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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.

Walking and hiking trails, tours and guides

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  • Biking trails

    Kawakawa section of the Great Lake Trails

    Flowing downhill, stunning wetlands, secluded beaches perfect for a mid-way swim and sweeping views of Lake Taupo are just some of the highlights of the Kawakawa section of the Great Lake Trails.

  • Cycling & mountain biking

    Otaketake section of the Great Lake Trails

    The newest section of the Great Lake Trails can be ridden by itself (10km) or part of a 36km loop that starts and finishes in Kinloch.

  • Hiking trails

    Kiko Loop Track

    This short loop track is a great way for walkers and mountain bikers to experience the variety of nature in the Kaimanawa Forest Park. Highlights include stunning podocarp forest and impressive views of Lake Taupō.

  • Biking trails

    Tongariro River Trail

    Discover stunning native bush, winding singletrack and lovely river views on this scenic looped ride along both sides of the Tongariro River in Turangi - perfect for the whole family.

  • Cycling & mountain biking

    Great Lake Pathway (Lion's Walk)

    Voted New Zealand's Favourite Urban Ride in 2017, the Great Lake Pathway (Lion's Walk) is perfectly suited for families and offers spectacular views across Lake Taupo to the snow-capped peaks of Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu.

  • Biking trails

    Headland Loop - Great Lake Trails

    The Headland Loop starts and finishes on the W2K trail at the top of the headland between Kinloch and Whakaipo Bay. This extension of the W2K is a must do if you love flowing singletrack.

  • Maori culture

    Opotaka Historic Reserve

    Opotaka is a historical Māori pa site (fortified village) where you can learn about the history of the famous Ka Mate Haka, see the remains of the Māori settlement, and enjoy spectacular views across Lake Rotoaira to Mt Tongariro.

  • 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.

  • Family friendly

    Taranaki Falls

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

  • Hiking trails

    Link Road to Mount Pureora track

    This track is the shortest route to the top of Mount Pureora. On a clear day walkers are rewarded with views across Lake Taupō, the Mamaku Ranges, Mount Taranaki, and Mount Ruapehu.

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