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But guess what? The Taupō region is growing, and it's better than ever! It's the same stunning lake views and summer days you loved as a kid, but now there are some exciting new eats and summer activities to try.
We've got some fresh additions to this year's lineup that you won't want to miss, alongside some favourites from last year that are still worth experiencing if you haven't already. So, whether you're craving the familiar or itching for the new, Taupō's got you covered for a fantastic summer adventure!
This new shop is a fresh take on the classic ice cream parlour, designed to give you nothing but good vibes and a cozy place to relax.
At Kona Kones, it's all about the scoops – those delightful morsels of happiness that make life a little brighter. Whether you're in the mood for one scoop or three, want to turn it into a sundae extravaganza, or fancy one of the mouthwatering shakes, they've got you covered! And if the choices overwhelm you (which they often do because of all of the scrumptious flavours), just ask for our Great Lake Taster.
Nestled at the picturesque lake end of Tongariro Street, Kona Kones offers delicious treats and stunning lake views. Their mission is simple vision – to create joyful memories, one scoop at a time.
Experience the epitome of summer luxury on Lake Taupō with a cruise aboard the magnificent catamaran Tiua from Taupō Sailing Adventures. Set sail in style and revel in the lap of comfort as you explore this pristine lake on this newly launched, high-end charter vessel.
Step aboard this spacious sailing catamaran, and a world of indulgence'll greet you. Tiua boasts a roomy bar, a covered cockpit and three beautifully illuminated cabins.
Gather with friends and family for unforgettable moments of entertaining and dining against the backdrop of the stunning lake views. Tiua is your ticket to discovering the mesmerizing Ngātoroirangi Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings, ensuring a fantastic adventure in the summer sunshine.
This charming restaurant is a haven for those seeking an authentic Chinese dining experience.
Rice and Noodle House, the newest addition to the dining scene, wholeheartedly invites you to discover the true essence of Chinese cuisine with a diverse menu covering everything from classics like Sweet and Sour Pork to flavourful noodle dishes to sizzling stir-fries.
Your summer dining experience awaits at the end of Tongariro Street, where you'll uncover the heart of authentic Chinese cuisine with beautiful lake views and inviting outside seating.
When you meet owner and chef, Michelle, you’ll feel her love for food. Michelle brings people together with delicious meals at River Road Kitchen. Taste Michelle’s “divine dining” menus in a beautiful rustic setting (minimum of 10 people for a booking). Or take a workshop or private class. Learn Michelle’s immense food knowledge like pizza-making, specialty breads and even dumplings. Of course, the best part is tasting your creations!
“Feel the need, the need for” ...unique cocktails, butcher-cut steaks and sharing tapas. This Top-Gun-themed gastropub is not short of innovative food and aviation décor. Even a replica WW2 US Navy Fighter plane flies close to the ceiling. One of Taupō’s newest pubs, it’s ‘classified’ for an afternoon snack or an indulgent family meal. Land at their newly opened Hard Deck Garden Bar for a sky-worthy bevvie with sweeping lake views.
Embra celebrates modern Kiwi cuisine with classic British and French techniques. Chef Phillip Blackburne delights your culinary senses for a memorable experience. Co-owner Nora Blackburne welcomes you with unbelievable hospitality. The intimate setting, seasonal 3 or 5-course degustation menus, and top-of-the-line service, make a night of food to remember. Bookings are essential.
The Vietnamese Joint brings authentic and delicious Vietnamese street food to Taupō towncentre. For a takeaway lunch try their fresh summer rolls or flavourful Banh Mi sandwiches. Or, for an evening dine-in meal, savour their hearty pho soup. Don't miss their must-try Vietnamese desserts like the Hybrid Tarts, Mango Jelly Sago and Pandan Waffles. Yum!
Not to mention, their Vietnamese Coffee (hot or iced) is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
Taupō's newest fine-dining restaurant, Roquette offers a high standard of European cuisine in a contemporary setting. Paired with an extensive list of international beer and wine, you can indulge in dishes such as Twice-cooked Duck Confit, Pan-fried King Salmon or Morrocan Roasted Cauliflower.
“A slice of New York” right on the Taupō town lakefront! The New Yorker Ice Cream cart is back in action, cooling down your lakeside afternoon. Stop by on the Great Lake Pathway for an authentic American-style hot dog or a sweet ice cream treat.
NEW: Exciting news, as The New Yorker has set up shop with a storefront on Tongariro Street, offering a delectable array of Americana treats that will transport your taste buds straight to the heart of the Big Apple.
Roots Waffle Café takes everyone’s favourite breakfast to the next level. They have upgraded waffles for the adult pallet. Try the Buttermilk Chook, waffles with crispy fried chicken drizzled in pecan maple butter. Or the Hunter, Babotie (a traditional South African curried mince dish) on waffles, which pays homage to their South African roots.
For those with a sweet tooth, classic and new twists like Death by Chocolate to the Cats’ Meow are essential.
The famous Doughnut Box has arrived in Taupō! There's an array of delectable doughnuts, including Biscoff, Birthday Cake, Lemon Curd and Apple Crumble, as well as a selection of handcrafted gelato from Little Lato. If you have a sweet tooth or are craving something indulgent, see The Doughnut Box team in Suncourt Plaza.
This morning favourite has a new face. Sacred Grounds is a long-standing staple for delicious locally roasted coffee. Now, enjoy the aroma of fresh coffee and cozy seating at their new location. Hunker down, sipping coffee for a meetup with friends or a slow self-care morning.
Beehave Craft Meadery is creating quite a buzz! You may have spotted founder Jay and his trusty dog sharing free samples at Taupō Market Central. Now, visit Jay at Beehave Meadery’s new taproom and hear the stories behind each mead. Take a tour (book here), discovering unique flavours during a complimentary tasting.
Recently opened in October 2022, the Taupō Cornerstone Taproom is ready for summer! Enjoy the farmhouse tables and comfy patio with a tasty burger or share platter of bar snacks. Good George is always flowing on the taps. And daily happy hour deals like Teapot Tuesdays or 2 for 1 Thursdays make it the place for an afternoon drink, a delicious dinner or even a competitive game of pool.
Ready to boat and e-bike along the Waikato River? Lake Maratai's newest accommodation is your go-to summer destination! If you're riding the Waikato River Trails, it's close to the Grade 2 sections of Waipapa and Maratai. Lake Maraetai Lodge is a prime location for your Great Ride experience, complete with e-bike charging stations.
Taupō Pedal Boats re-opens for summer 2022! This is a fun way to get in the water if you're walking or biking along the Great Lake Pathway. Explore the coves and take in the panoramic lake views during this relaxing activity.
Check out these water trikes located near Wharewaka Point.
Launched for summer 2022, Taupō Watersports is bringing Taupō's newest summer must-do! Enjoy a thrill-filled ride or a cruisy trip on a double banana boat. Their expert Captains will tow and pull you along the scenic lakefront for an epic experience.
Set up on the Taupō lakefront, it's a perfect summer ride with your mates or family.
Golf through the Taupō region at The Landing’s newest attraction. This course takes you through iconic landmarks like Mount Tauhara, the Tongariro River, Tongariro National Trout Centre, Huka Falls and more. Drop a hole-in-one at the Taupō Tandem Skydive hole or ski down the ski fields at the Sky Waka. You won’t know where to look between the life-like replicas and the scenic lake views by the course.
Play before or after a swim at 5Mile Bay and you’ve got a great summer afternoon. After your game, have an afternoon bevvie in the new Hard Deck Garden Bar or stop by Suga Mumma’s for a refreshing treat.
Suppose you love Two Mile Bay Sailing Club for its lake location, wood-fired pizzas and lakeshore tables. In that case, you'll love its recent upgrades and water activities even more this summer! Its laid-back atmosphere and new outdoor patio make it the ultimate summer spot. There isn’t a bad seat in the house to listen to live weekend jams, watch epic sunsets and enjoy the refreshing lake.
Explore Two Mile Bay’s shores with their paddleboard or kayak rentals. For the kids, Two Mile Bay Sailing Club’s water pontoon will make their summer even more fun!
Rose gold sunsets with a glass of wine, steaming thermal pools with waterfalls, or a picnic with views over the vast lake and mountains; romantic settings are endless in Taupō.