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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.
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
The newest section of the Great Lake Trails can be ridden by itself (12km) or part of a 36km loop that starts and finishes in Kinloch.
The Headland Loop Trail starts and finishes on the W2K Trail at the top of the headland between Kinloch and Whakaipo Bay.
From Taupo town you can ride all the way to Huka Falls (and on to Aratiatia Dam), following the course of the Waikato River along the Huka Falls Rotary Ride.
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.
Opotaka is a historical Maori pa site (fortified village) where you can learn about the history of the famous Ka Mate Haka, see the remains of the Maori settlement, and enjoy spectacular views across Lake Rotoaira to Mt Tongariro.
You can combine these hiking tracks for a multi-night tramp with lush beech forest, river crossings and wildlife.
The Whakaipo Section of the Great Lake Trails is made up of the W2K Trail and the Headland Loop Trail.
The Orakau Trail is a nice gradual downhill which takes you through stunning native wetlands before dropping you into the secluded Kawakawa Bay.
The Kawakawa Section of the Great Lake Trails is made up of the K2K Trail, Orakau Trail, and Otaketake Trail.
Part of the Waihaha Section of the Great Lake Trails, the Waihaha Trail starts at the Waihaha River carpark and follows the Waihaha River towards Lake Taupo.
Taupo has some of the best walking and cycling trails in New Zealand from family friendly lakeside cruising to journeys deep into ancient native forest.