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Leisurely wanderers

by Ceana Priest | Outdoor Kid

Embrace the gentle pace of the Taupō region's serene trails and discover the joy of leisurely exploring. From the vibrant art of the Graffiato Street Art Trail to the soothing flows of Huka Falls, there's a tranquil adventure waiting around every bend. Perfect for families and those who savor the moments as much as the scenery. These trails invite you to take it slow, relish the natural beauty and enjoy the simpler pleasures of life in the great outdoors.

Who needs to hurry when you can embrace the ‘slow and mellow’ approach to adventuring? The best adventures unfold while ambling without breaking a sweat, especially when accompanied by little explorers. Kickstart your laid-back escapade by fuelling the crew and embarking on an urban jaunt through Taupō's secret laneways, discovering vibrant murals on the Graffiato: Taupō Street Art Trail.

Then, make sure to check off the iconic Huka Falls before venturing into the hills for some tree-hugging along the Ōpepe Northern Loop or cheering on anglers as they try their luck with elusive trout in Tūrangi.

Cap off the day with some frosty delights from Kona Kones and Luna's Gelateria before taking a leisurely wander along the lakefront to admire Te Ātea - Tapuaeharuru, a majestic 2,000-year-old tōtara tree adorned with intricate carvings. As the last remnants of ice cream disappear, soak in the sunset hues with fish and chips on the beach or savour wood-fired pizzas at 2 Mile Bay Sailing Club.

1. Huka Falls | Taupō

Huka Falls

Barely metres from the car park, prepare for a thundering display of sparkling blue water blasting through a narrow rock chasm—possibly the most dramatic thing you’ll see with so little effort required.

Watch surging waters plunge 11 metres into frothy whirlpools, offering a thrilling show from various vantage points. Or skip the walk entirely and jump aboard a Huka Falls River Cruise or Hukafalls Jet for action-packed front-row seats.

2. Ōpepe Northern Loop | SH5 Napier Taupō Highway

Ōpepe Scenic and Historic Reserve. Photo by Outdoor Kid

Get ready for an adventure that's as quick as it is epic. In under 60 minutes, wander beneath towering weather-beaten tree canopies along an easy trail through a podocarp forest. But the real star of this tree-hugging adventure is a magnificent 30-meter-high rimu with a whopping circumference of 660 centimetres. Fearless kiddos can stick their heads into the hollowed-out trunks of mighty natives lining the trail.

3. Waipāhīhī Botanical Gardens | Taupō

Craving an adventure without the legwork? Hop in the car for a leisurely drive on a 2-kilometre loop beneath native trees and lush ferns at these gardens.

Waipāhīhī Botanical Gardens. Photo by Outdoor Kid

But if you feel like getting some steps in, jump out and explore the sprawling reserve with its maze of tangled trails winding through various plant collections. And why not bring along a picnic while taking in the sweeping views of the shimmering caldera of Lake Taupō?

4. Rangatira Point Track | Acacia Bay

Whakamoenga Point on the Rangatira Point Track

Just a quick splash away from the picture-perfect swimming beaches of Acacia Bay lies the Rangatira Point Track. Venture along this shady trail, and you'll find yourself at Whakamoenga Point.

Here, flat volcanic rocks reach out into the lake, set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of Tongariro National Park. But this isn't just any old view— take the plunge with epic manu bombs, enjoy a leisurely picnic, or try your hand at angling for a wily trout.

5. Tongariro River Trail | Tūrangi

While the Tongariro River may lure in countless eager anglers each year to pursue elusive trout, there's no shortage of laid-back adventures nearby—no fishing rod required! For a leisurely loop alongside the meandering river, kick off your adventure at Taupahi Reserve.

Tongariro River Trail

Follow the path southward until you reach the iconic Major Jones suspension bridge before crossing and looping northward along the riverbank. This walk is perfect for walkers, buggies, and bikes alike, with just one challenging section leading up to a breathtaking lookout point. Trust us—it's a climb worth making for the views!


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  1. Home
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  3. Outdoor & adventure
  4. Walking & hiking
  5. Leisurely wanderers