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Lake Taupo | The best things to see and do 👀 👍

A boating and fishing paradise, some would argue Lake Taupo is more of an inland sea - it covers an area about the same size of Singapore. Alongside this huge lake you'll find lush native forests and geothermal activity to spark intrigue. To give you a taste of what to expect from your visit to Lake Taupo, here's an overview of great itinerary ideas I've collated for you.


Situated in the volcanic heart of the North Island, the Lake Taupo region is home to New Zealand's largest fresh water lake, where you can visit fascinating geothermal areas and the famous Huka Falls. Highlights can include:

  • you have to see thundering Huka Falls, an 11-metre high waterfall that’s considered to be the most visited and photographed natural attraction in New Zealand 📸

  • for unique water-level views of the Huka Falls, nothing gets you closer than the thrill provided by Hukafalls Jet, taking you right to the base of the mighty force 

  • dedicated to the production of New Zealand fresh water prawns, and pure family fun, Huka Prawn Park offers cool and quirky activities for all ages and tasty prawns fresh to the plate 🍤👨‍👩‍👦‍👦

  • experience awesome views at a relaxed pace from Huka Falls River Cruise, a purpose built riverboat, with comfortable inside seating to take in New Zealand's highest volume waterfall 🛥️

  • explore New Zealand's only geothermal cave at Orakei Korako, and explore the stunning silica terraces as you walk around natural phenomena 🌋👟

  • take a virtual ride down NZ's most scenic rivers, plunge off waterfalls and feel the rush from running the rapids - all from the comfort of your special effects chair at the Rafting NZ 6D Adventure Cinema 🎞️👨‍👩‍👦‍👦

  • jet boat white water rapids with Rapids Jet and shoot through the narrow canyon on crystal clear waters, surf the pressure waves of Nga Awa Purua Rapids and hold on for the spins! 🌊

  • thousands of litres of rushing water creates a spectacle at Aratiatia Rapids, a unique display of man vs nature - water is released from the Aratiatia Dam down through the Aratiatia Rapids 3 times daily 🌊

  • set in a magical, art filled garden, complete with an outside mosaic living room L'Arte Café, Gallery + Garden combines a visual feast complemented by an edible treat from the café 🎨☕

  • Taupo Floatplane offer a Peek at the Lake, taking in the main sights of the region from a bird's eye view, before landing again on the waters of Lake Taupo 🛩️

  • glide by kayak over Lake Taupo’s crystal clear waters as you paddle to the awe-inspiring Maori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay - this extraordinary artwork towering 14-metres above the deep water 🛶

  • take the wheel, help hoist the sails or just sit back and enjoy the view as you sail Lake Taupo aboard a classic sailing yacht - Sail Barbary's two electric yachts offer eco-friendly fun and adventure ⛵

  • New Zealand's highest water touch bungy jump, Taupo Bungy is the North Island's most popular bungy jump set high above a scenic bend in the Waikato River 📸

  • a geothermal walkway with a lunar landscape including bubbling craters, steam vents and colourful soils can be found at the Craters of the Moon 🌋👟

  • accompanied by expert Tandem Instructors, jump out of an aircraft from up to 15,000ft and into an incredible freefall over the world’s most scenic dropzone with Skydive Taupo🛩️

  • manoeuvre through narrow crevasses of The Squeeze and emerge in the thermal waters of a naturally heated bathing pool, combined with all the thrills, excitement, speed and spins of with NZ RiverJet ♨️

  • New Zealand's highest water touch bungy jump, Taupo Bungy is the North Island's most popular bungy jump set high above a scenic bend in the Waikato River 📸

  • Tongariro River Rafting provides some of the best all year-round white water rafting and family float adventures with Go-Pro cameras on board to capture all the thrills and spills 🌊

  • enjoy a nature walk along the river at Tongariro National Trout Centre, the world of wild trout - feed the fish, visit the aquarium and watch the whio 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦🐟🎣

  • usually reserved for the professionals, experience the thrill of driving a single seater racecar at Taupo Motorsport Park - aim for the Leaderboard 🏎️🏁

  • gain insight into the fascinating world of glass blowing at Lava Glass - a gallery, studio, sculpture garden and cafe complex 🎨

  • bathe in a series of hot thermal pools rich in minerals, situated below magnificent silica terraces at Wairakei Terraces Walkway + Thermal Pools 👟♨️

LAKE TAUPO AT A GLANCE 🛏️ minimum 2 night stay recommended 📅 visit any time of year

📍 6½ out of 10 visitors include Lake Taupo in their New Zealand itinerary

🌦️there is a chance of rain 3½ days each week on average each year

👨‍👩‍👦‍👦Family fun scores high here with plenty to keep children entertained 🍽️Food + Wine experiences in this region were almost always mentioned as a highlight 🏳️‍🌈 LGBTQI+ friendly 👍

This part of New Zealand is home to:

Largest town:  Taupo

Popular places:  Turangi, Mangakino, Kinloch, Orakei Korako, Wairakei, Waitahanui, Tokaanu, Huka Falls, Motuoapa, Hatepe, Tauranga-Taupo, Kuratau, Omori, Motutere, Pukawa and more....

Accessible by:

🚗 self-drive on a road trip

✈️ board a plane to land at Taupo Airport (TUO)

🚌 take a bus from Auckland, Waikato, Rotorua, Bay of PlentyRuapehuHawkes Bay, the Manawatu, Whanganui or Wellington

Be adventurous. Be spontaneous. Embrace the unknown.

Let us plan your getaway. The catch?

Your destination is a surprise.

Book A Surprise Kiwi Adventure today and you might just end up in Lake Taupo - it's Time 2 Go!


Explore Aotearoa New Zealand

Great Kiwi Trips provide the best of each region in bite-sized travel packages

Combine several trips together to create the ultimate experience!

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