Top things to do

Top Choice Hot Springs in Taupo

Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa

Mineral-laden waters from the Wairakei geothermal steamfield cascade over silica terraces into pools (open to those 14 years and older) nestled in native gardens. Take a therapeutic soak and a self-guided tour on th…
Top Choice Waterfall in Taupo

Huka Falls

Clearly signposted and with a car park and kiosk, these falls mark where NZ’s longest river, the Waikato, is slammed into a narrow chasm, making a dramatic 10m drop into a surging pool. From the footbridge you can s…
Top Choice Museum in Taupo

Taupo Museum

With an excellent Māori gallery and quirky displays, which include a 1960s caravan set up as if the occupants have just popped down to the lake, this little museum makes an interesting rainy-day diversion. The centr…
Top Choice Natural Feature in Orakei Korako

Orakei Korako

A bit off the beaten track, Orakei Korako gets fewer visitors than other thermal areas. Yet, since the destruction of the Pink and White Terraces, it is arguably the best thermal area left in NZ, even though two-thi…
Cafe in Taupo

Spoon & Paddle

Filling a spacious and airy 1950s house with colourful decor, Spoon & Paddle is more evidence you'll find great cafes pretty well anywhere in NZ. Excellent coffee partners with a concise beer and wine list, and …
Cafe in Taupo

Storehouse

Hands-down Taupo's coolest eatery, Storehouse does tasty double duty as a cool daytime cafe serving a hipsters' holy trinity of bagels, sliders and coffee, before morphing into a night-time bar with craft beer on ta…
Modern NZ in Taupo

The Bistro

Popular with locals – bookings are recommended – the Bistro focuses on doing the basics very, very well. That means harnessing local seasonal produce for dishes such as confit duck with truffle potatoes or crab and …
Museum in Taupo

Volcanic Activity Centre

What’s with all the geothermal activity around Taupo? This centre has the answers, with excellent, if text-heavy, displays on the region's geothermal and volcanic activity, including a live seismograph keeping a wat…
Cafe in Turangi & Around

Hydro Eatery

This recently added adjunct to the popular Turangi Tavern is a spacious and modern spot delivering traveller-friendly meals in colourful surroundings. There's a brilliant outdoor deck with the promise of sunshine, a…
Natural Feature in Taupo

Craters of the Moon

This geothermal area sprang to life as a result of the hydroelectric tinkering that created the power station. When underground water levels fell and pressure shifted, new steam vents and bubbling mud pools sprang u…