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Must do's in Taupō

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 Taupō. To help you plan your trip, here's a list of the best Taupō attractions and activities based on TripAdvisor reviews.

1. Fishing charters & tours

Taupō 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.

Here are our top 3 ranked charters and tours:

Chris Jolly Outdoors: fishing charters, heli-fishing and raft fishing for all levels of experience and duration of stay. Find out more about Chris Jolly Outdoors here.

Pinnacle Charters: fishing on Lake Taupō or a scenic cruise with friends at your pace. Find out more about Pinnacle Charters here.

Fish Taupō: trout fishing, cruising and sightseeing charter boat. Find out more about Fish Taupō here.

2. 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 on to our lakes and rivers.

Discover our top 3 water experiences:

Jetboating: surf rapids with Rapid's Jet, take a geothermal jetboat tour through remote bush-clad canyons with NZ Riverjet, or get up close and personal to Huka Falls with Hukafalls Jet.

Sailing: relax and let the world pass slowly by on board Sail Barbary or Sail Fearless.

Cruising: cruise on Lake Taupō to one of New Zealand's most iconic tourism experiences - the Mine Bay Māori rock carvings.

3. Adrenaline & extreme tours

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

Here's our top 3 heart-pumping experiences:

Skydive: hurl yourself from a plane for epic views across the lake and mountains to the coast with Skydive Taupō or Taupō Tandem Skydiving.

Bungy: leap from the highest water-touch bungy platform in New Zealand over the aquamarine waters of the Waikato River with Taupō Bungy.

Rock’n Ropes: test your nerve high above the ground on this high wire ropes course. Find out more about Rock'n Ropes here.

4. Hiking trails

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

Here are our top 3, but be sure to check out all our trails.

Huka Falls tracks: weaving along the banks of the Waikato River you will find walks of varying length suitable for all fitness levels and age - all with impressive views and native bush alive with birdsong. Find out more about the Huka Falls tracks here.

Great Lake Trail: 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. Find out more about the Great Lake Trail here.

Pureora Forest Park: discover an ancient and magical world of moss covered trees, crystal-clear rivers and melodious birdsong on short or overnight walks and mountain bike rides. Find out more about the Pureora Forest Park here.

5. Hot springs, geysers & geothermal

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 mesmerising sound of bubbling mud pools as you meander through otherworldly geothermal walkways.

Here are our local geothermal highlights:

Orakei Korako: 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. Find out more about Orakei Korako here.

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. Find out more about Otumuheke Stream here.

Taupō Debretts: 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. Find out more about Taupō Debretts Hot Springs here.

Craters of the Moon: 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. Find out more about Craters of the Moon Geothermal Walk here.

6. Sights & landmarks

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

Here's 3 of the places people love to visit in Taupō:

Aratiatia Rapids: Thousands of litres of water are released from the Aratiatia Dam every day at 10am, 12pm and 2pm (and 4pm in summer) for around 15 minutes, creating a spectacular flow of water through a narrow gorge. Find out more about Aratiatia Rapids here.

Huka Falls: You’ll hear the Huka Falls well before you see the them – it’s the sound of nearly a quarter of a million litres of water per second erupting from a natural gorge and thundering 11m into the Waikato River below. Find out more about Huka Falls here.

Mine Bay Māori rock carvings: The giant Mine Bay Māori rock carving of Ngātoroirangi on Lake Taupō has been hailed as one of New Zealand's most extraordinary contemporary Māori artworks. Find out more about the Mine Bay Māori rock carvings here.

7. 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 on the mountains.

Here's what families love most in Taupō:

Lake Taupō: whether it's fishing, swimming, cruising or just picnicking on the beach, relaxing in and around Lake Taupō is a favourite pastime and childhood memory for many New Zealanders. Find out more about Lake Taupō here.

Huka Falls tracks: perfect for biking and walking, the connection of trails around Huka Falls meander their way along either side of the Waikato River. Find out more about the tracks around Huka Falls here.

Huka Prawn Park: packed with cool and quirky activities for the whole family, including prawn fishing, guided tours and an activity trail. Find out more about Huka Prawn Park here.

Huka Honey Hive: a unique taste experience with free honey, mead & liqueur tastings. View live beehives, discover health & wellness products, divine honey-based skincare, an amazing range of gifts and enjoy delicious honey ice creams. Find out more about Huka Honey Hive here.

8. Water activities & sports

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

Jetboating: surf rapids with Rapid's Jet, take a geothermal jetboat tour through remote bush-clad canyons with NZ Riverjet, or get up close and personal to Huka Falls with Hukafalls Jet

Kayaking: explore stunning rivers and streams, float along the Tongariro or Waikato Rivers, or make your way across Lake Taupō to the impressive 14-metre high Māori rock carvings at Mine Bay.

White water rafting: negotiate over 60 rapids as you raft through the wilderness and down the spectacular Tongariro River with Tongariro River Rafting or Rafting New Zealand.

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