Attractions

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. For the price, we think there are better self-guided…
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 11m drop into a surging crystal-blue pool at 220,000 litres…
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 Taupo

Orakei Korako

A little off the beaten track, Orakei Korako gets fewer visitors than other thermal areas. But since the destruction of the Pink and White Terraces, it's arguably the best thermal area left in NZ, with active geyser…
Historic Site in Taupo

Māori Rock Carvings

Accessible only by boat, these 10m-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 visionary Māori navigator w…
Volcano in Tongariro National Park

Mt Ruapehu

Mt Ruapehu (2797m) is the North Island's highest mountain and one of the world’s most active volcanoes. One year-long eruption began in March 1945, spreading lava over Crater Lake and sending clouds of ash as far as…
Lake in Ohakune

Lake Rotokura

Lake Rotokura is 12km southeast of Ohakune at Karioi, just off SH49 (karioi means ‘places to linger’). It's one of two lakes in the Lake Rotokura Ecological Reserve: the first is Dry Lake, actually quite wet and per…
Museum in Waiouru

National Army Museum

At the south end of the town in a large, concrete castle is the National Army Museum, which preserves the history of the NZ military and its various campaigns, from colonial times to the present. Its moving stories …
Waterfall in Taupo

Aratiatia Rapids

Two kilometres off SH5, this was a spectacular part of the Waikato River until the government plonked a hydroelectric dam across the waterway, shutting off the flow. But the floodgates still open from October to Mar…
Volcano in Tongariro National Park

Mt Ngauruhoe

Northeast of Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe (2287m) is the national park's youngest volcano. Its first eruptions are thought to have occurred 2500 years ago. Until 1975 Ngauruhoe had erupted at least every nine years, includ…