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Family activities

Getting out into nature and adventuring is an essential part of life for kids growing up in New Zealand. Taupō’s incredible scenery and wide range of activities for families are what’s made it a favourite holiday spot for New Zealanders for decades.

From lazy summers spent swimming, boating and fishing on the lake bays, to a pilgrimage to Happy Valley at Whakapapa Ski Area to learn to ski or have a sled, it’s an essential part of many Kiwis’ happiest childhood memories.

Camping, thermal park fun, family hikes and bike rides through native bush, mini-golf, horse treks, the Huka Prawn Park, family restaurants, boat cruises, farm parks, playgrounds and natural wonders – there’s an endless list of things to do and places to go to keep everyone in the family having fun.

Family friendly things to do in Taupō

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  • Family friendly

    Starlight Cinema

    Welcome to Starlight Cinema Centre in Taupo, for all your visual entertainment needs. There are 5 cinemas including a lounge cinema, showing all the latest movies including 3D.

  • Family friendly

    Taranaki Falls

    Taranaki Falls is a short easy walk in the UNESCO dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park.

  • Hiking trails

    Kaimanawa Road short walks

    These two family short easy walks starting from Urchin Campsite at the end of Kaimanawa Road in the Kaimanawa Forest Park are perfect for families.

  • Volcanic/Geothermal

    Craters of The Moon Geothermal Walk

    Craters of the Moon is a geothermal walkway with Lunar Landscapes - Hence its name. Craters of the Moon showcase the natural thermal activity of Taupo including bubbling craters, steam vents and colourful soils. 45+ minutes walk.

    $8
  • Rafting

    Whitewater Rafting - Tongariro River Rafting

    We are the number one rated Taupo rafting experience on TripAdvisor. We've had over 230,000 customers in the last 27 years. Hands down this is the most fun in the Taupo region!

    $145 Book now
  • Hiking trails

    Silica Rapids

    Silica Rapids is a short easy walk in the UNESCO dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park.

  • Taupō town activities

    #LoveTaupo lettering

    Do you #LoveTaupo? Located on Taupo's lakefront, the #LOVETAUPO lettering has quickly become an icon of the town and a must-stop photo spot.

  • Urban and Scenic Attractions

    $10 Segway Ride

    A great stop off and affordable play for everyone. At only $10 for a segway ride, you can't beat it's value. Enjoy the thrills of the Segway Tour. Open during school holidays and long weekends. Find us on the Lake Terrace next to Taupo Mini Putt.

    $10
  • Heritage Attractions

    Geothermal Segway Safari

    Off-road Thermal Safari. 1.5hrs - 2hrs. Off-road segway Training and trails followed by a historic and geothermal journey through Wairakei Resort & neighbouring forest.

    $125
  • Hiking trails

    Tama Lakes

    The Tama Lakes track forms part of the Tongariro Northern Circuit Great Walk and is a great alternative to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

  • Boat Cruises

    Chris Jolly Outdoors Taurikura Māori Cultural Scenic Cruise

    Hear the songs and stories of ancient Tuwharetoa, participate in interactive Maori performances and traditional games, learn to work the poi and even get your own moko tattoo on this special Lake Taupo Maori culture scenic cruise.

    $45 - $55 Book now
  • Hot pools

    Tokaanu Thermal Pools

    Soak, soothe and relax in the magical mineral waters of Tokaanu Thermal Pools.

    $8 - $12
  • Activities and Tours

    Sky Waka gondola - Whakapapa

    Ride New Zealand's most advanced gondola, high above the UNESCO dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park. Journey over waterfalls and ancient lava flows and take in the majestic scenery of Mt Ruapehu and its neighbouring volcanoes, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro.

    $49 - $169 Book now
  • Parasailing

    Big Sky Parasail

    Come fly 1000 ft. above Lake Taupo and see New Zealand's most beautiful lake from a bird's eye view. Feel secure that you are with the most experienced parasail crew and the finest vessels in the industry. 100% safety record.

    $99 - $119 Book now
  • Theme/Leisure Park

    Huka Prawn Park

    New Zealand’s only prawn park offers a fun filled day of entertainment for the family. Pack a picnic and towel and spend the day creating exciting prawn memories to last forever.

    $29.50 Book now
  • Boat Cruises

    Chris Jolly Outdoors Sunday Kiwiana Brunch Cruise

    Enjoy the tastes of traditional Kiwi cuisine and get to know what it really means to be Kiwi on our Sunday Kiwiana Brunch Cruise.

    $40 - $64 Book now
  • Family friendly

    Coriander Lime Kitchen

    Coriander Lime Kitchen is Taupo’s only Asian cooking school that offers cooking classes for adults as well as children.

  • Scenic attractions

    Aratiatia Rapids

    Aratiatia Rapids is one of the most popular natural attractions in the North Island. Thousands of litres of water are released from the Aratiatia Dam creating a spectacular flow of water through a narrow gorge.

  • Hiking trails

    Lake Rotopounamu Track

    Nestled on the side of Mt Pihanga, Lake Rotopounamu (‘greenstone lake’) is a special favourite of tree lovers and birdwatchers.

  • Cycling & mountain biking

    Timber Trail

    The 85km long Timber Trail is a unique mountain bike ride across ancestral Māori lands, taking you deep into the ancient Pureora Forest Park in New Zealand's central North Island.

Our stories

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New Zealand family travel: The treasures of Taupō

"What are we doing today?" I'm convinced kids think their parents have magical powers - able to conjure up an exciting holiday adventure at a moment's notice. 

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Family-friendly bike trails around Taupō 

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7 days of family fun in Taupō 

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Rainy day activities in Taupō 

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