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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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  • Ferries & water taxis

    Bay2Bay Water Taxi

    Relax and sightsee, or for the more adventurous: ride, hike or climb around the Great Lake Trail with easy access to all tracks with Bay2Bay Water Taxi.

    $40 - $70
  • Cycling & mountain biking

    W2K section of the Great Lake Trails

    The W2K section of the Great Lake Trails provides great views across Lake Taupo and back down towards Kinloch, one of the most beautiful lakeside villages in the country.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Family friendly

    Taranaki Falls

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

  • Walking & hiking

    Tongariro Northern Circuit Great Walk - 3 day Guided Hiking Tour

    Take 3 days to hike the spectacular Tongariro Northern Circuit in the Tongariro National Park, North Island, New Zealand.

    $990 Book now
  • 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

    Lake Rotopounamu Track

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

  • Hiking trails

    Mt Urchin Track

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

  • 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.

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