NAPIER – TAUPO
Travel distance is approximately 139kms (87 miles).
Allow at least 1.75 hours drive time (not including stops).
After an eventful stay in Napier enjoying the Hawke’s Bay vineyards, Art Deco walks, golf courses and more, you should be feeling rather energised thanks to all that fabulous fresh ocean air combined with a delicious lunch at one of the many unique cafes.
The relatively short journey from Napier to Taupo means you have plenty of time to make the most of the top attractions in the Napier region before finding yourself back on the highway and heading towards the popular resort style town of Taupo.
The journey to Taupo does provide a taste of New Zealand’s complete scenery, from lush valleys to rugged hills, sloping plains and breath-taking vistas, it’s all out the window of your vehicle!
Some notable stops along the route to Taupo include:
TE POHUE GOLF COURSE
For a unique rural round of golf try Te Pohue, 40km north of Napier on the Napier-Taupo highway. Te Pohue has many ‘natural’ obstacles including sheep on fairways, while the course is enclosed by electric fences!
TARAWERA HOT SPRINGS
Located on the main highway between Napier and Taupo is the Tarawera tearooms, which is where you will find the track leading to the hot springs. This is a unique hot pool experience, totally removed from the commercial aspect of most hot springs within New Zealand. The breath-taking views from the pools and their remoteness make them something very special to be enjoyed.
This is a popular scenic stop off spot for travellers on route between Taupo and Napier. The waterfalls are visible from a rest stop along the highway.
WAIPAHIHI BOTANICAL RESERVE
35 hectares of beautiful alpine gardens and vibrant flower displays, the reserve is situated high on a hill and has spectacular views over Lake Taupo to the mountains of the Tongariro National Park. Stretch your legs on one of the many picturesque walks and enjoy the tranquil beauty in this peaceful environment before starting your Taupo adventures.
Located on the edge of New Zealand’s largest lake, the resort style ambience of Taupo makes it one of the the North Island’s top holiday destinations. Year round there is plenty to keep you entertained, from swimming in a crystal clear lake or catching a wild trout to relaxing in a hot natural spring after a hard day on the ski slopes of Mt Ruapehu.
Highly recommended Taupo tourist attractions include…
Tongariro Alpine Crossing – Starting at Mangatepopo and finishing at Ketetahi, the crossing is the length of Mount Tongariro is one of the globes best one day 18km trek for sure! A visually stunning mountainous walk that rises to 1600m above sea level as you trek through a surreal landscape of ancient and modern lava flows along with beds of scoria.
Mt Ruapehu Ski Fields – Mt Ruapehu is a sacred and spirtual place that is steeped in Maori history while also being one of the world’s most active volcanoes! There are two commercial ski-fields located on Mt Ruapehu being Whakapapa and Turoa. The famous fairytale picture perfect Bayview Chateau Tongariro accommodation is also located on the mountain as well as numerous other ski lodges.
Taupo Bungy – Located in the Waikato River Valley, upstream of Huka Falls and only 5 minutes from Taupo, this the North Island’s most popular bungy jump and is home to New Zealand’s highest water touch!
Formula Challenge – Now you can live the ultimate motorsport experience with this Qualmark Endorsed Visitor Activity. You choose, from novice to experienced, a selection of courses and cars, including V8 Race cars, Rookie Lap sessions, Single Seater Race Cars, and more. Located at Taupo Raceway, you will need to book in advance.
Taupo Floatplane Scenic Flights – Enjoy a unique scenic flight over Tongariro National Park in a high wing Cessna 206 Floatplane. Along with truly breath-taking aerial scenery, the sensation of taking off from, and landing on the water is a memory you wont forget.
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.
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.
This vibrant holiday resort is a great place to relax and unwind or be invigorated and energised in this outdoor mecca located in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island.
Accommodation options are plentiful, ranging from backpacker hostels and campervan parks to affordable modern motels and luxurious lodges. Located on the shores of Lake Taupo, there is a great selection of accommodation located close to the shopping centre and the terrific selection of restaurants, hip cafes and an exciting range of bars and clubs.
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