Welcome to Taupo

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 experiences in Taupo

Amazing hotels and hostels

We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

Taupo activities

$153.12 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Taupo Adventure Combo: Jet Boat Ride and Whitewater Rafting

Your fun-filled, multi-thrill experience of the North Island’s natural spoils will give you the experience of your life. With knowledgeable, friendly and professional guides, you’ll see all angles of Taupo, approximately 50 miles (80 km) south of RotoruaWith this option, your experience begins with the jet-boat ride. Then brave the Tongariro River by whitewater raft! Enjoy a 2-hour rafting experience that combines the heart-pumping action of more than 60 rapids with plenty of calm water where you can sit back and take in the splendid scenery and wildlife.All equipment needed, as well as hotel pickup and drop-off from selected hotels, are included to ensure you have a carefree day of adventure!

$24.47 Outdoor Activities

Full-Day Tongariro Alpine Crossing Hike

Often described as one of the best day hikes in New Zealand, this tour provides an opportunity to experience some of the most scenic and active volcanic areas of the park. It takes 6-8 hours to do the main track. The extra optional side summit of Mt Ngauruhoe is 2 hours and Mt Tongariro is 1.5 hours.The track winds up the Mangatepopo Valley to the saddle between Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. It climbs to the Red Crater, then drops down to the vivid Emerald Lakes. After passing the Blue Lake, the track descends around the northern slope of Tongariro, then descends further in a zig-zag to the Ketetahi Hut. From the hut, the track continues down the mountain through tussock plains, then into the native forest to the end of the track.There are a range of different transport options available to you. If you are staying in Taupo or Turangi there is a return shuttle service to your hotel and back. If you are just outside of these areas you can get a return shuttle from an i-SITE in in Taupo or Turangi. Hire gear is available on the bus in the morning.Choose the Base Camp option if you wish to be picked up from our Base Camp and returned there after the hike. Base Camp is a secure car park in front of the Tongariro Holiday Park. Hire gear available in the bus.Choose the Ketetahi option if you wish to be more independent. With this option, you’ll drive your car to the end of the track where we will meet you. From here we will take you to the beginning of the track where you can hike the entire track back to your car. This option allows you as much time as you want on the hike, however, gear is not available for hire.Regardless of which option you choose, a map and information sheet will be provided to you to help you plan and prepare for your day. It will outline safety considerations and help remind you to look after the beautiful National Park during your hike.

$94.39 Water Sports

Hukafalls Jet Boat Ride from Taupo

Meet your jet-boat driver in Taupo and get ready for the ride of your life to New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction, Huka Falls! Your professional and friendly driver will take you on a 30-minute jet-boating adventure on the Waikato River, complete with 360-degree turns and spins.Speeding past cliff faces and native forest, your whitewater adventure by jet-boat takes you to the mighty Huka Falls, for a front-row view of the country’s most dramatic falls as they thunder into the river.Listen to an entertaining and informative commentary while you enjoy 30 minutes of jet-boating fun!

$157.31 Day Trips & Excursions

Taupo Day Trip with Waiotapu or Orakei Korako from Rotorua

Begin the day with free hotel pickup from your centrally located accommodation in Rotorua between 8am and 9:15am (a small fee applies for people staying out of town). Your exact departure time will be confirmed the night before your tour. Departure is guaranteed even for one person, but the tour is operated in a small-group of up to 11 people in a small modern vehicle. Depending on the option selected at the time of booking, your tour will start with a visit to either Waiotapu or Oarakei Korako. Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland: Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is a spectacular showcase of New Zealand's most colorful and unique geothermal elements sculpted by thousands of years of volcanic activity and home to a large mud pool. You will have time to explore the thermal park. Also stop at the Lady Knox geyser to see the eruption which occurs at 10:15am daily.orOrakei Korako (The Hidden Valley): Visit a highly active geothermal area located in a valley north of Taupo on the banks of the Waikato River in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. This magnificent thermal area is most notable for its series of fault-stepped sinter terraces. This option includes includes a short boat ride to the Valley and about an hours walk along the steps cut into the terrain (requires a moderate level of fitness).After visiting the thermal reserve of your choice, continue on our journey to Lake Taupo. Lunch will be at your own expense. Your guide will entertain and inform you with stories of the history of the area and the landscape. Enroute to Lake Taupo, stop at Huka Falls, Wairakei Thermal area and a number of other interesting sights. Your 6-hour day trip starts in Rotorua and finishes back in Rotorua or in Taupo. Your guide may tailor the route to suit the interests of the group.

$101.38 Water Sports

Tongariro River White Water Rafting Adventure from Taupo

You’ll start your unforgettable adventure with an on-shore safety briefing and paddle instructions with an experienced guide. You and the rest of the crew will then begin your white water rafting journey on grade 3 rapids – an ideal grade for experienced paddlers or first-time rafters.In 2.5 hours you navigate over 60 heart-pounding, roller coaster rapids with an expert guide at the helm. Throughout the trip you’ll be treated to sights only accessed by raft. Keep a look out for the elusive and native Blue Duck 'whio' that make these waters their home. Tongariro River Rafting is so dedicated to preserving the natural environment of the Tongariro River that they founded the Blue Duck Project – with the goal of returning the rare native Blue Duck to its traditional habitat along the Tongariro River.Includes: Deli-style meal in the summer, granny’s soup & thermal soak in the winter.Pick up from Taupo accommodation is available for 2pm trip in summer.

$838.31 Multi-day & Extended Tours

3-Day Waitomo Caves, Rotorua and Taupo Trip from Auckland

Day 1 - Auckland to Waitomo, RotoruaTravel by coach to Rotorua via Waitomo where you will stop for a guided tour through the long galleries and lofty chambers of the World Famous Glowworm Caves. Your tour continues with a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto, illuminated by thousands of tiny lights from the glow worms suspended from the cave ceiling. Lunch will be served on the coach while you travel on to Rotorua by road via the Fitzgerald Glade.Next stop is Agrodome, for an introduction to New Zealand farming. Take a 60-minute tour of an authentic working farm in all-weather, all-terrain vehicles and watch a sheep being shorn and hand-feed the animals. Next, enjoy a sheep dog demonstration and a visit to a 100-year-old working woollen mill.Arrive at Te Puia, New Zealand’s Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. Here you will see a 45-minute traditional song and dance inside the sacred meeting house. Visitors are treated to perfect harmonies, the rhythms of the Poi dance, the ferocity of the Haka and the complexity of the Tititorea (stick games). As you exit the concert venue, your Te Puia host will meet you for the guided tour through the Institute grounds, viewing Maori carving, flax garment making and a life size replica of a traditional Maori village. Your walk continues through the geothermal area, past boiling mud pools and the famous Pohutu Geyser. There is also the opportunity to wander through the nocturnal Kiwi House (time allowing).This afternoon you will be transferred to your selected accommodation.Day 2 - Rotorua to TaupoThis morning is at leisure. You have the opportunity this morning to explore on foot the Rotorua township. You will be pickup at your hotel at 12.15pm.Leaving Rotorua the drive to Lake Taupo takes you south through extensive exotic forests to the geothermal areas of Waimangu and Wairakei, where steam is harnessed to generate electricity. You arrive at Lake Taupo - a huge volcanic crater, where you'll be transferred to your accommodation.The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore this most picturesque township.Day 3 - Taupo to AucklandThis morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of the local scenic attractions. Before departing on this tour please ensure you have checked out of your room and take your luggage with you. The tour will include the Taupo Marina, Huka Falls, Wairakei Geothermal Power Station, the Craters of the Moon, and the famous Aratiatia Rapids before returning to Taupo.Leaving Taupo and return to Auckland by coach, you drive north past the big timber mill at Tokoroa, through Putaruru and then alongside Lake Karapiro to Cambridge and Hamilton. The road leads through Nagaruawahia (home of the late Maori Queen) and alongside the Waikato River until you cross the Bombay Hills to reach Auckland, where your tour concludes.