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The essential traveler's guide to unforgettable water adventures this winter

Winter in the Taupō region is a magical time, especially when it comes to experiencing the wonders of Taupō Moana, the Singapore-sized lake centred in the heart of the region. From world-class fishing to breathtaking boat tours to relaxing hot pools, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of Taupō's winter water activities. Let's dive right in!

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World-known fishing - Unleash the angler in you

If you're a fishing enthusiast, you're in for a treat.

Winter is actually one of the best times for fishing here! With its back-country rivers and lakes, the legendary Tongariro River, river mouths, beaches, and Lake Taupō itself, the Taupō region is truly an angler's paradise.

Guided fly-fishing

For an unparalleled fishing experience, consider fly fishing on the pristine river. Guided fly-fishing experiences are a fantastic way to learn from the experts, find the go-to hot spots and pools, and increase your chances of reeling in the catch of a lifetime.

World-class fishing lodges

For a complete fishing experience, it's worth considering a stay at some of the best fishing lodges around Lake Taupō. River Birches, Tongariro Lodge, Huka Lodge, and Poronui Lodge offer luxury accommodations, top-notch service, and customizable fly-fishing packages.

After a successful day of fishing, why not make the most of your catch and enjoy a delicious dinner? Many of these lodges have highly skilled chefs who can prepare your freshly caught trout according to their expert recommendations, ensuring a truly memorable dining experience.

Lake fishing charters

Want to spend more time taking in the stunning lake views on Lake Taupō? Opt for lake fishing charters, where expert guides will take you to the best spots and ensure a good catch.

The Taupō region offers a range of options to cater to different preferences and skill levels. It’s your cue to spend the day on the lake, relaxing with a rod in hand.

Kid’s fishing

If you're planning a family trip and looking to make fishing a fun and accessible activity for your kids, be sure to check out the kid's fishing packages available in the area.

The Tongariro National Trout Centre is a great place to visit and learn about trout. You can even feed them and watch their life cycle. During school holidays, kids can have a great time learning to cast and catch their own trout, which can then be smoked and enjoyed fresh. This is an educational experience that both adults and kids will surely enjoy.

Tours and cruises - Dive into Taupō's nautical adventures

Water is the region's defining element, and there's no better way to appreciate it than by getting right on the lakes and rivers that grace this stunning region.

Doughboats Lake Taupō

If you're looking for a unique experience, hop aboard a doughboat on Lake Taupō. These innovative watercrafts allow you to effortlessly glide across the lake's surface, taking in the mesmerizing views of snow-capped peaks and geothermal wonders.

Bring along your favourite doughnuts for a morning cruise, or order a pizza for a memorable evening on the lake.

Ernest Kemp scenic cruises

For a leisurely and family-friendly cruise on Lake Taupō, the Ernest Kemp scenic cruise is a fantastic option. This replica steamboat offers year-round tours to the Ngātoroirangi Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings. For little ones, the skipper even lets them have a go at steering the vessel!

Cruise Cat – Chris Jolly Outdoors

Another exceptional boat tour is the Ngātoroirangi Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings boat tour with Chris Jolly Outdoors. Step aboard their largest boat, the Cruise Cat and enjoy a 90-minute cruise that takes you to the iconic Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings. As you journey to this cultural treasure, you'll be captivated by the stories and legends shared by the knowledgeable crew.

Taupō Sailing Adventures

If you prefer a touch of elegance, embark on the Kindred Spirit with Taupō Sailing Adventures. Sail aboard Lake Taupō's largest charter yacht, the Kindred Spirit, and experience unparalleled comfort and beauty. Let the soothing waters and scenic views transport you to a state of pure bliss.

Sail Barbary

Sail Barbary offers an eco-friendly scenic cruise that allows you to explore Lake Taupō.

Enjoy the fresh breeze as you sail across the crystal-clear waters, taking in the awe-inspiring landscapes that surround you with complimentary hot drinks.

Venture Beyond - powered by Taxicat 

For a truly immersive adventure, embark on Venture Beyond - powered by Taxicat.

Roam to the remote Western Bays on a unique boat, zooming past serene and picturesque locations only reachable by boat. You will explore the most serene bays and cliffsides with expert captain and guide Ian.

If you’re brave, move to the bow as you scale under cliffside waterfalls. It's a fantastic way to connect with nature and create lasting memories with the perfect cup of homebrewed coffee or tea.

Huka Falls River Cruise

No visit to Taupō would be complete without experiencing the famous Huka Falls. The Huka Falls River Cruise is your ticket to witness its power and beauty up close.

Cruise along the Waikato River and feel the exhilaration as the boat brings you face to face with the thundering Huka Falls. It's an adventure that will leave you in awe of nature's grandeur.

Adrenaline rush - Conquer the thrills

Adrenaline junkies, get ready! Winter doesn’t stop the heart-pounding action on the region’s rivers. With the proper water gear, you’re warm and ready to conquer the thrills in Taupō’s waters.

Rapids Jet

Rapids Jet offers a thrilling jet boat experience that takes you to the Aratiatia Rapids. Get ready to be thrilled as you ride the pressure waves of the renowned Nga Awa Purua Rapids! Navigate through the Waikato River's narrowest passage, spinning multiple times on the mesmerizing clear waters.

Hukafalls Jets

For a different and exciting perspective of the Huka Falls, Hukafalls Jet is the way to go. As the only jet boat company permitted to take visitors to the base of the mighty falls, you'll enjoy unparalleled water-level views. Brace yourself as the boat maneuvers through the turbulent waters, giving you an up-close encounter with this natural wonder.

Tongariro River Rafting

If you're up for an exhilarating white-water rafting adventure, look no further than Tongariro River Rafting. With an expert guide leading the way, you'll navigate over 60 thrilling Grade 3 rapids in Tongariro River's majestic backcountry. It's an adrenaline-fueled journey that will test your courage and leave you with unforgettable memories this winter!

Soothing bliss - Relaxation at its finest

After all the excitement, it's time to unwind and relax in the region's soothing hot pools.

Taupō Debretts Hot Springs

Taupō Debretts Hot Springs offers unique thermal mineral pools to soak away your stress. Take a thrilling ride on the dragon hydro slide or race down the curved racing slides for a burst of fun. Kids will love the interactive warm water playground, and adults can indulge in spa treatments and private pools for the ultimate relaxation.

Wairkaei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa 

For a tranquil and rejuvenating experience, visit the adults-only Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa. Bathe in mineral and silica enriched thermal pools, surrounded by lush native bush. It's the perfect setting to unwind, allowing the warm waters to melt away any tension and leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalized.

Tokaanu Thermal Pools

Tokaanu Thermal Pools is another wonderful option for immersing yourself in therapeutic waters. Nestled in the picturesque village of Tokaanu, these pools offer a serene and natural environment for relaxation – perfect after a winter walk in the Tongariro National Park or Tongariro River Trail. Let the warm thermal waters envelop you as you soak in the healing properties they provide.

The Taupō region is a winter water wonderland that offers an array of must-do activities for international visitors. From world-class fishing to breathtaking boat tours and thrilling water adventures, there's something for everyone to enjoy. So, grab your gear, embark on an adventure, and let the magic of Taupō's winter waters captivate your senses!

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