Our top 10 things to do in Taupo
Are you ready to fall in love with Taupo? A place full of spectacular natural wonders such as ancient forests, smoky geothermal zones and dormant volcanoes! Along with family friendly activities, unique shopping experiences and a small-town feel, we’re sure it won’t take long before your heart starts to skip a beat! To help you plan your next holiday, we’ve put together a list of our top 10 things to do in Taupo. For where to stay in Lake Taupo, take a look here!
See our top 10 must do’s on your trip to Taupo…
1. Explore Lake Taupo
Made in the aftermath of the eruption of the Taupo Volcano (which was apparently seen all the way in Europe!), it is an absolute must to explore the largest lake in New Zealand. The more adventurous option is to kayak to the Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay and be mesmerised by the sparkling waters beneath you. Or, opt for the more comfortable scenic lake cruise, with multiple operators to choose from.
2. Choose your adrenaline adventure
Taupo is just as much for relaxing as it is for adventure! Get your dose of adrenaline through some epic experiences that are unparalleled anywhere else in New Zealand. For the only jetboat experience on white-water in New Zealand, enjoy 360 spins along the river on your way to get splashed by Huka Falls. There’s also New Zealand’s highest water touch bungy jump from 47 metres above the Waikoto River and a tandem skydive with the options of plunging from the plane at 9,000ft or 18,500ft. Whatever you choose, prepare to scream and have an epic time.
3. Have a lunar experience at the Craters of the Moon
Wondering what to see in Taupo? Well look no further than this crazy lunar landscape known at the Craters of the Moon! This geothermal area only sprang up in the 1950s after a nearby power station lowered underground water levels. The area is now booming with steam vents and bubbling craters, which can best be enjoyed from the well-formed paths in a 45-minute walk around the area.
1. Favourite family activities in Taupo?
Hole in one, Put Put, Huka Jets and the Prawn farm.
2. Best park or beach?
Spa Park and the all areas of Lake Taupo are beautiful!
3. What to do if it’s raining as a family?
Debretts Hot Pools, AC Baths or see a movie at Starlight Cinema.
4. Best family-friendly cafe or restaurant?
Dixie Browns cafe, Cafe Baku, Cobb n Co and Mole n Chicken.
5. Any other advice for families planning a trip?
Other awesome things to do inlcude the Formula Challenge, Kinloch Marina, Wairakei Thermal Resort, Skydiving and the Floatplane.
4. Get buzzing at the Huka Honey Hive
With free entry and open every day of the week, there’s no excuse not to take a visit to the Huka Honey Hive. They offer visitors unique honey, mead and liqueur tastings, along with educational talks about the health benefits of active manuka honey and bee pollen. You’ll also get to see live bee hives in action and browse their selection of honey-based skincare products. Top off the visit by treating the family to honey ice cream – sure to get the kids buzzing!
5. Hike to neon coloured crater lakes on the Tongariro Crossing
Fall in love with the freedom of crossing one of the best rated day-walks in New Zealand. On the 19 kilometre Tongariro Crossing, you’ll go through volcanic alpine landscape, get to admire the other-worldly wonders of steaming vents, glacial valleys, ancient lava flow and panoramic views. But the most spectacular reward on this walk is getting to check out the neon coloured Blue and Emerald Lakes. It’s no surprise the Tongariro Crossing has been dubbed a UNESCO Dual Heritage Park for both the spiritual importance and its natural phenomenon.
6. Enjoy a winter wonderland at Mt Ruapehu
Offering the longest ski season in Australasia from approximately June to October, Mt Ruapehu is also New Zealand’s largest commercial ski field. They have over 65 trails for all skill sets, the highest café in the country to enjoy a warm cuppa and a brand-new feature known as the Sky Waka Gondola, which takes riders above ancient lava flow and waterfalls. Best of all, getting to Mt Ruapehu is easy as, with shuttles going direct from Taupo to the base of the ski field.
7. Family friendly bike trails
Wondering what to do in Taupo with the kids? How about an afternoon on a bike! Cycle around the beautiful scenery with the family and enjoy multiple scenic spots for a picnic. The Tongariro River Trail offers a 14km loop track perfect for families to ride through farmland, beech forests and fern glades. If your family has the need for speed, enjoy a day out zooming down the Craters Mountain Bike Park, which is five minutes from town and has trails for both children and technical cross country riders. And if you’re worried about your little toddler who still has training wheels, opt for the Great Lane Walkway along the Taupo lakefront for the ultimate urban ride.
8. Spa Thermal Park
Powered by geothermal waters from Otumuheke Stream and Waikato River, the Spa Thermal Park welcomes bathers of any age to enjoy the healing mineral water. They’ve recently undergone massive upgrades to the historical bathing site and offer a two-hour walking path around the park to explore the banks of the Waikato River and surrounding bush.
9. Enjoy stress-free shopping
Make the most of the small town feel in Taupo with their pedestrian friendly town full of local boutique shops! Known mostly for boutique homeware shops such as Jak&Co and Replete Café & Store, they are also well stocked with outdoor and sporting goods stores to make sure you and your family can fully enjoy your outdoor adventures.
10. Taste the local craft beer movement
Home to several craft beer breweries, Taupo offers the perfect natural recourses of having a high altitude, cool climate and alpine volcanic water to make their beer and cider unique. Crafty TROUT Brewery would be our top pick, as you can check out the world’s first fully automated brewing system on their tasting tour. They also have the Bier Kafe, which is an Austrian Alpine themed bar that serves seven craft beers on tap matched perfectly with freshly-baked pretzels and wood-fired pizza.