Things To Do In Taupo

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1. Huka Falls

Huka Falls

4 km
from city center
1 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

The Huka Falls is a beautiful waterfall in Taupo, New Zealand and you will hear the falls before you see it. ‘Huka’ translates to ‘foam’ in Maori and almost a quarter of a million litres of water erupt per second and barrel over this 11m high waterfall into the Waikato River below. The continuous, endless torrent is caused by the Waikato River which is about 100m wide but is forced to narrow to 15m wide. The flow pressure increases and water bursts out as the gorge ends.

2. Craters of the Moon Taupo

Craters of the Moon Taupo

11,771 km
from city center
2 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

Craters of the moon is a geothermal walk with lunar landscapes in Taupo, New Zealand. Visitors can view thermal activity like steam vents, bubbling mud pools, bubbling craters, thermal pools and colourful soils. The area emerged around the 1950s when a power plant lowered underground water pressure levels resulting in superheated water rising through vents. There are many pathways and elevated viewing positions to observe the geothermal activity. You can also view interesting plants that have learned to grow and thrive in these conditions.

3. Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings

Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings

14,779 km
from city center
3 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

The Ngatoroirangi Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings are one of New Zealand’s most unique contemporary works of art located on Lake Taupo. Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell carved these 33 feet high Maori designs in the late 1970s. He marked his ten-year training period with Maori elders with this significant carving which took four summers to finish. The rock carvings are only accessible by boat and you can take a sailing boat, scenic cruise, or go on a kayaking trip from Taupo Harbour.

4. Wairakei Terraces

Wairakei Terraces

110 km
from city center
4 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

Wairakei Terraces is a wellness center and thermal health spa where you can enjoy the benefits of geothermal and mineral rich water. You can enjoy this holistic experience in the Wairakei geothermal valley in Taupo, New Zealand. The area is surrounded by native bush and features abundant natural silica pools. Natural springs have always been used by the Maori for healing, wellness, and bathing and Wairakei Terraces continues this tradition. You can enjoy relaxing baths, mud pools and beauty treatments to re-energize and revitalize the mind.

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5. AJ Hackett Taupo Bungy and Swing

AJ Hackett Taupo Bungy and Swing

5 km
from city center
5 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

AJ Hackett Taupo Bungy and Swing is New Zealand’s highest cliff-top Bungy jump and lies in Aotearoa’s geothermal region. It is located 154 feet above the Waikato River and you can even plunge into the crystal blue waters below. You can jump solo or in tandem with a friend against a dramatic landscape of towering volcanoes, geothermal valleys and snow-capped mountains. This is a great place for thrill seekers and people with an adventurous spirit.

6. Aratiatia Rapids

Aratiatia Rapids

9 km
from city center
6 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

The Aratiatia Rapids are formed when thousands of litres of water are released from the Aratiatia dam into the Waikato River and the powerful flow through a narrow gorge creates a spectacular sight. The gates are opened a few times each day and are closed about 30 minutes later and the water resumes to a placid stream. Visitors can view the transition and marvel at the powerful force of nature by arriving a few minutes before the dam is due to release. The natural drop in the river is harnessed for hydroelectric power and there are many vantage points to watch this phenomenon.

7. Spa Thermal Park

Spa Thermal Park

211 km
from city center
7 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

The Spa Thermal Park and Recreational Reserve is a public park in Taupo, New Zealand and is famous for rejuvenating hot springs. The springs are part of the geothermal activity famous in the area and the Otumuheke Stream has piping hot geothermal water with the benefits of sulfur. The stream combines with the Waikato River and has calming pools for visitors to immerse themselves. You can soak in and enjoy the deep-green, crystal-clear waters of the river with greenery all around you.

8. Taupo Tandem Skydiving

Taupo Tandem Skydiving

0 km
from city center
8 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

Taupo Tandem Skydiving is located on the shores of the gorgeous Lake Taupo in the Central North Island of New Zealand. This is the country’s original tandem drop zone and they have jumped over 200,000 people. The adventure begins with a scenic flight across the central plateau and passes the largest lake in the Southern Hemisphere, Lake Taupo. The flight also overlooks the mountains of Tongariro National Park and beautiful snow-capped volcanoes.

9. Wairakei Thermal Valley

Wairakei Thermal Valley

7 km
from city center
9 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

Wairakei Thermal Valley is located in Taupo, New Zealand and is an ancient active geothermal location. It features many mud pools, silica formations, hot springs, geysers and geothermal vents. You can pamper yourself in the hot springs surrounded by lush green nature as well as rare and endangered plants. The area also features an abundance of native wildlife and farm animals like sheep, hens, fowls and alpacas. Visitors can also spot peacocks and the place is a popular bird-watching site.

10. Taupo Museum and Art Gallery

Taupo Museum and Art Gallery

2,283 km
from city center
10 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

Lake Taupo Museum and Art Gallery offers visitors the chance to discover artworks by local and national artists and learn about Taupo’s history. The museum features vibrant exhibitions with beautiful Maori pieces, nautical exhibits, wood carvings, vintage items and other art displays. There are spaces for contemporary art displays by upcoming artists who showcase sculptures, paintings, photographs and visual displays. Some of the highlights of the museum include a Kiwiana Caravan that dates back to the 1960s, a carved Maori meeting house, a moa skeleton and a replica of a 19th Century shop. You can also observe displays of fishing and living on the water.

11. Taupo DeBretts Hot Springs

Taupo DeBretts Hot Springs

12,377 km
from city center
11 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

Taupo DeBretts Hot Springs is located in a steaming thermal valley and you can soothe all your troubles away in their hot mineral pools with outstanding views. The hot springs are suitable for a day out with the family or couples seeking a romantic getaway. Children can enjoy hydro slides and two thermal heated slides and a children’s interactive warm water play area. There are three main pools with waterfalls and bubbling hydrotherapy spots as well as 12 private pools.

12. Wairakei Golf and Sanctuary

Wairakei Golf and Sanctuary

7 km
from city center
12 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

Wairakei Golf and Sanctuary has a world class golfing experience with a strong focus on conservation and providing a safe haven for wildlife. You can spot native kiwi, fallow deer, takahe and many native birds like peking ducks, guinea fowl, and coloured pheasants. You can play your way through 18 holes and be surrounded by streams and waterfalls. There are large landing zones dotted with water hazards and doglegs that make it challenging.

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13. Otumuheke Stream

Otumuheke Stream

747 km
from city center
13 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

Otumuheke Stream is Taupo’s free, hot water heaven and bathers can immerse themselves in healing mineral water. You can take in the clear green waters of the stunning Waikato River which is New Zealand’s longest river. The Otumuheke Stream flows through native bush and drops down into a couple of small waterfalls. It fills the pools below with healing warm water and then eases into the Waikato River.

14. Mount Tauhara

Mount Tauhara

8,603 km
from city center
14 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

For the local Maori, Mount Tauhara is a culturally significant landmark located in Taupo, New Zealand. This is a dormant volcano that formed over 65,000 years ago. You can enjoy a hike to the top of the summit at 1,088 meters and enjoy panoramic views of the central North Island, Mount Tongariri, Mount Ruapehu and Lake Taupo. It is rated as moderately challenging and is a 6.6km return track. It takes 1-1.5 hours to reach the summit and 40 minutes to an hour to climb back down.

15. Kinloch Beach

Kinloch Beach

13 km
from city center
15 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

Kinloch is a settlement that is a 20-minute drive from the Taupo township and provides spectacular views of Lake Taupo and Tongariro National Park. It was originally a sheep station but the white sandy stretch is now a popular holiday destination. Kinloch Beach is located along Whangamata Bay and the beach is also in the center of Whangamata Stream Scenic Reserve. It is the northernmost bay on the shores of Lake Taupo. You can enjoy kayaking, swimming, fishing, water skiing and all sorts of water sports.

16. Huka Falls Walkway

Huka Falls Walkway

4 km
from city center
16 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

Huka Falls is a powerful display of water cascading down 11m into a turbulent pool below. You can create a build-up to this spectacular sight by taking the trail from Spa Thermal Park to Huka Falls. It is rated as an easy track and takes 2 hours (round trip) to complete and is 6km long. The walk begins in a very tranquil setting and you will pass native forest, native birds and emerge alongside the river. You will hear the Huka Falls before you see them.

17. Whakaipo Bay

Whakaipo Bay

9 km
from city center
17 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

Whakaipo Bay is a beautiful bay about 10km from central Taupo. It is a great spot run by the Department of Conservation for camping in self contained vehicles in farm park surroundings and native bush. Camping is allowed for four consecutive days only. The road beginning from Mapara road is unpaved for 2km but still very accessible by car and motorhomes. This hidden gem has crystal clear waters and is very safe for swimming. You can also go sunbathing, kayaking, boating, or enjoy a picnic with picturesque views.

18. Opepe Scenic and Historic Reserve

Opepe Scenic and Historic Reserve

144 km
from city center
18 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

Opepe Scenic and Historic Reserve is a perfect spot for families and is just a short 10-minute drive from Taupo. There are two walks at Opepe Reserve where you can immerse yourself in nature, regenerating bush and sites of historical interest. The Northern Waking Track is an easy 1.5km track and starts in a clockwise direction and you are immediately surrounded by nature. You can view kahikatea, matai, miro and the stately totara. This loop track will take you through a mature podocarp forest that unusually survived a volcanic eruption in 186AD. The reserve is also a great spot for birdwatching.

19. Tongariro North Domain

Tongariro North Domain

54 km
from city center
19 out of 19
things to do in Taupo

Tongariro North Domain is a public park located in Taupo, New Zealand. It features a unique playground, picnic areas, museum, beautiful gardens and seasonal miniature train rides. There is a life size chess board and different climbing structures and swings. You can stroll across beautiful rose gardens and observe various sculptures. You can also feed ducks at the lakefront and may even notice black swans.

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