The world’s trout fishing capital is also rich in Maori culture and well known for its many natural wonders, including the largest fresh water lake in Australasia, the best one day hike in New Zealand, as well as the largest ski area.
Also referred to as the ‘Events Capital of New Zealand’, Lake Taupo is conveniently located in the centre of the North Island and is a popular place for tourists to base themselves for their North Island vacation. The area boasts some of the most breath-taking natural wonders as well as a vibrant culture and Maori heritage. There are four parts to the Taupo region, being Lake Taupo, Turangi, Mangakino and Ruapehu and Tongariro National Park, allowing visitors to the region to choose from an incredibly diverse range of outdoor attractions, sights and activities.
Renowned for unique attractions such as the Taupo Volcanic Zone, the clean fresh water of Lake Taupo and dramatic mountain views, Taupo offers a plethora of attractions, activities and adventures to suit the outdoor holidaymaker all year round. However, if you prefer a holiday that involves plenty of self-pampering and relaxing, don’t despair – you will find plenty to keep you relaxed and feeling rejuvenated in this fabulous area of the central North Island.
From viewing a geothermal wonderland to top trout fishing, skiing and mountain biking, to white water rafting, horse trekking, hunting, bungy jumping, hiking and jet boating – if you want to awaken the body and mind and take your breath away, there is plenty to choose from in Taupo.
However, if your idea of a great holiday involves the softer side of tourism then don’t despair as there is plenty of gentle holiday options, including award winning health and beauty spa’s, rejuvenating nature walks, stunning golf courses, garden tours, picturesque lake cruises, cultural experiences, scenic tours, art galleries and much more.
With so much to see and do in this North Island tourist playground I suggest you take a visit to the Taupo Visitor Information Centre! However, for a general overview of the more renowned and ‘must do’ Lake Taupo activities, I have personally selected the below…
For the geo-thermal lovers you have hit the jackpot when you visit the Taupo region, as this is most definitely one of the best volcanic wonderlands in the world! The Qualmark Endorsed Orakei Korako Cave and Thermal Park is considered one of the best thermal areas left in the world! Also known as the Hidden Valley, this unique visitor attraction allows you to explore gushing geysers, hot springs, bubbling mud pools and some of the largest and most amazing silica terraces in the world!
Internationally renowned for year-round trout fishing, Taupo is also home to one of the biggest range of holiday water sports and activities! You can choose to test your skills with the local trout by yourself, however we suggest you use a professional fishing guide, such as Fishing in Taupo. Fishing guides know the best fly-fishing areas, and can provide tutors, boat fishing operators and more to suit your requirements. However, if your water activity requires a bit more action, Chris Jolly Outdoors is the ‘one stop’ outdoor activity shop, boasting a selection of launches to suit your water activities, including self-drive boats plus water-skiing and wake-boarding. For something a little bit different on the water you can drive a hovercraft on a specially designed course with Hovercraft Rides, and for the ultimate fun rush enjoy the dizzy heights of parasailing above Lake Taupo with Pure Fun.
With so many lakes, rivers and streams, water themed activities are hot on the list for Taupo visitors, and another top activity is jet boating. Visitors to Taupo are spoilt for jet boating choice with three Qualmark Endorsed operators, however the most popular jet boat trip would have to be with Hukafalls Jet – where you enjoy a thrilling 30 minute jet boat ride that provides a water level view of the famous Huka Falls.
The Taupo area isn’t just about water! There are plenty of land activities to keep everyone enthralled and entertained, from the excitement of Taupo Bungy to the famous Tongariro Crossing (which is considered the best one day hike in New Zealand) and the exciting challenge of racing a V8 on a state of the art racing track with Formula Challenge.
Lake Taupo has a proud history that incorporates the local Maori as well as early European missionaries. The evening Cultural Experience provided by Wairakei Terraces is a ‘must do’ for anyone interested in New Zealand’s heritage and Maori Culture. The Taupo Museum also provides an entertaining blend of heritage and culture, including the historic Reid carving collection.
No matter what time of the year or what you want to do or how much you want to pay, Taupo offers the visitor a diverse range of things to see and do, all designed to suit your time frame, interests and budget!