenty of shade, it’s a great spot for a picnic with friends and family. You can walk bush tracks with gorgeous birdsong and at the top in Memorial Grove, send the kids off on a rock hunt. Locals leave beautifully painted rocks around this part of the garden for people to find, and then rehide for others to enjoy.
As the largest freshwater lake in Australasia, you really need to get out on Lake Taupō to appreciate its immense size. So catch a ride with Taxicat Adventures, who will take you to explore the Western Bays.
This remote part of the lake is absolutely mesmerising, with its dramatic cliffs, gorgeous native bush and secret sandy bays - and you’ll even spot a few waterfalls on your travels.
If you’d like to keep the kids dry for a couple of hours, take them to The Landing where you can all grab some great food, and burn off some energy. There’s ten pin bowling, a games arcade, an indoor bounce park and playground, virtual reality and a newly opened mini golf. You could probably stay there for the entire day and still manage to not hear one mention of ‘I’m bored’.
The Lake Taupō Holiday Resort is the ultimate accommodation for families. There’s space to pitch a tent, park a campervan or you could set up home for a few nights in one of their cabins, cottages or villas.
The Lagoon is probably where you’ll spend most of your time - here you’ll find hydroslides, a swim up bar and cave that holds hidden treasure to discover. Onsite there is also a bike pump track, jumping pillow, pedal go karts and so much more. But be warned, you won’t want to leave!
So, what do you think - isn’t Lake Taupō the perfect place to get together with friends and family to make the most of summer?
And if you’re after some great deals for when you’re in town, check them out here
In town for the Taupō Summer Concert and/or the Fatboy Slim gig happening Waitangi weekend 2023? Why not fill out your visit with some of the region’s famous attractions?! Read on for a list of great activities that will make your long weekend unforgettable.