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Scenic attractions in Taupo

Defined by an ancient volcanic landscape with the largest freshwater lake in Australasia (plus more than 20 other lakes), thundering waterfalls, ancient native bush, the mighty Waikato River and Tongariro River and the volcanic mountains of the dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park, Taupo's spectacular natural features and scenic attractions can't be found anywhere else in the world.

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  • Hiking & walking trails

    Waihora Lagoon

    This easy walk in Pureora Forest Park takes you to a small rain-fed lagoon surrounded by tall kahikatea and rimu trees.

  • Hiking & walking trails

    Motuoapa Cliff Lookout Walk

    An easy short walk to a lookout point with panoramic views over the southern end of Lake Taupo.

  • Hiking & walking trails

    Waikato River Walking Track

    This shared-use track starts at the Huka Falls carpark and ends at Otupo Flat.

  • Scenic attraction

    Aratiatia Rapids

    Aratiatia Rapids is one of the most popular natural attractions in the North Island. Thousands of litres of water are released from the Aratiatia Dam creating a spectacular flow of water through a narrow gorge.

  • Biking trails

    The Waipapa Trail

    Begin at Bus Stop Café, enjoy narrow forest trails, see historic dam foundations, cross wetland boardwalks, and finish at Waipapa Power Station, featuring technical paths, steep sections, and stunning views of sandstone cliffs and the river. Ideal for adventurous riders seeking a challenging and scenic route

  • Hiking & walking trails

    Lake Rotopounamu

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

  • Biking trails

    W2K Trail - Great Lake Trails

    The W2K trail is part of the Whakaipo Section of the Great Lake Trails. It provides great views across Lake Taupo and back down towards Kinloch, one of the most beautiful lakeside villages in the country.

  • Geothermal walks

    Tokaanu Thermal Walk

    See steaming hot mineral pools and spluttering mud pools on this short, easy walk.

  • Māori culture

    Opotaka Historic Reserve - Lake Rotoaira

    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.

  • Biking trails

    The Maraetai Trail

    Explore the Maraetai Trail, starting right next to the Whakamaru Dam. This scenic route takes you through the historic Whakamaru switching station and ascends gently above the river. Wander through paths lined with pine trees and pass by peaceful farmlands where sheep and livestock graze. It’s the perfect way to immerse yourself in nature and local history.

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  3. Scenic attractions