NAPIER – TAUPO – NAPIER
Travel distance is approximately 278kms (174 miles).
Allow at least 3.5 hours drive time (not including stops).
This is a great opportunity to enjoy a day trip to Taupo, soak up all the awesome tourist attractions and activities, before taking the short journey back to Napier for another night in the Art Deco Capital of the World!
Some notable stops along the route to Taupo (and return) include:
Nestled between the hills on the Napier-Wairoa highway, this is a lovely and serene sanctuary for birds and a magical mecca for keen anglers of all ages and abilities. Birdlife at the lake includes scaup, grey ducks, black swans, little white-throated shags, black shags, white-face herons, pukeko, fantails, New Zealand wood pigeons, swallows, kingfishers and much more.
TARAWERA HOT SPRINGS
There is nothing commercialised about these hot spring pools located in the middle of the bush on the main highway between Taupo and Napier. Enjoy a relaxing dip while listening to the surrounding nature.
Taupo has the special honour of being located on the edge of New Zealand’s largest lake and with natural hot springs, Tongariro National Park, ski-ing and forests galore, which is why it’s no surprise that Taupo is a favourite playground for outdoor enthusiasts and those that just want to relax and unwind.
Internationally renowned for its 1930s Art Deco architecture and picturesque seaside location, Napier enjoys an almost Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine and ocean breezes, making it a popular year-round visitor destination. Enjoy a stroll along Marine Parade, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Napier is also home to the world’s largest mainland gannet colony, Ocean Spa Hot Pools and the National Aquarium of New Zealand. Upmarket cafes, restaurants and established wineries and vineyards are also major draw cards for the area, along with fabulous shopping.
There is a great selection of accommodation options as well as superior inner city shopping, however we do suggest that when travelling in the busy summer period you pre-book your accommodation.
Highly recommended Taupo tourist attractions during your day trip include…
Huka Falls – Enjoy a jet boat view that takes you within a few meters of the bottom of the final stage of the majestic Huka Falls.
Huka Prawn Park – New Zealand’s only Prawn Park is open daily from 9am and is something ‘a bit different’ from the normal New Zealand attractions! Enjoy a guided walk that includes hatchery tour, Hook-A-Prawn fishing, interactive water features, riverside nature walk, trout feeding and geothermal foot bath. Don’t forget to enjoy some prawns in the stunning riverside restaurant!
Maori Rock Carvings – Located at Mine Bay on Lake Taupo, these stunning carvings are over 10 metres high and only accessible by boat. As an important cultural attraction for the region, the carvings offer a peaceful and cultural beauty, best viewed in a setting sun.
Tongariro Crossing – This World Heritage Site is considered one of the best world famous one day 17km treks. Starting at Mangatepopo, the mountainous hike rises to 1600m above sea level and finishes at Ketetahi. Seriously breath-taking views and landscape abounds, including tussock lands, volcanic formations, alpine plants and more. The trek takes approximately 9 hours.
Wairakei International Golf Course – Hire your clubs, shoes and golf cart and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty on this 18 hole championship golf course with driving range, golf shop, on-course N.Z.P.G.A. Golf Professionals and clubhouse.
New Zealand Itineraries: North Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 6 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua and Rotorua – Auckland
- 6 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Dargaville, Dargaville – Kaitaia, Kaitaia – Paihia, Paihia – Whangarei and Whangarei – Auckland
- 7 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Napier and Napier – Wellington
- 8 Day Itinerary: Wellington, Wellington – Masterton, Masterton – Wellington, Wellington – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim and Blenheim – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier – Taupo, Taupo – Rotorua, Rotorua – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Whangarei, Whangarei – Paihia, Paihia – Hokianga, Hokianga – Auckland, Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 11 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier Taupo Napier, Napier – Wellington, Wellington – New Plymouth, New Plymouth – Waitomo and Waitomo Caves – Auckland