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Summer Concerts Guide - Waitangi Weekend 2023

In town for the Taupō Summer Concert or the Fatboy Slim gig happening Waitangi weekend? Why not fill out your visit with some of the region’s famous attractions?! From a relaxing geothermal swim or sunset cruise, to adrenaline-pumping thrills and sky-high adventures, scroll on for a list of great activities that will make your long weekend unforgettable.

Ride with Taupō Watersports

Perfect for a hot summers' day, experience fun on the lake with Taupō Watersports. Hire a couple of jet skies and head out to the famous Ngātoroirangi Māori Rock Carvings, or grab a few mates to try out the new banana boats!

Big Sky Parasail

If you want the ultimate scenic view of Lake Taupō, parasailing is the way to do it! See like the birds do and rise up to 1000ft above the lake with Big Sky Parasail. You'll be in awe of the 360o views, and if you're feeling the summer heat, opt to be lowered into the water before returning to the boat.

Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa

Nothing beats a hot soak after a big weekend, and these adults-only geothermal pools are the perfect place to unwind. With three pools and temperatures up to 39o, bathing in the mineral-rich waters of the Wairakei Terraces is the perfect way to top off your visit. The pools are nestled amongst native and eucalyptus trees, treating guests to a concert of birdsong.

Cruise to the magnificent Māori carvings

The Ngātoroirangi Māori Rock Carvings, which sit proudly above Lake Taupō, are known as some of the most significant Māori artworks created to date. These carvings are accessible only by boat, and luckily the Taupō Marina is full of vessels that can cruise you there.

Sailing

The Sail Barbary yacht produces no pollution, noise, fumes or vibrations thanks to its eco-friendly electric engine. You can enjoy the stunning scenery with a conscious as clear as the water you are sailing over.

Taupō Sailing Adventures will take you on a sunset cruise to the carvings and lets you swim in the pristine lake waters, as well as providing pizza and two drinks as you sail into the iconic peach-coloured Taupō sunset.

Family-friendly

The Ernest Kemp is a replica steamboat that glides peacefully over the lake, even when it is a bit choppy. The little ones will love feeding the ducks that fly up to the side of the boat and visiting the skipper to steer the wheel.

The Chris Jolly Outdoors tour on the Cruise Cat liner is the largest catamaran on the lake. It has plenty of entertainment for kids including colouring and a treasure hunt, and if they give the skipper a big smile they can even have a go at driving the boat!

Adventure

Guided trips are run daily by Canoe and Kayak and Taupo Kayaking Adventures. No experience is necessary, and all equipment will be supplied. Not sure if you are able for it? Motorised kayaks are available from Taupo Kayaking Adventures so you can relax and enjoy the scenery worry-free.

Hukafalls Jet

If you're a thrill seeker, Hukafalls Jet is for you. Zoom across the Waikato River, travelling up to 80kmph! No one gets you closer to the Huka Falls; you'll be meters away from the rushing water, able to feel the spray on your face. Not to mention the boats' famous 360o spins you'll experience as you skim along the water and come within inches of the rivers' cliff faces.

Huka Falls River Cruise

If a leisurely sightseeing tour is more your speed, Huka Falls River Cruise is perfect for sitting back and taking in the surroundings of the river. This two-hour tour with your knowledgeable captain is filled with commentary about the history of the river, and gets you close enough to the Huka Falls you’ll feel the spray on your cheeks!

Rapids Jet

Further down the river, Rapids Jet excitably manoeuvres you over the Nga Awa Purua Rapids that are created from the Aratiatia Dam release. You’ll blaze over a mess of white-water and be launched over the rapids at speed, the boat almost completely leaving the water! 35 minutes later you return to land smiling ear-to-ear.

Taupō Bungy & Swing

Take the plunge over the Waikato River with AJ Hackett Bungy Taupō! Tandem with a mate and dip yourselves into the freshwater below, or take in the views on the bungy swing.

Confinement Esacpe Rooms Taupō

Put your heads together to solve the clues and escape in time! Confinement Escape Rooms Taupō offers four rooms, each with a different theme and story to uncover as you work your way through riddles, lock-and-key puzzles and combination clues.

Want to explore Taupō Town Centre? Then opt for the Scavenger Hunt, which sees teams of 2-6 race around town solving clues for 60 minutes.

The Landing Lake Taupō

Sometimes a little friendly competition is what a long weekend needs! Head to The Landing for a few rounds of bowling, mini golf and virtual reality racing. Then treat yourself to one of the cafes, restaurants or ice-cream parlour.

Graffiato Street Art Walk

Grab an Art Walk map from Taupō Information Centre and explore the town centres' colourful laneways and alleys. Created during the Graffiato: Taupō Street Art Festival, there are now over 80 murals to discover, covering a range of aesthetics sure to please all street art lovers.

Hike Mount Tauhara

Want to burn off last night's RTDs? Climb the 1.5km incline of Mount Tauhara, and be rewarded with the ultimate 360o view of the Taupō region; from the mountains of the Tongariro National Park to the south, to the lush farmland to the North.

Raft the Tongariro River

If you're coming from the south, an adventure on the Tongariro River on the way home won't go amiss. Seek adventure on the whitewater rapids with Tongariro River Rafting! Trust your experienced raft guide and enjoy the journey over the Grade 3 rapids.

Sky Waka Gondola, Mount Ruapehu

Further south you can experience one of the most marvellous places in the central plateau; Tongariro National Park. Enjoy one of the many walks, hikes and waterfalls, or head up Mount Ruapehu with Sky Waka and lunch at Knoll Ridge with views of the grand mountains.

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