July 20, 2022
Every traveller knows that capturing awesome adventure pics is all part of the holiday experience. As the saying goes – pictures or it didn’t happen! Whether to share with friends and family back home (and maybe for a slight #humblebrag) or just to have fond memories to look back on, we’ve gathered a list of our favourite Insta-friendly photo spots in and around town to add to your next trip. From cheesy selfies to foodie shots and stunning landscape photos – Taupō has it all.
Huka Falls and Aratiatia Rapids
Nature’s beauty and power combine at these ferocious falls – where almost a quarter of a million litres of water per second thunders down a volcanic canyon and spills over to the pool below. It’s a mesmerising spectacle that must be seen with your own eyes.
Further down the Waikato River lies the Aratiatia Dam, where a few times daily, thousands of litres of water are released from the gates, resulting in a quiet and still gorge being transformed into a fast-flowing flurry of water.
To get the best vantage points, experience these natural sights by boat. Admire the Huka Falls on a leisurely river cruise, then dial up the adrenaline with a thrilling Rapids Jet adventure! You’ll not only gain a new perspective on these iconic attractions, but also learn the fascinating facts of the area from your knowledgeable kaimahi (guide).
Plus, the Rapids Jet team will capture your photogenic side with professional pictures taken both on and off the water, to remember the day by.
The multi-coloured geothermal pools and terraces of Orākei Kōrako are like an artist’s palette of vibrant colours – each different hue and shade are a result of nature’s scientific wonders. Meander through the walkways and discover gushing geysers, bubbling mud pools and spectacular silica terraces – there’s no shortage of mesmerising sights to feast your eyes on.
Explore the hidden valley and geothermal caves and learn something new about the region’s unique landscapes. Plus, the colourful pools make for a one-of-a-kind photo background – no filter required!
Māori Rock Carvings
Paddle or cruise across New Zealand’s largest roto (lake) and you’ll encounter a jaw-dropping sight – the larger-than-life Ngatoroirangi Māori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay. This acclaimed contemporary Māori artwork was hand-sculpted by master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell in the late-1970’s, as a tribute to his grandmother’s ancestors and to spiritually connect their whanau (family) to the whenua (land).
Over ten metres tall, they’re an impressive showcase of traditional techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. These carvings can only be appreciated from the water, so book yourself onto a scenic cruise, hire a kayak or go all out with a sunset sailing tour.
Sunset over Lake Taupō
Enjoy a romantic lakeside moment with your special someone. Grab a blanket and cosy up as you watch the sun set over the stunning Lake Taupō, as the sky slowly changes colour and illuminates the water below. And of course, it’s just as enjoyable with friends and family – find a moment of calm and tranquillity as your day of adventure comes to an end.
If you ask us, Lake Taupō is scenic from every angle, but one of our favourite hidden gems to appreciate its beauty is from the historic Tokaanu Wharf. Originally constructed in the 1880s to ferry goods across the lake – and since restored in 2003 – the pier makes for a great stroll, picnic spot, or to cast a fishing line and catch some trout. And as it happens, the peaceful waters and mountain backdrop are perfect for photographs.
Taupō Street Art
Adding a sense of wonder and magic to Taupō’ laneways and backalleys, the town centre has come alive with murals thanks to the annual street art festival Graffiato, taking place every Labour weekend. Celebrating local and domestic artistic talent, over 80 murals have brought colour and vibrancy to the civic area, each telling a unique and diverse story.
Grab a coffee and take a stroll down the streets to see what’s new. Keep your eyes peeled for blank walls-turned-artist’s canvases, as you follow your curiosity and feed your creative imagination.
If you believe that hard work equals great rewards, then a hike up Mt Tauhara is for you. This picturesque trail is a solid climb yet achievable challenge, taking three hours return to climb to the 1,088-metre peak. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be greeted with phenomenal views across Lake Taupō, Mt Tongariro, and Mt Ruapehu. Catch your breath, gaze out at the panoramic scenery, then snap some scenic selfies as proof of your accomplishment.
Rangatira Point Track to Acacia Bay
Get your nature fix and wander along the easy Rangatira Point Track towards Acacia Bay, the perfect place for relaxing, swimming, and enjoying a summer picnic. The track winds through picturesque native bush beside Lake Taupō, so there’s plenty of photo opportunities throughout the walk.
Now it’s time to hit the road! Charge your phone, pack your camera, bring some spare film, and get ready to capture some epic photos of yourself and your travel buddies. Of course, don’t forget to put your phone down every now and then to fully appreciate the landscapes and be in the moment.
Whichever sights you choose to see, you’re sure to create some unforgettable memories on your Taupō getaway – and your awesome snaps are bound to motivate and inspire your friends and family to visit too!