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Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro National Park
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Walking & hiking in Taupo

Nothing brings you closer to Taupo’s unforgettable wilderness than walking through it.

Taupo’s untouched ancient forests and swamplands, impressive geothermal wonderlands, and breath-taking volcanoes are crisscrossed with excellent walking and hiking tracks of all lengths and levels of difficulty. From pleasant lakefront and riverside strolls like the Great Lake Walkway and Huka Falls trails, through to the Tongariro River Trail and Lake Rotopounamu native bush walks ringing with birdsong, to the epic full-day alpine trek known as the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which treks across a cratered volcanic moonscape dotted with gemstone-coloured lakes.

Thermal walkways at Craters of the Moon and Orakei Korako expose the power and mystery of the earth’s inner workings in the strange and wonderful landscapes of Taupo’s geothermal areas, and walks in the Pureora Forest Park take you deep into a magical and ancient world of moss covered trees, crystal-clear rivers and melodious birdsong.

Taupo has some of the best walking tracks in New Zealand, all just awaiting the addition of your boot-prints. 

Explore them below, then start planning your walk with New Zealand Mountain Safety Council's Plan My Walk app. An awesome app that provides you with useful information on each track with active alerts, the weather forecast, and the essential gear to bring. Click here to check it out

Walking and hiking trails, tours and guides

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  • Cycling & mountain biking

    Waikato River Trails

    Mountain bikers and walkers can explore a series of trails along New Zealand's longest river - the mighty Waikato River.

  • Cycling & mountain biking

    Timber Trail

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

  • Cycling & mountain biking

    Waihaha Hut Track

    The Waihaha Hut Track is set in native forest within the Pureora Forest Park on the western side of Lake Taupo.

  • Cycling & mountain biking

    Tree Trunk Gorge

    The Tree Trunk Gorge trail will take you on a picturesque journey through the Kaimanawa Forest Park. It passes through classic central North Island beech forest, across streams and rivers and over two impressive gorges as it tracks along the upper section of the Tongariro River.

  • Hiking trails

    Tongariro Alpine Crossing

    The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is rated as the best one-day hike in New Zealand. 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.

  • Hiking trails

    Lake Rotopounamu

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

  • Geothermal walkways

    Spa Thermal Park to Huka Falls walk

    Walk along the banks of the Waikato River from the hot springs in Spa Thermal Park to the spectacular Huka Falls.

  • Walking & hiking

    Waihora Lagoon

    This easy walk in Pureora Forest Park takes you to a small rain-fed lagoon surrounded by tall kahikatea and rimu trees.

  • Hiking trails

    Aratiatia Rapids Lookout Walk

    Several times a day the gates at the Aratiatia dam are opened to release the full flow of the river, a spectacular sight from the lookout points - kids will love it!

  • Hiking trails

    Pukawa Bay Walks

    Walk through ancient forest, experience spectacular lake vistas, and enjoy constant birdsong on a variety of walks on the southwestern shores of Lake Taupo.

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  1. Home
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  3. Outdoor & adventure
  4. Walking & hiking