From adrenaline-pumping activities to ancient forests to relaxing hot springs, the heart of the North Island offers something for everyone.
Taupō was created nearly two thousand years ago by a volcanic eruption so big it darkened the skies in Europe and China. Visit the Craters of the Moon and you'll see evidence of the lake's fiery birth in the geysers, steaming craters and boiling mud pools. At some of Taupō's beaches, swimmers and paddlers can enjoy warm, geothermal water currents.
Just north of Taupō you'll find New Zealand's most visited attraction, the magnificent Huka Falls, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second.
Taupō is a great lake for water-skiing, sailing and kayaking. The Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, which can only be seen from the water, make for a great boat trip or kayaking excursion. The forests surrounding the lake offer hiking and mountain biking to suit all levels of experience.
But what Taupō is really known for is fishing. The town of Turangi has the largest natural trout fishery in the world; this is the place to cast a line and look for the big one. Turangi also happens to provide a convenient base for exploring Tongariro National Park, whether it be walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (New Zealand's most popular day walk) or skiing at Whakapapa and Turoa ski fields.
Taupō is centrally located in the middle of the North Island, approximately 3 1/2 hours drive from Auckland and 4 1/2 hours drive from Wellington. There's a genuinely friendly culture here and plenty of accommodation – so why not stay awhile?