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The ultimutt travel guide to Taupo

Can’t face leaving your furry friend at home? Well pack their booties because the family pooch can come too! Taupo is a dog owners dream destination with trails, accommodation and activities that cater to your canine companion. Get the scoop on our favourite pet friendly hotels, places to eat and things to do in Taupo.

There is a bed for every head in Taupo, even… Baxter’s, Buddy’s and Fido’s. There are loads of motels, lodges, private holiday homes, beautiful bed & breakfasts and Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites throughout Taupo that are pet-friendly, so your four-legged friend is spoiled for choice in that department. They are easy to find just use the pet-friendly filter when searching online.

Keep in mind that it is worthwhile checking in before making the booking, as some have certain pet-friendly rooms available and pet-policies.

Top pet-friendly accommodators

  • Motels

    Ashbrook Motel

    Ashbrook Motel offers superior accommodation, spacious 1 and 2 bedroom suites in a quiet location yet so close to town and all attractions.

    $125 - $280
  • Bed & breakfast

    Lupin Lodge Bed & Breakfast

    The Lodge is spacious and modern with views from every window of the surrounding farmland and the local golf course. Come for a relaxing stay or pursue our adrenalin fuelled outdoor activities. Ideally located just 800m from the lake.

    $140 - $250
  • Motels

    52 on Rifle Motel

    52 on Rifle Motel prides itself on delivering friendly, quality, affordable Taupo accommodation. We offer self-contained units, we're only a short walk to the town centre, and with a café across the road, this Taupo accommodation has many convenience

    $126 - $350
  • Motels

    Cascades Lakefront Motel

    Lakeside motel, no roads to cross and direct access to lovely sandy swimming beach for guests. Heated pool, spa, bikes, kayaks, paddle boards, large spacious homely rooms, free WiFi, trampoline, playhouse, guest laundry and pet friendly.

    $105 - $450
  • Motels

    Accent on Taupo Motel

    West facing Lakefront Lodge for afternoon sun into quiet garden nooks or front decks. Lake views from most decks. Super-King beds and crisp linen for a great nights sleep. Free Wi-Fi, SKY Guest Select 50+ Channel, BBQs, Spa and off street parking.

    $115 - $295
  • Motels

    Settlers Motel

    Just four hours drive from both Auckland and Wellington, and forty minutes from Taupo, the Turangi-Tongariro region is truly the heart of the North Island. It is perfect for both relaxation and solitude or adventure and outdoor pursuits.

    $125 - $275
  • Motels

    Turangi Bridge Motel

    Relax and unwind in our Lodge-style New Zealand Accommodation. Turangi Bridge Motel offers warm and sunny Units located on the banks of the Tongariro River. Onsite Restaurant and Bar.

    $129 - $190
  • Motels

    Absolute Lake View Motel

    We (Gerard & Moe) are the owners here-a historic building-situated across from the lake in front of McDonalds / Liquor King, next to Taupos town center. Our 23 units are modern and clean. Our indoor heated pool, sauna and spa are refreshing.

    $120 - $280

Taupo is a walking and mountain biking wonderland, with world-class trails crisscrossing incredibly scenic landscapes throughout the region. From riverside trails to geothermal valleys, forest parks, and lakeside reserves there are plenty of areas to take your furry friend on an adventure. Stretch your legs, or wheels, and try out our favourite dog-friendly trails and exercise areas:

Control Gates Reserve and River Side Trail, Taupo town 

Walk alongside the stunning crystal clear waters of the Waikato River for 3km to Spa Thermal Park. Spot the bungy jumpers along the way!

Spa Thermal Park, Spa Park to Huka Falls walk, and Rotary Ride (cyclists only / dog-friendly), Taupo town

You will find loads here for the whole family including childrens playground, flying fox and a dip in the thermal waters of Otumuheke Stream. Walk 3km on this scenic trail towards the Huka Falls or take a spin with your trail dog on the Rotary Ride.

Seacombe Park, 3 Mile Bay, Taupo town

Loads of space for frisbee here, whilst you watch the activity at the 3 Mile Bay boat harbour.

Rangatira Point Track, Acacia Bay

Stroll through native bush on this easy 3km walk towards Whakamoenga Point, where you can picnic and swim off flat volcanic rock. There are plenty of swimming spots along the way for your furry friend to cool off in the summer months.

Taupahi Road Reserve and Tongariro River Trail, Turangi

An absolute family favourite! This 12km loop trail follows the Tongariro River through native bush with awesome views, swing bridges and fishing pools.

Great Lake Pathway, Taupo town

This 10km paved easy access trail from Taupo Boat Harbour to 5 Mile Bay serves up stunning lake views, plenty off photo-stops and swimming spots! Whilst most of the trail is best explored with your dog on a lead, there are plenty of places along the way for a lead-free run.

Great Lake Trails, Kinloch

The sky is the limit! With over 84km of world-class trail riding on offer you can pick and choose a section suited to your ability. The new 12km Otaketake section is the most family friendly, but if you are keen to take your pooch camping the Kawakawa section has a dog-friendly DOC campsite nestled in Kawakawa Bay.

Opepe Scenic & Historic Reserve Walk, Taupo town

Family and dog-friendly nature walks with a glimpse into the past! Explore rare mature podocarp forest, discover local Māori history and view relics from the historic Opepe township.

Please keep in mind that normal dog etiquette applies. Please obey any signage that recognizes where dogs can and cannot be exercised off-leash. Dogs must be kept under proper control by the person responsible and any doggie-dodo’s are picked up.

Who doesn’t love taking their fur-baby to breakfast?

If it’s a hearty brunch and coffee you seek, or you’re ready to relax after your latest trail adventure, Taupo has several dog-friendly cafes ready to cater to your canine. Check out our top picks of cafes and eateries with great outdoor seating and water bowls on offer:

Dog friendly cafes

  • Cafes

    Spoon and Paddle

    Spoon and Paddle’s highly experienced chefs pair classic café selections with some tasty modern, street-style options, excellent coffee and a concise beer and wine list.

  • Cafes


    At Storehouse you will be able to enjoy a range of coffee options, a seasonal soul food style menu as well as delicious cabinet food options and always fresh baking that's better than grandmas.

  • Cafes

    The Cozy Corner

    Nestled in Suncourt Plaza away from the hustle and bustle you will find The Cozy Corner.

  • Cafes

    Replete Cafe & Store

    Shop at Replete Cafe & Store for a complete Replete experience! Indulge in delicious treats from the extensive array of cafe food and enjoy wandering through the store.

  • Cafes

    Cafe Baku

    Friendly service, delicious food, great coffee and perfect location all combine to make Cafe Baku the ideal meeting place for friends, family and colleagues.

  • Cafes

    Two Mile Bay Sailing Club

    This licensed cafe and bar sits right over the lake; in fact the cafe sits over the water itself with panoramic views across the lake. It's a nice place to relax with a coffee, wood fired pizza or even a drink.

  • Cafes

    Kefi at the Hub

    KEFI at the Hub serves divine breakfast and lunch dishes as well as healthy organic and gluten free options.

  • Cafes

    Creel Tackle House & Cafe

    Here at Creel Cafe we are about all things: coffee, divine food, experience, sharing and social space.

Other cool activities that are fun for the whole family

Waipahihi Botanical Reserve

This 85-acre reserve contains stunning alpine, native and flowering plants and is crisscrossed with short walks, picnic spots and impressive viewing spots. The gardens are phenomenal when in bloom - the best time to see the spectacular floral displays is in Spring – October and November. Dogs are welcome here if they are kept on their leash.

Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park

Explore a volcanic world of gushing geysers, hot springs, bubbling mud and amazing silica terraces. Dogs are welcome at Orakei Korako provided your pet is on a leash, and nothing is left behind. It is the owner's responsibility for the care of their dog and to make sure your dog is safe during the walk, as there is geothermal activity in the area if they exit the boardwalk.

2 Mile Bay Sailing Club

This is a great venue for everyone in the family. Situated over the waters of Lake Taupo with an array of water sport activities on offer. Kids can enjoy sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking, a swimming pontoon and more. There is delicious wood-fired pizza available and a licensed bar - the perfect place to unwind as you pull off the Great Lake Walkway and watch the sunset. What’s more, the team have an ultimutt deal on offer on the first Saturday of the month with their Dog & Grog event from 1-3pm, purchase a Peroni or glass of wine and get a free pizza! It pays to bring your pooch…

Want us to feature your creature?

Upload a photo of your pet having a paw-tastic time in Taupo and tag us! #LOVETAUPO @lovetaupoNZ

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  3. Our stories
  4. The ultimutt travel guide to Taupo