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Must do's in the Taupō region

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 the Taupō region. To help you plan your trip, here's a list of the best must-do adventures & attractions. 

Fly fishing, fishing charters and tours

The Taupō region 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 Taupō throughout the year.

Chris Jolly Outdoors - Fly Fishing

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

Tongariro Lodge Guided Fly Fishing

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

River Birches Guided Fly Fishing

River Birches offers a comprehensive guided fly fishing experience, providing all necessary equipment, licenses, and expert guidance for both beginners and experienced anglers to enjoy trout fishing in the Tongariro River.

Boat tours

Water is Taupō’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 onto our lakes and rivers.

Ernest Kemp Scenic Cruise Lake Taupō

All year-round scenic cruises to the Ngātoroirangi Māori Rock Carvings onboard the Ernest Kemp, a replica steamboat.

Ngātoroirangi Māori Rock Carvings boat tour - Chris Jolly Outdoors

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

Taupō Parasail

Fly 1000 ft. above Lake Taupō and see Aotearoa's most beautiful lake (and town) from a bird's eye view, with the most experienced parasail crew and the finest vessels in the industry.

Kindred Spirit - Ngātoroirangi Māori Carvings Sailing Tour

Escape the hectic of life and experience the beauty of the lake and the Ngātoroirangi Māori Rock Carvings on Lake Taupō's largest charter yacht, Kindred Spirit, with superior comfort.

Sail Barbary

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

Venture Beyond

Drive out to the serene Western Bays and learn some of the history 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

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

Rapids Jet

A fun, safe & exhilarating experience that takes you to the Aratiatia Rapids, through the narrowest canyon on the river to the Fuljames Rapids, where scenes from Yogi bear and The 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 Taupō

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

Tongariro River Rafting - White Water Rafting

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

Walking, hiking and biking trails

Nothing brings you closer to the region's unforgettable wilderness than walking through it, and the Taupō region has some of the best walking tracks in Aotearoa. 

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.

Please note visitors are encouraged to book in advance to visit any part of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. 

Great Lake Trails

On the edge of Lake Taupō, 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 trail network that winds along the Waikato River, connecting Taupō 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 Māori 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 Taupō'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.

Taupō Debretts Hot Springs

Unique thermal mineral hot pools with a thrilling dragon hydro slide & two unique 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 Aotearoa'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 the 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

The Taupō'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 erupt from a natural gorge and thunder 11m into the Waikato River below. Huka Falls: New Zealand's most visited natural attraction!

Ngātoroirangi Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings

The giant Ngātoroirangi Mine Bay Māori Rock Carving on Lake Taupō has been hailed as one of New Zealand's most extraordinary contemporary Maori artworks. Discover five ways to visit the Māori 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 water flow through a narrow gorge.

Opepe Scenic and Historic Reserve

Perfect for families and just a short drive from Taupō town on SH5, explore native bush and discover local history. 

Family-friendly activities

Taupō is synonymous with the great Kiwi holiday - days spent with family exploring, discovering and unravelling local secrets by the rivers and lakes, in the bush and in 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, flora, and fauna of this beautiful area of New Zealand as the thundering Huka Falls comes into sight.

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, a fantastic 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 Tongariro River – the ‘Family Floats’ rafting adventure. Be immersed in the magnificent scenery and observe many native wildlife species as you ride the rapids.

Huka Prawn Park

Packed with cool and quirky activities for the whole family, including a riverside restaurant, 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

The Taupō region'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 overhead and soaking them in the hot springs en route.

Taupō Kayaking Adventures

Specialising in guided scenic tours and trips on Lake Taupō. A range of products on offer, from Mine Bay Māori Carvings and geothermal area tours to kayak fishing and motorized kayaks!

Taupō Pedal Boats

On the shores near Wharewaka, hire a pedal boats or stand-up paddle boards to explore the crystal-clear waters of Lake Taupō. 

Doughboats Lake Taupō

Hire & drive your own doughnut boat! Cruise the shoreline of Lake Taupō in the doughnut-shaped boats while enjoying your own music and nibbles.


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