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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

    Opepe Scenic and Historic Reserve

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Geothermal walks

    Tokaanu Thermal Walk

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

  • 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.

  • Biking trails

    Headland Loop Trail (Great Lake Trails)

    The Headland Loop Trail starts and finishes on the W2K Trail at the top of the headland between Kinloch and Whakaipo Bay.

  • 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.

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