• A cyclist ride along Huka Trails

    Top Taupō must-do’s you just can’t experience anywhere else

April 11, 2022

With such a variety of incredible destinations on offer across Aotearoa, choosing your next weekend getaway can be a tricky task. Luckily for you, Taupō offers a rich tapestry of nature, culture, action, and adventure all woven into one stunning location, so you’re guaranteed to find something to suit every travel style. If that wasn’t convincing enough, there’s plenty of unique sights and activities that simply can’t be seen elsewhere. Become the envy of your Instagram followers and create some magical holiday memories by taking on an ‘only-in-Taupō’ activity – here’s a few to get you started! 

Hike the spetacular Tongariro Crossing  

One of New Zealand’s most popular one-day treks, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is an epic journey across a breathtaking alpine landscape. Those who complete the 19km adventure will tell you the climbs can be steep and the track demanding, but the dramatic scenery and awe-inspiring views are worth every step.  

The hike features many of New Zealand’s iconic naturescapes, from emerald lakes to volcanic craters and cool green forest, and on a clear day you’ll be rewarded with views across to Lake Taupō and Mount Taranaki. Allow 7-8 hours to complete the crossing – and ensure you’ve checked the weather forecast and are adequately prepared for a day in an ever-changing landscape. 

Green lake on top of a snowy mountain

Experience ‘surfing’ on a jetboat  

The jetboat is a legendary Kiwi invention, and while many rivers and lakes across New Zealand are home to thrilling jetboat experiences, Taupō’s Rapids Jet is unlike any other. Jump aboard for a 35-minute ride zooming along the Waikato River, past beautiful shorelines and along plenty of twists and turns that will leave you shrieking with laughter and adrenaline.  

The highlight is the bubbling pressure waves of the famous Nga Awa Purua rapids (translating to ‘river of springs’). Your skilled jetboat driver will take you ‘surfing’ on these exhilarating white water rapids, as you soak up the colourful scenery and history around you. 

A jet boat riding through white water rapids

Mountain bike to some ferocious falls 

There aren’t many cycle trails out there that combine native bush with geothermal wonders and a powerful 11-metre high waterfall, but Taupō’s Rotary Ride does just that! Journey along the Waikato River from the town centre to the famous Huka Falls – New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction. Hire a mountain bike or an e-bike from Taupō Bike Hire and get exploring – these intermediate-level tracks are the perfect half-day cycling fix. Pack a snack or two to enjoy along one of the many scenic lookouts along the ridgeline – it’ll be a ride to remember

A cyclist ride along Huka Trails

Marvel at Māori rock carvings

Kayaking in Lake Taupō is a feast for the eyes, as you paddle past bush-clad hills, rugged cliffs and secluded bays. However, the real treat lies in Mine Bay, as you turn the corner and are greeted by the larger-than-life Ngatoroirangi Māori Rock Carvings. Etched on the rockface by marae-taught artist Matahi Brightwell in 1976, these 14-metre-tall carvings have become known as one of the country’s most extraordinary contemporary Māori artworks. Exclusively reached by water, grab discover rich cultural stories on a guided tour with one of the lake’s many kayak operators – or hire a motorised kayak to cruise on out to the carvings hassle-free.

A kayaker looking a rock carvings

Go doughboating on the lake

Experience New Zealand’s only donut boat on Lake Taupō! You and up to five friends can jump aboard the electric-powered donut and cruise along the lake’s shoreline. Take a picnic basket, a chilly bin and some tunes for the built-in Bluetooth speaker, and you’re all set for a scenic picnic or a romantic sunset cruise. You can even pre-order a pizza or a grazing platter to enjoy on the water. Super Instagrammable and complete with fun multi-coloured lights at night, it’s a quirky and fun experience that all ages will love.

People in a doughboat on a lake

Taupō has so much more to offer than just a stroll along the great lake. Whether it’s your first time visiting or you’re a Taupō regular, we hope you enjoy experiencing something new and different on your upcoming holiday!

Do you want to share the thrill of jet boating with your friends, family, or colleagues? Whether it’s a reunion, a celebration, or a corporate event, we love hosting groups at Rapids Jet! You can enjoy the excitement of zooming through the rapids and the gorges, while learning about the history and culture of the Waikato River 🌊 For groups of 10 or more, get in touch for the best deals and customise your trip. Or, if you prefer, you can book an exclusive ride and have the whole boat to yourself. Either way, you are in for an amazing adventure that you will never forget! #RapidsJet #Groups #Adventure #Thrill #Culture #Waikato #NewZealand
Looking for a family-friendly adventure in Taupō? Join Rapids Jet and experience the fun and excitement of jet boating through the Waikato River! Suitable for all ages from 5 to 105, this is a ride you’ll never forget! 🌊🛶 📸: @ Baileyrobsonnz 📍: Taupō, New Zealand #jetboat #thingstodotaupo #experiencetaupo #experiencenz #waikato #teawa #rapid #speed #lovetaupo
Rapids Jet is a must-do in New Zealand! You’ll get to see the Aratiatia Rapids, the biggest and longest rapids in the country 🙌 #Aratiatia #adventuretravel #RapidsJet #JetBoating #NewZealandAdventure #WhiteWaterRafting
Do you dare to take on the rapids? Rapids Jet is the ultimate jet boat challenge for adrenaline seekers! Come and see why we are Taupō’s favourite jet boat ride! 😎 #Aratiatia #adventuretravel #RapidsJet #JetBoating #NewZealandAdventure #WhiteWaterRafting
Witness the power of nature at the Aratiatia Dam, where several times a day, thousands of litres of water rushes down a peaceful gully and turns it into a ferocious and spectacular sight! 🌊 #Aratiatia #adventuretravel #RapidsJet #JetBoating #NewZealandAdventure #WhiteWaterRafting
Seeking a thrill to spice up your week? Experience the ultimate white water thrill at Rapids Jet 🚤 Book Now via the link in our bio. #adventuretravel #RapidsJet #JetBoating #NewZealandAdventure #WhiteWaterRafting
Nothing like a whitewater jet boat ride to get your heart racing! Happy Valentine’s Day ❤️ #valentinesday #NZmustdo #RapidsJet #ExploreTaupō #RiverAdventure #TaupōThrills #travelnz
Bucket List = Complete ✔️ E️xperience the thrill of white-water jet boating with Rapids Jet. 📍Taupō, New Zealand 📸 @ kateuzzzah #NZBucketList #NZmustdo #RapidsJet #ExploreTaupō #RiverAdventure #TaupōThrills #travelnz
“Rapids Jet in Taupō gets a perfect 10 out of 10 from me! I would highly recommend it to anyone seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure. The combination of stunning scenery and great banter from the team made it an unforgettable experience” Thanks for the 10/10 review, Rona! #NZmustdo #RapidsJet #ExploreTaupō #RiverAdventure #TaupōThrills #travelnz
Time to take some time off this weekend with your family and friends? Make it a weekend filled with laughter, excitement, and a few splashes! 💦 Book your experience with us now, link in bio ✨ #NZmustdo #RapidsJet #ExploreTaupō #RiverAdventure #TaupōThrills #travelnz