Best Things To Do In Taupo – Top Activities & Attractions
Image: Lake Taupo
Are you ready to fall in love with the beautiful North Island town of Taupo? From ancient forests to smoky geothermal zones and dormant volcanoes, Taupo is a place full of spectacular natural wonders that are sure to take your breath away.
Taupo is also home to a variety of family-friendly activities, unique shopping experiences, and a charming small-town atmosphere that will make you feel right at home. To help you plan your next trip to Taupo, we’ve put together a list of our top 10 must-see attractions and activities. From exploring the stunning Lake Taupo to taking a thrilling jetboat ride down the river, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this incredible destination.
So why wait? Start planning your dream holiday to Taupo today and experience all that this beautiful town has to offer!
For where to stay in Lake Taupo, take a look here!
Activities on offer include bungy jumping, parasailing, bike trails, thermal park spa, stand up paddle boarding, whitewater rafting, lake taupo jet boat ride and attractions such as maori rock carvings craters of the moon, and much more!
Continue Reading and See our top 10 must do’s on your trip to Taupo…
1. Explore Lake Taupo
Image: Taupo Experience – People Kayaking at Lake Taupo
Located in the aftermath of the historic Taupo Volcano, Lake Taupo offers stunning views and a variety of exciting activities to enjoy. For the more adventurous, we recommend taking a kayak to the Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, where you can marvel at the sparkling waters beneath you. Or, if you prefer a more comfortable experience, opt for a scenic lake cruise
Activities & Attractions: Lake Taupo
2. Choose your adrenaline adventure
Image: Taupo Experience – Ziplining in Taupo
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.
Activities & Attractions: Huka Falls Rapids & Jetboating, Tandem Skydive, Water-Touch Bungy Jump
3. Parasailing Take to the Skies with the Ultimate Taupo Adventure
Soar to new heights with Big Sky Parasail in Taupo! Experience the thrill of gliding through the air while taking in the breathtaking views of Lake Taupo from up to 1000 feet high towed behind the Big Sky Parasail boats. Whether you prefer to fly solo or with a friend or two, Big Sky Parasail offers 12-minute flights for those weighing over 70 kgs.
Make your flight even more exciting with an optional freefall descent and end on a high note with an optional refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Taupo. Enjoy the peaceful silence of the skies as you take in panoramic views of the tranquil waters below. Don’t miss out on this must-do activity on your next visit to Taupo
4. Have a lunar experience at Taupo’s Craters of the Moon
Image: Taupo Experience – Geothermal Activity at Craters of the Moon in Taupo
Wondering what to see in Taupo? Well look no further than this crazy lunar landscape known at the Craters of the Moon!
a truly unique and otherworldly geothermal area located in the heart of Taupo. This fascinating landscape, which only sprang up in the 1950s after a nearby power station lowered underground water levels, is home to a multitude of steam vents and bubbling craters that are truly a sight to behold.
Visitors can explore the Craters of the Moon on foot, following well-formed paths that wind through the surreal landscape. As you walk, you’ll encounter a variety of geological phenomena, from boiling mud pools to steaming fumaroles, each more mesmerizing than the last.
And don’t worry – while the Craters of the Moon may look otherworldly, it’s perfectly safe to explore. So come and discover this incredible natural wonder for yourself – we’re sure you’ll be amazed!
The Craters of the Moon can be explored in as little as 45 minutes, making it a great activity for travelers with limited time. The well-formed paths through the geothermal area are easy to navigate, and there are plenty of signs and informational displays to help you learn more about the unique geological features you’ll encounter along the way.
Of course, you’re free to take your time and explore the Craters of the Moon at your own pace. Many visitors enjoy spending an hour or more wandering through the steam vents and bubbling craters, taking photos and soaking up the otherworldly atmosphere.
No matter how much time you have to spend at the Craters of the Moon, we’re sure you’ll find it to be a truly unforgettable experience.
Activities & Attractions: Geothermal Craters of the Moon
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, the Huka Prawn Park, Skydiving, and the Floatplane.
5. Get buzzing at the Huka Honey Hive in Taupo
Image (Source Flickr): Taupo Experience – Huka Honey Hive Taupo
Huka Honey Hive is the buzzing heart of Taupo’s beekeeping community. Located in the heart of town, the Huka Honey Hive offers free admission and is open every day of the week, so there’s no hive for excuses not to visit.
At the Huka Honey Hive, you’ll have the opportunity to taste a swarm of unique honeys, meads, and liqueurs, all made from locally sourced ingredients. You’ll also have the chance to learn about the health benefits of active manuka honey and bee pollen, and watch live bee hives in action. And be sure to browse their selection of honey-based skincare products – they make the perfect souvenir or gift.
But the fun doesn’t stop there – top off your visit to the Huka Honey Hive by treating the family to a scoop of delicious honey ice cream. It’s sure to get the kids buzzing with excitement! So why wait? Come and discover the sweet side of Taupo at the Huka Honey Hive.
Activities & Attractions: Huka Honey Hive, Taste Honeys, Meads, & Liqueurs
6. Hike to neon coloured crater lakes on the Tongariro Crossing
Image: Taupo Experience – Tongariro Crossing Ruapehu Near Taupo
The Tongariro Crossing is a truly unique hiking experience that will take your breath away. As you make your way through the volcanic alpine landscape, you’ll be able to admire the incredible natural beauty of the area, including steaming vents, glacial valleys, and ancient lava flows. But the real highlight of the hike is the chance to see the stunning Blue and Emerald Lakes, which are famous for their vibrant neon colors.
The hike itself is challenging, but the rewards are well worth the effort. The Tongariro Crossing has been rated as one of the best day hikes in New Zealand, and it’s easy to see why. The scenery is simply breathtaking, and you’ll be able to enjoy panoramic views that will stay with you long after the hike is over.
In addition to its natural beauty, the Tongariro Crossing has also been recognized as a UNESCO Dual Heritage Park, both for its spiritual significance to the local Maori people and for its natural wonders. This is a truly special place, and we highly recommend adding it to your bucket list. So why not come and experience the freedom of crossing the Tongariro Crossing for yourself?
Activities & Attractions: Tongariro Crossing Ruapehu, Hiking
7. Enjoy a winter wonderland at Mt Ruapehu
Image: Taupo Experience – Skiing in Ruapehu near Taupo
Mt Ruapehu is the largest active volcano in New Zealand. With two ski fields – Whakapapa and Turoa – to choose from, you can enjoy world-class skiing and snowboarding.
But that’s not all! You can also try snow tubing, take a scenic chairlift ride, or cozy up by the fire with a hot chocolate at one of the mountain-top restaurants.
Mt Ruapehu offers the longest ski season in Australasia, from June to October, with over 65 trails for all skill levels. And with the highest café in the country and the brand-new Sky Waka Gondola, there’s no shortage of amazing views and cozy spots to warm up.
Getting to Mt Ruapehu is easy with direct shuttles from Taupo to the base of the ski field. So come on up and experience the winter wonderland of Mt Ruapehu!
Check out our wide range of Mt Ruapehu Accommodation by clicking here!
Activities & Attractions: Ruapehu Skiing & Snowboarding
8. Family friendly bike trails around Taupo
Image: Taupo Experience – Mountain Biking Taupo 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 mountain biking 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.
Activities & Attractions: Mountain Biking, Cycle Trail, Sight Seeing
9. Taupo’s Spa Thermal Park
Image: Taupo Experience – Spa Thermal Park in Taupo
The Spa Thermal Park is a place where you can relax and rejuvenate in the healing waters of the geothermal mineral pools. Powered by the Otumuheke Stream and the Waikato River, these pools are perfect for bathers of all ages.
Recently, the Spa Thermal Park has undergone major upgrades, making it an even more enjoyable experience for visitors. Not only can you soak in the therapeutic waters, but you can also take a two-hour walking tour around the park, exploring the banks of the Waikato River and the surrounding bushland.
So why not take some time out of your busy schedule and indulge in the relaxing and rejuvenating powers of the Spa Thermal Park in Taupo? It will be a highlight of your trip.
Activities & Attractions: Spa Resorts, Health Spa, Thermal Pools
10. Enjoy stress-free shopping at Lake Taupo
Image: Taupo Experience – Shopping for Souvenirs in Taupo
Make the most of the small town feel in Taupo with their pedestrian friendly town full of local boutique shops! Perfect for finding souvenirs. 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.
Activities & Attractions: Shopping, Local Gifts & Souvenirs
11. Taste Taupo’s local craft beer movement
Image: Taupo Experience – Craft Beer Taupo
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.
Activities & Attractions: Local Food & Craft Beer
Things To Do In Taupo In Winter
Even rainy days in Taupo is full of things to do. View geothermic attractions, wander around a museum, try a craft beer, or go whitewater rafting. Even if it rains every day during your visit, you can still experience the best of the area and have a relaxing holiday.
1. Lava Glass: A Wonderful Taupo Indoor Attraction
Image: Taupo Experience -Glass Blowing Taupo
For a unique way to spend a rainy morning or afternoon, head to Lava Glass’s Glassblowing Studio. You’ll get to watch the artists at work while they create unique glass-blown artworks.
The furnace is never turned off and stays at 1,060 Celsius all year. The artist might use some clear glass to start the process, then blows the glass, sculpts it, and adds color.
Visitors can also admire glass sculptures in the Sculpture Garden and enjoy a coffee in the café.
Activities & Attractions: Glass Blowing
2. Indoor Rock Climbing in Taupo
The Edge Indoor Rock Wall is a fun way to spend a rainy day. The wall is 12 meters high, and different parts of the wall cater to different skill levels. There’s a bouldering section for new climbers who want the experience without climbing the wall. Instructors are always available to give advice or offer assistance. Enjoy a new challenge and increase your climbing confidence.
Activities & Attractions: Indoor Climbing
3. Mind Junction – Perfect Activities For Kids
This indoor activity park offers fun for the whole family. It might take a team to figure out the two-meter-high giant maze. Challenge your family to a competitive game of nine-hole mini-golf. The LEGO display gives you the chance to show off your creative power while you craft the perfect LEGO scene.
Test out the shooting simulator to find out who the best marksman in your group is. Then, battle it out in the flight simulator to test your expert piloting skills. The hands-on Science Experience and Discovery Centre are worth exploring.
Have a coffee break to warm up from the rain and plan the next challenge at Mind Junction.
Activities & Attractions: Activity Park, Mini-Golf, Flight & Shooting Simulator
4. Tongariro River Rafting
Image: Taupo Experience – Tongariro River White Water Rafting near Taupo
Tongariro River Rafting offers two ways to experience the thrill of whitewater rafting in Taupo. Guests over 10-years-old can experience roller-coaster rapids with an expert guide at the helm. Running whitewater on the Tongariro River is sure to be a highlight of your trip.
And since you’ll be soaked through regardless, there’s no reason to let a little rain stop your adventure. While the starting place is about 40 minutes outside of Taupo, the rafting company will pick you up in Taupo if needed.
Kids as young as three years old can take part in Family Rafting on the Tongariro River. This adventure will allow the whole family to enjoy rafting gentle currents and the excitement of small rapids. As you float downstream, keep an eye out for wildlife, especially the endangered Whio blue duck.
Another destination for rafting is the Aratiatia Rapids
Aratiatia Rapids is a section of the Waikato River located near Taupo, New Zealand. It is a popular tourist destination known for its scenic beauty and opportunities for rafting and kayaking. The rapids are created by the release of water from the Aratiatia Dam, which operates four times a day, allowing for dramatic changes in the flow and height of the river. The surrounding area is also a popular spot for hiking and picnicking.
Activities & Attractions: White Water Rafting
5. Taupo Museum
Image: Taupo Experience – Maori Culture & Art Galleries at Taupo Museum
Taupo Museum hosts a gorgeous indoor space where visitors can browse their galleries and experience the art, culture, and history of the Taupo area.
The Kiwana Caravan is sure to delight. This old travel caravan features memorabilia from the 1950s and 1960s. Travel back to the simple holidays of the past and be inspired to capture that holiday spirit.
The exquisitely crafted meeting house, Te Aroha o Rongoheikume (for the love of Lucy Reid), stands in the museum. It was carved in the 1920s by Tene Waitere for his niece and later gifted to the people of Taupo.
Visitors will enjoy the Taupo’s Volcanic Secrets display. Learn about the volcanic activity that has shaped the region.
The museum also displays a unique carved artwork, Ruaumoko – God of Geothermal.
If there’s a break in the rain, don’t miss the stunning Ora Garden. This garden won a Chelsea Flower Show gold medal and is a remarkable example of a New Zealand garden.
Activities & Attractions: Experience Maori Culture, Local Museums & Art Galleries
6. Taupo Day Spa Experience
Image: Taupo Experience – Day Spa & Hot Springs in Taupo
Treating yourself to a spa day is one great way to refresh your soul on a rainy day. Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort offers massages, hot springs soaks, facial treatments, manicures, pedicures, and body treatments.
Before your massage or treatment, enjoy a soak in the hot mineral waters. Time spent at this luxurious spa is an investment in your well-being, and you’ll leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
At Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa, restore your mind, body, and soul. The outdoor thermal pools are delightful, even in the rain. The spa offers relaxing massages and wonderful facials in a peaceful setting.
Activities & Attractions: Hot Springs, Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa, Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort
7. Huka Falls River Cruise
Image: Taupo Experience – Huka Falls River Cruise near Taupo
As already mentioned above the Huka Falls River Cruise operates in all weather. This protected area is always calm, so you’ll enjoy smooth sailing, even in the rain. The boat offers a completely enclosed seating area in addition to a large deck and front viewing platform. You can experience the falls from the dry interior or brave the outside options.
As you cruise through the beautiful clear water, you’ll see birdlife, natural hot streams, and gorgeous natural riverfront views. You’ll get up close to the stunning Huka Falls. The scenery is fantastic, and this a family-friendly way to get out and enjoy the day despite the weather. Bring your camera!
Activities & Attractions: Huka Falls River Cruise
8. AC Baths in Taupo
The AC Baths is a wonderful pool complex. The pools are naturally heated with geothermic water. The heat will keep you warm and energized, even in the rain. AC Baths features two toddler areas, an indoor pool for lessons, and two 25-meter lane pools. One of the 25-meter pools is indoors; the second pool is outdoors.
To add to the fun, try a hydro slide or Tarzan swing. Adults are welcome to relax and warm up in the saunas. There’s a café on site for warming treats.
Activities & Attractions: AC Baths, Geothermal Spa Pool
9. Experience Geothermal Walks
At Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, you can explore natural geothermic features such as mud pools, the champagne cauldron, and silica formations. You’ll see rare plant life as birds fly overhead. There’s also a small animal park on-site with rabbits, goats, chickens, llamas, and peacocks.
Warm up with a traditional Devonshire Tea, complete with home-crafted goodies and hot tea.
Orakei Korako is another geothermal park worth visiting. Located in the Waikato region of New Zealand, It features a series of geysers, hot springs, and silica terraces, along with various walking trails and viewing platforms that allow visitors to experience the unique and colorful landscapes created by geothermal activity. Orakei Korako is a popular tourist destination, known for its unique beauty and rich Maori cultural history. The park is open year-round, with guided tours available for those who would like a more in-depth look at the geothermal wonders of Orakei Korako.
Activities & Attractions: Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, Orakei Korako, Trail Walk
Where to Stay in Taupo: Holiday Homes
Garden Grove Gem - Lake Taupō Holiday Home
Garden Grove, Taupo, Lake Taupo
Woodland Grove - Lake Taupo Holiday Home
Garden Grove, Taupo Central, Lake Taupo
Blue Velvet Cottage - Lake Taupo Holiday Home
Hyde Avenue, Two Mile Bay, Lake Taupo
Places to See Near Taupo
- Bay of Plenty
Quick-Guide: Taupo Things to do
Exciting Things to Do Taupo:
- Skydiving over Lake Taupo
- Bungee jumping at Taupo Bungy
- Jet boating on the Waikato River
Popular Things to Do in Taupo:
- Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
- Visiting Huka Falls
- Soaking in the natural hot pools at Spa Park
What to Do in Taupo – Your Guide:
- A comprehensive guide to Taupo’s attractions, activities, and dining options.
Amazing Things to Do in Taupo:
- Helicopter flight over the volcanoes
- Taupo Museum and Art Gallery visit
- Exploring the Craters of the Moon geothermal area
Outdoor Activities in Taupo:
- Fishing on Lake Taupo
- Mountain biking in the Great Lake Trails
- Horseback riding in the surrounding countryside
Unusual Things to Do in Taupo – Hidden Gems:
- Visiting the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings
- Taupo Puzzle World
- Discovering the Wairakei Terraces and Thermal Health Spa
Must Do in Taupo – Bucket List Experiences:
- Taupo Tandem Skydiving
- Huka Falls Jet Boat Ride
- Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Taupo Fun Activities for Everyone:
- Taupo DeBretts Hot Springs
- Taupo Mini Golf
- Taupo Motorsport Park
Taupo Fun Things to Do – Family-Friendly:
- Taupo Lakefront Playground
- Taupo Maori Carvings Cruise
- Taupo Puzzle World
Is Taupo Worth Visiting? – Exploring the Beauty:
- Stunning Lake Taupo views
- Geothermal wonders like Craters of the Moon
- Scenic boat cruises and natural landscapes
Where to Go in Taupo – Top Destinations:
- Taupo Lakefront and Marina
- Tongariro National Trout Centre
- Taupo Market and Craft Fair
What to Do in Taupo Today – Itinerary Ideas:
- Morning hike at Huka Falls
- Afternoon sailing on Lake Taupo
- Evening relaxation at Taupo Hot Springs