If you feel like you need to warm up because it’s teeming down outside, there’s nothing better than a long hot soak at one of a mineral-rich hot pool. The AC Baths has a large geothermally heated outdoor leisure pool that is perfectly pleasant, even in the rain. The kids will love the two hydroslides and the tarzan rope swing.
Taupō De Bretts Spa Resort has two outdoor geothermal mineral pools and indoor private pools as well as three hydroslides to keep the kids entertained. The adults-only Wairakei Terraces has numerous mineral-rich pools with temperatures between 38 and 42 degrees celcius. At the southern end of the lake, you can enjoy a soothing dip in the private or public Tokaanu Thermal Pools.
Sweeten up your day with a visit to Huka Honey Hive. Learn about and view bees, indulge in honey, mead and ice cream tasting or try one of the many skincare products on offer.
Mind Junction with its scientific Discovery Centre, flight simulator, remote controlled boats, puzzles and games is an interesting place to visit for families, and the impressive Lego display is a favourite with all ages.
Families will also enjoy the 6D Adventure Cinema where you can watch thrilling adventures while feeling the effects of moving seats and timed wind and water spray effects.
The Edge Indoor Rock Wall is a great place to get some exercise without having to brave the elements. The 12-metre high wall has climbs for all abilities and instructors are available to show you how it’s done.
Wrap up and get outdoors
Even though it’s raining you can still get out on the water with Huka Falls River Cruise. Their all-weather, covered-in river boat will take you on a gentle cruise up the Waikato River to the base of Huka Falls. The sight of this natural phenomenon from the river below is incredible, and you’ll get right up close to the falls for brilliant photo opportunities.
For the more adventurous, white water rafting is a great wet weather option. You're going to get wet anyway so a little rain won't make a difference! You can choose from family-friendly floats to grade 3 adventures on the Tongariro River.
Geothermal walks can be a great option on a rainy day. Put a waterproof jacket on and take a wander round the fascinating, bubbling mineral pools and spluttering mud pots of Craters of the Moon or the Tokaanu Thermal Walk. The steam will keep you warm as it pours from vents in the earth and shrouds you in its warming mist.
Art & culture
For some art and culture on a rainy day, head to the Taupō Museum and discover the Māori treasures, very cute ‘kiwiana’ caravan and historical displays on fishing, logging and the nearby volcanoes. There is an adjoining art gallery, children’s activity area and an ever-changing treasure hunt for younger visitors.
Discover the mesmerising art form of glass blowing in Lava Glass Studio. For a small fee, you can watch artworks being created by master glassblower Lynden Over. All the pieces in the gallery are made individually in this studio.
Try some locally crafted beer and cider at Crafty TROUT Brewing Co. This quirky Austrain-themed Bier Kafe offers tours of their brewery - the first with a fully automated brewing system in the world. Afterwards you can sample the results along with their famous pretzels.
Snuggle up with and watch a movie at Starlight Cinema. This five-cinema complex includes a lounge cinema and 3D movies as well as a TimeOut Leisure Centre with game machines.
Shop till you drop
Covered footpaths and plenty of warm cafes make shopping in Taupō easy on a rainy day. Homeware stores are a specialty (visit Charlie Who, MCF Interiors and Jak&Co) and you’ll find gorgeous fashion boutiques that stock New Zealand and international designer labels (try Urban Edge, Spacecraft, …is this Love?, Village Squire Menswear and Paire for shoes).
Taupō is also known for its well-stocked vintage shops that hide real treasures, so have some fun and embark on a vintage crawl around town.