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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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  • Hiking & walking 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 Taupō and the central North Island.

  • Walking & hiking

    Chris Jolly Outdoors - Tongariro Alpine Crossing

    The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Tongariro National Park is one of New Zealand’s most spectacular tramping tracks, and is considered the most popular one-day alpine hikes in New Zealand. One of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks’ – a must do in this area.

    $1,920 Book now
  • Walking & hiking

    Tongariro Lodge - Activities

    Tongariro Lodge makes the perfect base to enjoy the World Heritage Tongariro National Park and are experts at arranging Heli-Hiking, Guided Walks and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

    $365 - $1,500
  • Biking trails

    Waihaha Link

    Situated within the Waihaha Section of the Great Lake Trails, the Waihaha Link Trail begins at the Waihaha River carpark and winds along the Waihaha River towards Lake Taupō. The route offers stunning views of the volcanic terrain, with the impressive Tieke Falls serving as a standout feature

  • Bus & coach transport

    Tongariro Expeditions - Taupō

    Transport Shuttles for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing from Ketetahi Park n Ride. This is the most flexible, cost effective way to get to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

    $60 Book now
  • Hiking & walking 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!

  • Biking trails

    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

    The Arapuni Trail

    The Arapuni Trail, part of the Waikato River Trails, offers an exhilarating ride through lush native bush and open farmlands, with breathtaking river views. Highlights include the Arapuni Dam, scenic lookouts, ancient rock formations, and the historic Arapuni Power Station and Dam, making it a memorable adventure.

  • Hiking & walking 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 & walking trails

    Tama Lakes

    The Tama Lakes track forms part of the Tongariro Northern Circuit Great Walk and is a great alternative to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

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