139 km (87 miles)
Approximately 1.75 hours
Road Conditions: State Highway
In 1931 a devastating earthquake nearly levelled the city of Napier. It was rebuilt in the style of the times, and is now considered the Art Deco Capital of the world. The vineyards of Hawke’s Bay are all within easy reach of Napier. Another attraction is the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers.
The major entertainment on the road from Napier to Taupo is the fantastic scenery. There’s a bit of everything - rugged hills, beautiful valleys, gentle plains and huge vistas. At Tarawera you can walk to the hot springs, which are above the Waipunga River. You might also want to stop at the Waiarua Falls lookout, to view the twin waterfalls.
The resort town of Taupo sits on the edge of New Zealand’s largest lake, which is well stocked with sizeable trout. You’ll find everything a traveller could wish for, including an excellent choice of restaurants. Most accommodation establishments make good use of the underground thermal activity to provide hot spas for relaxation.
Waipahihi Botanical Reserve
Pack a picnic and wander through the Waipahihi Botanical Reserve, a vast garden of rare alpine plants, rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias.
Napier - Art Deco Architecture
Beautifully preserved 1930s architecture is Napier's special point of difference.
Lake Tutira is an idyllic place to have a picnic or pitch a tent. Hike the walkway or see how many bird species you can count.
Taupo Lakeside walks
Explore the scenic beauty of Lake Taupo by stretching your legs along one of many lakeside walking trails.
Mine Bay Rock Carving
Take a kayak or boat tour around the scenic Western Bays of Lake Taupo to see the huge Maori rock carving at Mine Bay.
Witness an unusual display of raw river power at the Aratiatia rapids, just off State Highway 1 north of Taupo.
Craters of the Moon
Explore a cratered valley that's hissing with clouds of steam. Feel the heat of the earth at the edge of the track, and peer from viewing platforms into cauldrons of boiling mud.
Discover the amazing scenery around Lake Taupo. This area of New Zealand blends forests, geothermal activity and fascinating volcanic landscapes.
At Huka Falls you can witness the phenomenon of natural hydro power - more than 220, 000 litres of water per second.
Boat Cruises (7),
Fishing – Fresh Water (19),
Fishing – Salt Water (2),
Jet Boating (1),
Spas/Health Resorts and Thermal Bathing Pools (4)