Top ChoiceNatural Feature in Taupo

Orakei Korako

Orakei Korako

Tucked away from other more popular thermal fields, Orakei Korako is (since the destruction of the Pink and White Terraces, at least) arguably NZ's most spectacular thermal area, with active geysers, stunning...

Top ChoiceWaterfall in Taupo

Huka Falls

Huka Falls

The Waikato, NZ’s longest river, squeezes through a narrow chasm at Huka Falls, making a dramatic 11m drop into a surging crystal-blue pool at a rate of 220,000L per second. You can see the full force of this...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Taupo

Taupō Museum

This small but fascinating museum has 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. The centrepiece is an elaborately...

Top ChoiceCafe in Taupo

Storehouse

Taupō's coolest cafe is just outside the town centre, filling an old plumbing store over two warren-like levels. Indoor plants drape over warehouse beams downstairs, and a couple of old Chinese bikes hang from...

Top ChoiceCafe in Taupo

Replete Cafe & Store

Under the same ownership since opening in 1993, this fabulous spot is one-half cafe and one-half shop selling designer kitchenware, ceramics and souvenirs. The cafe cabinet is as artistic as the neighbouring...

Top ChoiceWine Bar in Taupo

Vine Eatery & Bar

Wineglass chandeliers hang from the sky-high industrial ceiling at this restaurant-cum-wine bar, where you can sit in comfy booths, on raised stools or in leather chairs by the fire. The wine list is global, if...

Historic Site in Taupo

Māori Rock Carvings

Accessible only by boat or kayak, these 14m-high carvings were etched into the cliffs near Mine Bay by master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell in the late 1970s. They depict Ngātoro-i-rangi, the Māori navigator...

Cafe in Taupo

Spoon & Paddle

Filling a 1950s house with colourful decor, this cafe feels like popping into a friend's place for brunch with a whole lot of strangers. Breakfast runs all day, and from 11.30am you can order tasty international...

Waterfall in Taupo

Aratiatia Rapids

Two kilometres off SH5, this gorge was a spectacular part of the Waikato River until a hydroelectric dam was plonked across the waterway, shutting off the flow. But the floodgates still open at 10am, noon and 2pm...

Natural Feature in Taupo

Craters of the Moon

This geothermal area sprang to life when hydroelectric tinkering around the power station in 1958 caused water levels to fall. The pressure shifted, creating new steam vents and bubbling mud pools. The gentle...

Arts & Crafts in Taupo

Lava Glass

More than 600 unique glass sculptures fill the garden and surroundings of this gallery, around 10km north of Taupo on SH5. Glass-blowing displays and an excellent cafe (open 9am-4pm) provide great reasons to...

Pizza in Taupo

2 Mile Bay Sailing Centre Cafe & Bar

There’s nowhere more lakefront than this Two Mile Bay cafe-cum-pizzeria-cum-bar that's as chilled as the lake (and the Bob Marley tunes). The main dining room juts over the lake, and there are a few tables on the...

Cafe in Taupo

Saluté Cafe and Crêperie

High ceilings with exposed beams, singing staff and a crêperie called The Crêpe Escape up the back make Saluté a fun and delicious place to be. The breakfast menu focuses on free-range, while lunch ranges from...

Health Food in Taupo

Raw Balance

This is heaven for vegans, the gluten-free inclined, health conscious and environmentally aware. In winter, raw sweets and salads are complemented by a daily hot special (perhaps dhal and rice). Takeaway...

Modern NZ in Turangi

Oreti Restaurant

With lake and mountain views, Oreti restaurant could get away with average food. But the kitchen doesn't compromise, serving fun filo pastry–wrapped prawns in shot glasses of sweet chilli and aioli and elegant...

Natural Feature in Taupo

Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley

This thermal walk (1.8km) on a secluded property explores the steaming banks of the Wairakei Stream and the deep pit of the Witches Cauldron. Kids will get a kick out of the thermal laser guns for testing the...

International in Turangi

Lakeland House

Destination dining with a view across Lake Taupō and a menu that stays faithful to its favourites: generous pastas, salads, chowder, pan-fried snapper with hollandaise and Cajun tiger prawns, followed by sticky...

Aquarium in Turangi

Tongariro National Trout Centre

Around 4km south of Tūrangi, this DOC-managed trout centre has a hatchery, an underwater viewing chamber, a museum with polished educational displays, a collection of rods and reels dating as far back as the...

Cafe in Taupo

Cafe Baku

You know you're onto a good thing when the cabinet items – ham, cheese and asparagus vol-au-vents, keto rolls, corn fritters piled high, bacon scrolls – look even more inviting than the menu. And the view is...

Brewery in Taupo

Crafty Trout Brewing Co

The beer has only had to journey up the stairs at this brewery-bar with 14 beers – Hefe weizen, pale ales, a porter – and ciders on tap amid faux-Alpine decor, complete with five cuckoo clocks. Try to nab one of...