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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!