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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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  • Boat cruises

    Go Explore NZ

    At Go Explore NZ, we offer a variety of guided full day tours that will give you a personal experience of the Central North Island.

    $180 - $230 Book now
  • Taupo town

    Waipahihi Botanical Reserve

    Waipahihi Botanical Reserve is an amazing garden built with love, and is also a beautiful Taupo walk for the whole family.

  • Hiking trails

    Mt Urchin Track

    Mount Urchin offers an easily accessible wilderness of beautiful beech forest, incredible views and a real alpine environment.

  • 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

    Summit of Mt Tauhara

    The trail to the top of Mt Tauhara is a favourite hike with locals and visitors. This 2.5km trail climbs to the summit at 1,088 metres, offering panoramic views over Lake Taupo and the central North Island.

  • Hiking trails

    Tongariro Northern Circuit

    Explore the volcanic heart of Tongariro National Park through a landscape of stark glacial contrasts and alpine views. Discover diverse landscapes ranging from mountain beech forest, tussock country and sculptured sands and volcanic rock on this 3 - 4 day Department of Conservation Great Walk.

  • Hiking trails

    Opepe Scenic and Historic Reserve

    Perfect for families and just a short drive from Taupo on SH5, explore native bush and discover local history in this scenic and historic reserve.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Bus & coach transport

    Backyard Tours - Custom Transport Tours

    Nau mai Hāere mai - Welcome to our backyard. Visitor's journey is ensured whilst enjoying views and scenic historical sights in and around Turangi, Lake Taupō and the Tongariro National Park. Choice of activities or café styles can be added too.

    $70 - $90 Book now

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  4. Walking & hiking