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Must do's in Taupo

Snow capped mountains, crystal clear waters, raging rapids, thermal hot springs and lush greenery are just some of the incredible natural features on offer in Taupo. To help you plan your trip, here's a list of the best Taupo attractions and activities.

Fly fishing, fishing charters and tours

Taupo is renowned as an angler's paradise with great fishing on back-country rivers, the world-famous Tongariro River, river mouths and beaches, and on Lake Taupo throughout the year.

Chris Jolly Outdoors - Fly Fishing

Guided Fly Fishing for Brown and Rainbow Trout in the stunning Lake Taupo Region.

Fish Lake Taupo Charters

Whether you're after a cruise to view the Ngatoroirangi Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings or fishing for a wily trout or two on Lake Taupo, enjoy time on board MV Waimarie.

Tongariro Lodge Guided Fly Fishing

The most experienced guided fly fishing operator in Taupo. Guides provide access to the best wilderness trout fishing in the world by 4WD, boat, raft and helicopter.

Boat tours

Water is Taupo’s defining element, from the snow on our volcanic peaks to the steam rising from our geothermal vents. But the best way to enjoy it is to get right into or on to our lakes and rivers.

Ernest Kemp Scenic Cruise Lake Taupo

All year round scenic cruises to the Ngatoroirangi Maori Rock Carvings onboard the Ernest Kemp, a replica steamboat.

Ngatoroirangi Maori Rock Carvings boat tour - Chris Jolly Outdoors

Journey to the Ngatoroirangi Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings in comfort and style with a stunning tour of the Lake Taupo bays. Enjoy a 90-minute cruise on board the largest boat in the harbour!

Big Sky Parasail

Fly 1000 ft. above Lake Taupo and see New Zealand's most beautiful lake from a bird's eye view, with the most experienced parasail crew and the finest vessels in the industry.

Kindred Spirit - Ngatoroirangi Maori Carvings Sailing Tour

Escape the hectic of life and experience the beauty of the lake and the Ngatoroirangi Maori Rock Carvings on Lake Taupo's largest charter yacht Kindred Spirit with superior comfort.

Sail Barbary

Explore Lake Taupo on an eco-friendly scenic cruise with Sail Barbary. Enjoy stunning vistas as you set sail to explore the Ngatoroirangi Maori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay.

Taxicat Adventures

Explore with Lake Taupo's newest vessel, the Taxicat! Drive out to the serene Western Bays and learn some of the history from of the area for your friendly guide, then choose to either stay onboard or get on the water in a kayak and explore for yourself.

Adrenaline and extreme tours

Taupo is ground zero for every activity that a thrill-seeker could wish to try.

Rapids Jet

A fun, safe & exhilarating experience which takes you to the Aratiatia Rapids, through the narrowest canyon on the river to the Fuljames rapids where scenes from Yogi bear & hobbit were filmed.

Hukafalls Jet

The only jet boat company permitted to take you to the base of the mighty Huka Falls for the best water-level views!

AJ Hackett Bungy Taupo

New Zealand's highest cliff-top Bungy Jump - located 47 metres (154 feet) above the Waikato River, take the plunge into or towards the crystal clear waters below.

Tongariro River Rafting - White Water Rafting

In two hours you'll navigate over 60 roller coaster, Grade 3 rapids with an expert guide at the helm.

Rafting New Zealand

Ride over 60+ rapids while you cover 14km of the Tongariro River.

Walking, hiking and biking trails

Nothing brings you closer to Taupo’s unforgettable wilderness than walking through it, and Taupo has some of the best walking tracks in New Zealand.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Rated as the best one-day hike in New Zealand, you will trek across a volcanic alpine landscape of dramatic contrasts – steaming vents, glacial valleys, ancient lava flows, alpine vegetation and vivid crater lakes, all with stunning views. Return shuttle from Taupo available.

Great Lake Trails

On the edge of Lake Taupo you will find a 71km walking and biking track that can be done in one or two days based out of Kinloch.

Huka Trails (mountain biking)

Ride a network of trails that wind along the Waikato River, connecting Taupo town with Huka Falls, Aratiatia Dam, Wairakei Tourist Park and Craters Mountain Bike Park.

Timber Trail - Pureora Forest Park

The 85km long Timber Trail is a unique mountain bike ride across ancestral Maori lands, taking you deep into the Pureora Forest Park in New Zealand's central North Island. Discover an ancient and magical world of moss covered trees, crystal-clear rivers and melodious birdsong.

Waikato River Walking Track

Close to town, this is an easy 2km walk/bike with beautiful scenery along the way.

Hot springs, geysers and geothermal attractions

There are few better ways to experience Taupo's energy than soaking in it's warm healing geothermal waters or immersing yourself in steam clouds and the mesmerizing sound of bubbling mud pools as you meander through otherworldly geothermal walkways.

Taupo Debretts Hot Springs

Unique thermal mineral hot pools with a thrilling dragon hydro slide & two amazing heated curved racing slides, children's interactive warm water playground, private pools and spa treatments.

Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa

Bathe in mineral & silica enriched thermal pools, a perfect setting for complete rest and relaxation.

Orakei Korako Cave & Geothermal Park

The closest you will come to seeing the legendary lost Pink and White Terraces with its distinct candy-coloured hillside alive with active geysers, steaming terraces, gemstone coloured pools and New Zealand's only geothermal cave.

Craters of the Moon Geothermal Walk

Geothermal walkway with well-formed pathways and elevated viewing platforms. You'll see interesting plants that have adapted to thrive in the hot steamy conditions.

Otumuheke Stream at Spa Thermal Park 

Warm geothermal waters from Otumuheke Stream flow gently into the Waikato River, providing a free hot spot where bathers can relax in healing mineral water.

Tokaanu Thermal Walk

See steaming hot mineral pools and spluttering mud pools on this short, easy walk.

Sights and landmarks

Taupo's spectacular natural features and scenic attractions can't be found anywhere else in the world.

Huka Falls

Marvel in winder as nearly a quarter of a million litres of water per second erupting from a natural gorge and thundering 11m into the Waikato River below. Huka Falls; New Zealands' most visited natural attraction!

Ngatoroirangi Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings

The giant Ngatoroirangi Mine Bay Maori Rock Carving on Lake Taupo has been hailed as one of New Zealand's most extraordinary contemporary Maori artworks. Discover five ways to visit the Maori Rock Carvings. 

Aratiatia Rapids 

Thousands of litres of water are released from the Aratiatia Dam every day at 10am, 12pm and 2pm (and 4pm October 01 - March 31) for around 15 minutes, creating a spectacular flow of water through a narrow gorge.

Opepe Scenic and Historic Reserve

Perfect for families and just a short drive from Taupo on SH5, explore native bush and discover local history. There are two walks, 1.5km and 3km, within the reserve.

Family friendly activities

Taupo is synonymous with the great Kiwi holiday - days spent with family exploring, discovering and unraveling local secrets by the rivers and lakes, in the bush and on the mountains.

Huka Falls River Cruise

Cruise to New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction, Huka Falls, in a purpose-built riverboat. Experienced guides will tell you about the local history and flora and fauna of this beautiful area of New Zealand as the thundering Huka Falls comes into sight.

Lava Glass Studio, Gallery, Sculpture Garden & Café

Lava Glass offers a unique and fascinating window into the world of glassblowing and glass art. Fell like Alice in Wonderland as you explore the Glass Sculpture Garden, set in an acre of manicured grounds with more than 600 glass sculptures. 

Mind Junction

Bring along the family and get lost in the Giant Maze, become a Pilot in the Flight Simulator, confuse yourself in the Discovery Centre, marvel at the LEGO Display, get in a round of Mini Golf and more.

Huka Honey Hive 

A unique taste experience with free honey, mead and liqueur tastings. View live beehives, discover health & wellness products, divine honey-based skincare, an amazing range of gifts and enjoy delicious honey ice creams.

Family Fun Rafting with Tongariro River Rafting

You, the kids, and an awesome guide in one raft, on an adventure on the Tongaririo River – the ‘Family Floats’ rafting adventure. Be immersed in the magnificent scenery and observe many species of native wildlife as you ride the rapids.

Huka Prawn Park

Packed with cool and quirky activities for the whole family, including prawn fishing, guided nursery and hatchery tours, a Boating Lake with complete paddle boards, water trikes and pedal boats, and an activity trail with interactive water features. 

Water activities and sports

Taupo’s pristine lakes and rivers are refreshing and swimmable through spring, summer and autumn, but these favourite water activities are perfect year-round:


Canoe & Kayak: Kayak through New Zealand's' longest river, the mighty Waikato, on a two hour guided trip. Look for trout in the crystal clear waters as you paddle your way down the river, watching bungy jumpers over head and soaking the in the hot springs en-route.

Taupo Kayaking Adventures: Specialising in guided scenic tours and trips on Lake Taupo. A range of products on offer, from Mine Bay Maori Carvings, The Squeeze and geothermal area tours, to kayak fishing and motorized kayaks!

LAKeFUN Taupo: Hire single or double kayaks from LAKeFUN and explore the picturesque bays of Lake Taupo.

White water rafting 

Tongariro River Rafting: The most experienced outdoor adventure company on the Tongariro River. In two hours you'll navigate over 60 roller coaster, Grade 3 rapids with an expert guide at the helm.

Rafting New Zealand: The number one rated Taupo rafting experience on TripAdvisor. With Rafting New Zealand you will experience 50+ Grade 3 rapids of the Tongariro River with a professional Kiwi raft guide.

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