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The ultimutt (dog friendly) travel guide to Taupō

Can’t face leaving your furry friend at home? Well pack their booties because the family pooch can come too! The Taupō region is a dog owner's dream destination with trails, accommodations 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 Taupō. 

Dog-friendly accommodation

There is a bed for every head in Taupō, even… Baxter’s, Buddy’s and Fido’s. There are loads of motels, lodges, private holiday homes, beautiful bed & breakfasts. For dog-friendly camping, the Department of Conservation (DOC) provides campsites throughout the Taupō region 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. For dog-friendly camping grounds in Taupō, check out Taupo Top 10 Holiday Park

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

Discover places where your furry friend is as welcome as you are. Click here to find the perfect pet-friendly stay for your next Taupō getaway.

More dog-friendly digs

  • Holiday homes

    Botanical Hideaway

    Just as the name suggests, “Botanical Hideaway” is a tranquil oasis surrounded by trees, and backing onto the stunning Botanical Gardens. Private and peaceful, the only sound you will hear is that of birds singing.

    $180 - $500
  • 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
  • Hotels

    Hilton Lake Taupo

    Magnificent views over New Zealand's largest lake with majestic mountains beyond are just the start of what this hotel has to offer. Hilton Lake Taupo is accessibly located midway between Auckland and Wellington.

    $200 - $500
  • Holiday parks & campgrounds

    Taupo TOP 10 Holiday Park

    A quiet, spacious holiday park with a large swimming pool and a natural thermal plunge pool. A good range of accommodation & camping to suit all budgets. The perfect base to explore the Huka Falls, Lake Taupo or Mt Ngauruhoe also known as "Mt Doom".

    $40 - $100

Take your dog for a run

The Taupō region 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 - Taupō town

You will find loads here for the whole family, including a children's playground, a 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 - Taupō 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 - Tūrangi

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 - Taupō town

This 10km paved easy-access trail from Taupō Boat Harbour to 5 Mile Bay serves up stunning lake views, plenty of 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 - Taupō 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-dodos are picked up.

Cool activities that are fun for the whole family

Take your dog on a cruise

Treat your furry friend for a cruise on a unique replica steamboat to the famous Ngātoroirangi Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings on Ernest Kemp. They love well-behaved furry customers.

Or take them out onboard the Huka Falls River Cruise and cruise to New Zealand's most visited natural attraction, Huka Falls. 

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 to 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.

Two Mile Bay Sailing Club

This is a great venue for everyone in the family. Situated over the waters of Lake Taupō with an array of water sports 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 Pathway and watch the sunset. What’s more, the team have an ultimutt deal on offer on the first Saturday of the month with their Dogs & Grogs event from 1-3 pm, purchase a Peroni or glass of wine and get a free pizza! It pays to bring your pooch…

Dog-friendly ways to explore

  • Boat cruises

    Ernest Kemp Scenic Cruise Lake Taupo

    Daily scenic cruises to the Maori Rock Carvings onboard the Ernest Kemp, a replica steamboat. Ernest Kemp cruises daily all year round - four times during summer and twice in winter. Enjoy stunning Lake Taupo and the carvings on this 2 hour cruise.

    $35 - $45
  • Boat cruises

    Huka Falls River Cruise

    Cruise to New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction, Huka Falls, in our purpose-built riverboat. Enjoy incredible views of this spectacular waterfall in comfort with Huka Falls River Cruise.

  • Volcanic/Geothermal

    Orakei Korako Cave & Geothermal Park

    Orakei Korako 'The Place of Adorning' - a spectacular Geothermal attraction. Lonely Planet Travellers Guide writes: “Orakei Korako is arguably the best thermal area left in New Zealand".

  • Cafés

    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.

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, Taupō has several dog-friendly cafes ready to cater to your canine.

Check out more top picks of cafes and eateries with great outdoor seating and water bowls on offer. 

Dog friendly cafes

  • Cafés

    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.

  • Cafés

    Creel Tackle House & Cafe

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

  • Cafés

    Roots Waffle Café

    Family-friendly café with all your favourites, unique waffle options and a touch of South African flavours, delicious food, great atmosphere and excellent service.

  • Cafés

    Victoria's Cafe Kitchen Bar

    Great coffee, fresh food made with love, funky eclectic interior & friendly atmosphere… life is good.

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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