Wrapping around the shores of Lake Taupo in the centre of North Island, New Zealand, the charming town of Taupo is an outdoor adventurer’s dream come true. Life revolves around the water, and visitors have many exciting water-related activities to choose from during their stay. Taupo also sits right in the middle of a geothermal hotspot, and its delicious hot springs can soothe away all travel stress. The best time to visit is in the summer, but year-round moderate temperatures let you have fun no matter when you come.
When you first arrive in Taupo, take a moment to stop and enjoy the ever-present panoramic views of the lake and nearby mountains. Then it’s time to spice up your holiday with activities. Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand, is a natural starting point. Popular activities include jet boating across the mirror surface of the lake, as well as paragliding. Rent a kayak and explore all the lake’s hidden coves.
If you prefer to keep your feet on solid ground, there is still plenty to do. Go back in time when you hike through the ancient rainforests of Pureora Forest Park, or get up close and personal to the ancient beech forests of Kaimanawa Forest Park. To heat things up, slip into a geothermal mud pool, or explore volcanic craters and steaming vents at Craters of the Moon. If you happen to visit Taupo in the winter months, you can enjoy the unique experience of skiing down a volcano! Mt Ruapehu offers two enjoyable ski fields, Turoa and Whakapapa.
You’ll also find plenty of restaurants throughout Taupo that will fill your belly with excellent food. The town is known for its delicious seafood options and for “Taupo beef.”
You’ll find a wide array of hotels to fit almost any budget. Spoil yourself at a Taupo accommodation with a spa. Enjoy a more rustic adventure at one of the town’s many bed and breakfast options with breathtaking and romantic lake views. Taupo motels, hostels, and holiday parks are also available for those on a budget. If you’re in town for a while, perhaps an apartment rental might be a better option. Finally, if you’re looking for the true Kiwi experience, Taupo offers several farmstays. You’ll sleep at an authentic farm, eat farm fresh meals, and even have the chance to roll up your sleeves and pitch in with the chores.
Getting to Taupo
Taupo is served by the small Taupo Airport which offers direct flights to Auckland and Wellington. If you are coming from farther out of town, expect at least one transfer. State Highway 1 and State Highway 5 run through town, so pick up a car hire in Taupo to embark on a truly scenic road trip!
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