Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery


Travelling into Taupo on a clear day along the northeastern shores of the lake is breathtaking: beyond the lake, which is the size of Singapore, you can see the snowcapped peaks of Tongariro National Park.

With an abundance of adrenaline-pumping activities, thermally heated waters, lakeside strolls and some wonderful places to eat, Taupo now rivals Rotorua as the North Island’s premier resort town. It's also a magnet for outdoor athletes and is one of New Zealand's greatest cycling destinations, both on- and off-road.

The Waikato River, NZ's longest, starts at Lake Taupo in the township, before crashing its way through the Huka Falls and Aratiatia Rapids and then settling down for a sedate ramble to the west coast, just south of Auckland.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Taupo.