With some of the North Island’s most impressive landscapes right on its doorstep, the Great Lake Taupo region is perfect for outdoor adventures. Visit the mighty Huka Falls and witness the fury of thousands of litres of water blasting by; kayak to the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings or relax and enjoy the healing properties of the many geothermal pools.
The roar and rumble of the Huka Falls is mind blowing. It’s where New Zealand’s longest river, the Waikato, is squeezed through a ravine of hard volcanic rock – and the result is 220,000 litres of water blasting by every second. View the falls from a footbridge right at the very top, or get up close with a jet boat ride.
Arguably New Zealand's greatest day walk, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is an incredible journey through volcanic alpine terrain. Hike around an active volcano, descend into the water-filled explosion craters known as the Emerald Lakes, and enjoy views of Mount Ngauruhoe - also known as 'Mount Doom' in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Taupo is home to an endless variety of geothermal wonders. Explore the hidden valley of Orakei Korako and admire the awesome power of Mother Nature in the geysers, hot springs, bubbling mud pools and colourful silica terraces. Soak in naturally heated geothermal waters at Wairakei Terraces or visit Taupo De Bretts Spa Resort and the AC Baths for family fun on the hydroslides.
With a huge number of adrenalin sports available, Lake Taupo is a haven for adventure lovers. Feel the thrill when you go skydiving, bungy jumping, whitewater rafting, jet boating, parasailing and on high ropes courses. Skydiving is a highlight, with coast-to-coast views across Lake Taupo and the three volcanoes of Tongariro National Park as you jump out of a plane at 15,000 feet.
Just a short scenic drive or shuttle ride from Taupo or Turangi you will find Whakapapa Ski Area. Try skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing or experience snow for the first time. Happy Valley Snow Park is great for beginners with elevator access, new carpet lifts in dome tunnels and a dedicated snow play area. For more experienced skiers venture onto the upper slopes for the intermediate, advanced and off-piste runs.
Experience New Zealand's unique Maori culture with Kai Waho an unforgettable Maori food and wilderness experience. Discover the history of Maori cuisine and create your own Maori hangi using traditional pre-European methods. The Haka Shop will take you into the world of Maori arts, with flax weaving and a spine-tingling Maori cultural performance.
Pedal along the forested shores of Great Lake Taupo and admire the volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park from a distance on the Great Lake Trail. Easily accessible from Taupo town, enjoy a fully catered cycling trip or guided ride with Tread Routes or Chris Jolly Outdoors. Bike hire and shuttles are available from Adventure Shuttles and Great Lake Shuttles.
The Lake Taupo region is home to some of the world's best trout fishing. From fly-fishing on the Tongariro River to lake fishing from a private boat there are plenty of options. Find a fishing guide to let you in on local secrets or take a private fishing charter on Lake Taupo at any time of year with Chris Jolly Outdoors. Let the experts show you how to catch a rainbow or brown trout and enjoy it barbecued or sashimi-style on board.
Taupo is home to two international marque golf courses, Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary and the Jack Niklaus designed Kinloch Club. Wairakei Golf lies on 180 hectares of natural rolling countryside, with picturesque scenery and a unique pest-proof sanctuary that is home to endangered species, including the kiwi. With the region's free-draining pumice soil keeping the courses relatively dry, golf is available year-round.