March 7, 2022
Venture beyond Lake Taupō and the township, and you’ll quickly discover that Taupō’s surrounds are full of surprises! Explore remote crater lakes, relaxing nature walks, thrilling boat rides and awe-inspiring helicopter flights – you’ll be surprised just how much fun you can have when you go beyond and seek out the region’s hidden gems.
On the water
Immerse yourself in the cobalt blue waters of the Waikato River on a high-flying, full-power jetboating experience! Hold on tight and feel the adrenaline take over as you fly through twists and curves, and enjoy the thrill of ‘surfing’ on the legendary Nga Awa Purua Rapids’ pressure waves. Squeeze through rugged canyons, speed along the straights and go for a spin or three in the magnificent clear waters.
Taupō and Tongariro’s waterways are abundant with wild rainbow and brown trout. The gin-clear waters attract first-timers and pro anglers alike, looking to hook the big one! Cast your line in the world-class backcountry rivers during winter and still water lakes in summer – local guides are on hand to provide gear and inside knowledge on the best spots and techniques to get that perfect catch.
In the air
Skydiving in Taupō is a must-do for every thrill-seeker’s bucket list. Strap in and get set to jump – during the exhilarating freefall you’ll be surrounded by surreal coast-to-coast views of the North Island, before the parachute deploys and you’re gliding above the mountains and lakes below. Taupō Tandem Skydiving offer four different heights to choose from – 9,000 feet, 12,000 feet, 15,000 feet, or the new 18,500 feet – which includes a freefall of up to 75 seconds!
For a more relaxed adventure in the air, Heli Adventure Flights’ range of tours offer jaw-dropping aerial views of Taupō’s popular and secluded sights from above – including the ferocious Huka Falls, the famed Māori Rock Carvings, the flowing Waikato River, and the bubbling Craters of the Moon.
If you’ve never parasailed before, you’re missing out! Gain an appreciation for Lake Taupō (without needing to jump!) as you soar up to 1000ft above the surface and gaze at its spectacular beauty. Team up with your partner or up to two friends and enjoy this unique airborne adventure, on offer seasonally during the warmer months.
On the trails
At 1,088 metres tall, the summit of Mt Tauhara offers incredible panoramic views over Lake Taupō and the central North Island plateau. Catch the sunrise or sunset over Aotearoa’s largest lake and capture a magical snap for the ‘gram. This 2.8km, intermediate-level track is a challenging yet rewarding hike, so ensure you’re well-prepared.
No, you’re not dreaming – although the enchanting Pureora Forest Park can often feel like a fairytale world! This 78,000ha ancient forest is home to giant native trees and colourful bird life, and an ideal spot to truly get away from it all. The Waihora Lagoon is a particular highlight – stroll along the boardwalk amongst towering kahikatea and rimu trees and admire the reflective lagoon, as you soak up the peace and tranquillity.
One of New Zealand’s 22 Great Rides, this trio of trails offers an eclectic mix of lakeside and volcanic views to suit intermediate and advanced-level riders. This interconnected network of routes can be tackled on their own or woven together to create the ultimate two or three day itinerary. Join the growing number of cyclists who can claim they’ve ridden the rim of a super volcano! Towering cliffs, hidden waterfalls, stunning wetlands and more natural wonders await – so grab a bike and get set for a two-wheeled adventure like no other.
Do something new on your next trip to Taupō and go beyond the lake – spend some time diving deeper into the native bush, geothermal parks and crater lakes that adorn the area. Taupō is the perfect holiday destination for nature lovers and thrill seekers alike – so it’s time to find your new favourite spots!