24 Oct

Things to do in Taupō

There are heaps of things to do in Taupō!

We’ve got the best of them here in one place to make things easier for you to plan your Taupō trip

Ready?

Let’s go!

Some of our favourites include:

Skydiving over Lake Taupō

Yep, you can throw yourself out of a plane from up to 15,000ft (that’s high!) with the team at Taupō Tandem Skydiving.

On a clear day, you can see coast to coast and it’s probably the best perspective you’ll get of just how big Great Lake Taupō is.

It is tandem skydiving so you will have a jumpmaster strapped to your back pulling all the right strings to ensure you land back on the ground safely.  These guys are highly professional, have been doing this for years and they LOVE what they do.

Taupō Bungy

Taupō Bungy has the highest water touch in the country – but you don’t have to touch the water if you don’t want to.

The setting over the Waikato River is stunning, it’s worth a drive down just to watch if you’re feeling a bit scared, but we reckon once you’ve seen a few people have a go, you’ll be lining up yourself.

There was once a myth that international visitors weren’t allowed to leave New Zealand until they had a bungy stamp in their passport – it’s just what we do in NZ!

Hukafalls Jet Boating

Another amazing NZ invention.  These boats were designed to travel in just 10cms of water, and you can find them operating on most of the major rivers around the country.

Hukafalls Jet is the only one that takes you to the base of Huka Falls – which is NZ’s most visited natural attraction, so we think that’s pretty cool.   When you’re at the base of the falls, you sit in the bubbles and feel the force of the 300,000 cubic litres of water per second pour over the drop.  You’ll do up to 14 (!!) 360 degree spins along the way and your jet boat pilot is bound to have a few stories to tell you.

Floatplane

Take off and land on the Great Lake – this is a once in a lifetime experience that everyone should have.

Taupō’s Floatplane is located right on the lakefront and you will often hear it before you see it.  They do some really cool scenic flights over the lake, there is also one that flies you over the Tongariro National Park mountains!  They also combo with us so you can fly from Taupō and arrive in style by floatplane for your rafting trip.  ‘Oarsome’

Private Fishing Charters with Chris Jolly Outdoors

Discover the beauty of New Zealand’s largest lake with a private charters and experts.

Chris Jolly Outdoors have been taking clients fishing on Lake Taupo for more than 30 years, offering 4 launches to choose from so you can be confident that we’ll find your favorite spot in no time!

They’ve got groups up to 140 people covered too – all trips are exclusive and lead by expert guides who know every inch of this magnificent area (and where to catch the fish!)

DeBretts Hot Springs

Need to relax and chill out while in Taupo?

DeBretts Hot Springs has your back with an array of options for accommodation, whether that be bedding down tight and snug or luxuriating in one of our many self-contained spa suites.

And that’s not forgetting great facilities like the thermal pools.  Best of all, the kids will be happy with the warm water playground

The only downside is having to leave!

Tokaanu Hot Pools

The hot springs of the Tokaanu Thermal Pool are open from 8 am to 9 pm.

The pools range in temperature from 39˚C to 41˚C.Accompanied preschoolers have their own separate play area that features its very own small chlorinated freshwater pool – ideal for splashing around and having tonnes of fun.

Bonus: In Winter, when you go white water rafting with us, free entry to the pools is included, so you have a soak after you raft.

Big Sky Parasail

The sensation of soaring above New Zealand’s most beautiful lake is indescribable. You have the choice of flying at 500 or 1000 feet.

Come fly 1000 ft. with Big Sky Parasail and feel the exhilaration as you find your inner bird!

Great for kids over 5 and adults alike, this is a great (and less scary!) alternative to sky diving. You won’t get wet either as you take off from the back of the boat.

Rapids Jet

Start your day off with some awesome views and an adrenaline rush with Rapids Jet. In Taupō, Waikato River and Huka Falls provide the water for Rapids Jet’s fun.

The Aratiatia Dam’s big, beautiful waterfall is the end of a 35-minute adventure that starts at Lake Taupō. The sound of the rapids rushing is genuinely powerful and exciting.

Then shoot through a narrow canyon on crystal clear waters with your group as you surf pressure waves of Nga Awa Purua rapids! With Rapids Jet navigating the Waikato River’s biggest rapids, this is one adrenaline-pumping experience that should not be missed.

Sail to the Māori Rock Carvings

Sit back, relax on a bean bag and let the wind blow through your hair when you join Taupō Sailing Adventures out to the Māori Rock Carvings.  You’ll learn about the local culture and geography, pull into some stunning bays, and chill out with awesome people. 

Soak up the sun on deck, then jump into the crystal clear water at the swim stop.   Enjoy a warm & friendly kiwi welcome onboard with Taupō Sailing Adventures.

Multiple daily departures available to suit your personal itinerary.

AJ Hackett Bungy Taupō

Imagine the adrenaline rush as you take a leap of faith off New Zealand’s highest cliff-top Bungy Jump – located 47 metres (154 feet) above the Waikato River. Or stop imagining, and do it for real with AJ Hackett Bungy Taupō

With more than 28 years’ worth of jumps under its belt and over 400,000 experiences so far—they have perfected this sport unlike any other place in the world.


Highly recommended by and for thrill seekers.

Ride the Great Lake Trail

The Great Lake Trails are an adventure of volcanic discovery through lush native forest, past sparkling waterfalls and to the crystal-clear waters of Taupō. Ride all sections in one epic day or make it a multi-day mountain biking vacation!

The trail is divided into four sections, all easily accessible from the pretty lakeside settlement of Kinloch.

The trails are perfect for a day trip or an overnighter and has something to offer riders at just about any level.

Ride one section each morning- afternoon combination on your way up the mountain side then come back down in time for dinner after you ride another shorter loop that connects with where you started out so it feels like there’s more ground covered than really was!

Riders can partake in short loops as well if they don’t have enough time but want to experience everything this little slice of heaven has to offer before heading off again towards their next destination!

Orakei Korako Cave & Geothermal Park

The Hidden Valley of Orakei Korako Cave and Thermal Park is located between Taupō & Rotorua on the banks of the Waikato River.

Orakei Korako offers breath-taking beauty, while also providing spine – chilling moments to those who dare descend into its subterranean depths. Here you can explore caves with stunning rock formations or visit a thermal pool where people have been taking therapeutic baths for centuries.”

This 120 million year old landmark also includes some beautiful underground lakes and geothermal springs where visitors can swim with bubbles!

Tongariro River Trail

The picturesque Tongariro River Trail in the Taupo region is a must for mountain bikers.

There are two swing bridges, each with their own style and beauty to offer you as well as tree-lined single track that winds around them both before ultimately leading back up towards higher ground where more adventure awaits!

The Tongariro River Trail is a great ride for beginners and family groups. It has multiple entry points, making it easy to adjust the difficulty level on your journey as well!

The flat track means that this scenic path can be enjoyed by bikers of all levels – from someone who’s just starting out through an experienced cyclist looking forward towards new adventures in these forests filled with breathtaking views.

The 15km loop takes you past some amazing scenery including stunning waterfalls overhanging deep pools below them or snow-capped mountains looming high above.

Perfect for all skill levels.

The great thing about this ride is that it’s open to beginners and veterans alike. You can go on your first mountain biking adventure, or enjoy some peace in the country side with friends & family.

Lava Glass Sculpture Garden

When you enter the Lava Glass sculpture garden, you’ll be greeted by a rainbow of hues. 

The garden, which was first shown in early 2014, features more than 600 glass sculptures made by master glass artist Lynden Over and his glassblowing team. 

The Lava Glass sculpture garden was designated a “garden of significance” by the New Zealand Gardens Trust in 2018. 

Like a typical garden, this sculpture garden changes. Each year, glass artist Lynden Over produces a brand-new sculpture.

This is a family-friendly activity with something for everyone to see. Open from 9-5 everyday. Costs $12.50 for kids and $20 for adults.

Their website is here

Tongariro National Trout Centre

The world of freshwater trout awaits you. Visit the Tongariro National Trout Centre to discover more about trout’s habitat in freshwater.

Bring the kids fishing, a terrific place to catch trout is in the Kids Pond. It’s generally recommended you book in advance.

A record number of the endangered birds were raised and prepared for release back into the river systems this year (2022), making this site unique as a sanctuary set aside for nature to be reborn.

The centre is open from 10-3 all year round. It costs $5 for a child and $12-$15 for an adult. The trout centre is located in Turangi, a 45 minute drive from the centre of Taupo: https://troutcentre.com/

Tongariro Crossing

The Tongariro Crossing is the most well-known one-day walk in New Zealand, and for good reason—it is the picture of beauty. Tongariro Crossing participants come from all across New Zealand and the globe.

After the Lord of the Rings movies were released, the walk gained even more notoriety. This is due to the fact that you’ll see Mount Doom, also known as Mt. Ngauruhoe, and the location where the movie Mordor was filmed nearby.

Additionally, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of Taranaki to the west and the Kaimanawas to the east.

For a person of average fitness, the 19 km walk takes about 6 hours.

It’s important to keep in mind that because of its popularity, it might become extremely hectic. So going early is a good idea (and take lots of water).

Starting early will allow you to escape the crowds and do the most of the climbing before the sun begins to scorch you.

Make sure you bring the necessary supplies, including enough food, clothing, and sturdy boots.

Make your life easier and book a car park at the Ketetahi Car Park and get a shuttle from there to the start of the crossing. This costs $45 per person. It is about an hour’s drive from Taupo.