• Lake Taupō reimagined – how to have the ultimate weekend getaway

November 1, 2022

Ahh Taupō, the central heart of New Zealand. Famous for the largest lake in the country, the thundering Huka Falls, and its trout fishing wonderland. Whether you’re a first-timer or think you’ve seen it all, here’s some of the reasons why we love Taupō – and how to make your next weekend escape the best yet.

If Taupō is on the radar for your next holiday, chances are you’ve heard about the mighty lake, roughly the same size as Singapore. Sure, you could choose a boat cruise or kayak trip, but why not discover it from a new perspective? Soak up the views from above on a skydive, freefalling from as high as 18,000ft above the lake’s surface. Or opt for a scenic helicopter flight or parasailing experience for something different.

If you prefer staying closer to the ground, strap on your boots and go hiking with a variety of breathtaking bushwalks on offer – the Pureora Forest and Rangatira Point tracks are local highlights. Perhaps you’ll even don some waders, grab a rod and try your luck flyfishing? The crystal-clear waters are world-class.

There’s even more fun to be had outside of the town centre. The Tongariro Crossing is a one-day trek through a spectacular volcanic alpine landscape that attracts hikers from near and far. Or if you’re a keen mountain biker, embrace your pedal power and take on the Rotary Ride, a track that encompasses native scenery, geothermal sights and the iconic Huka Falls. For a cruisier time, hire a donut boat – a New Zealand exclusive – and kick back on the lake with some good tunes and kai. There’s plenty of must-do’s in Taupō that you just can’t experience anywhere else in Aotearoa.​

If you’re a thrill-seeker looking to satisfy your adrenaline cravings, we’ve got a few Taupō thrills up our sleeves. Firstly, jump aboard Rapids Jet for a full-throttle, full-power jetboat ride through the Waikato River. You’ll be screaming and laughing the whole way, with plenty of spins, drifts and ‘surfing’ along the awa.

Need more rapids in your life? Go white water rafting through the Tongariro River on a roller-coaster-like ride and hold on tight! Dry off, then take a leap of faith – the classic Kiwi bungy jump is just the thing to push your limits and conquer your fears.

Don’t leave without snapping some flash new pics for the ‘gram – and showing off your adventures to your friends and family back home! The most Instagrammable moments in Taupō might be up for debate, but we think we’ve hunted out the top spots. Of course, the iconic Huka Falls is right at the top of the list – perhaps best seen up-close on a river cruise. Add a splash of geothermal goodness to your feed with Orākei Kōrako’s colourful hot pools and silica terraces, or with the bubbling waters at Spa Thermal Park.

Lake Taupō itself is also incredibly photogenic – head to Tokaanu Wharf, Acacia Bay or to the Ngatoroirangi Māori Rock Carvings for the snazziest snaps. A stroll through town offers over 80 unique street art murals for your next photo backdrop, or if you’re feeling fit, take on the mighty Mt Tauhara walk. This 1088m peak rewards you with phenomenal nature views that’re perfect for a scenic selfie.

Feeling inspired? Time to pack up the car and hit the road – Taupō is ready to welcome you on your next Kiwi getaway.

Laugh, scream, and feel alive as we blast through the mighty Waikato River. Get ready for non-stop fun! 💦💥 #RapidsJet #JetBoatingNZ #TaupoThrills #NaturePlayground #AdrenalineRush #ExploreTaupo #RiverAdventure #AotearoaAdventures #PureNewZealand #NZMustDo #ExploreNZ #KiwiAdventures #TravelNZ
“The 1st rapids are exhilarating, the 3rd set were monstrous, what an adrenalin rush. 5 stars out of 5 🌟🤩⭐️🌠🖖” Thanks for this incredible Google Review, Jay! #RapidsJet #JetBoatingNZ #TaupoThrills #NaturePlayground #AdrenalineRush #ExploreTaupo #RiverAdventure #AotearoaAdventures #PureNewZealand #NZMustDo #ExploreNZ #KiwiAdventures #TravelNZ #googlereview
Nau mai haere mai i te ngā wai rere o te awa. We welcome you to come experience the rushing waters of the river. Happy Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori! (Māori Language Week). How will you celebrate? #RapidsJet #JetBoatingNZ #TaupoThrills #NaturePlayground #AdrenalineRush #ExploreTaupo #RiverAdventure #AotearoaAdventures #PureNewZealand #NZMustDo #ExploreNZ #KiwiAdventures #TravelNZ #maorilanguageweek #tewikiotereomaori
Rapids Jet: Defying gravity since ’93 🚤 📷: @Steve Penny #RapidsJet #JetBoatingNZ #TaupoThrills #NaturePlayground #AdrenalineRush #ExploreTaupo #RiverAdventure #AotearoaAdventures #PureNewZealand #NZMustDo #ExploreNZ #KiwiAdventures #TravelNZ
Explore the breathtaking beauty of the Huka Falls area on two wheels. Crisp air, stunning scenery, and plenty of photo ops await – there’s a ride for everyone, no matter your skill level or cycle experience 🚴‍♀‍ Journey along the 14km-return Huka Falls to Aratiatia Dam Trail and you’ll be rewarded with river views, lush native bush and hidden geothermal wonders. Time to strap on your helmet and start pedalling! #rapidsjet #taupo #nzmustdo #jetboat #holiday #getaway
Life is like a river – it's full of twists, turns, and unexpected rapids. Embrace the unknown and ride the waves to exciting new horizons! 🌊 #rapidsjet #nzmustdo #nature #travelgram #taupo #northisland
Caption this! 💦 #jetboat #taupo #nzmustdo #funtimes #adrenalinerush #thrills #purenewzealand
From the heart-racing to the awe-inspiring – our combo with @tepaturotorua is sure to ignite all your senses 🤩 Prepare to be amazed by the power of the Waikato River’s rapids, and captivated by traditional Māori performance and cuisine. Their current Tū Te Ihi winter celebration pays tribute to the time of year when the Matariki cluster of stars sit high and bright in our winter skies, as we reflect on the legacy of our ancestors and acknowledge the year that has been. Book via the link in our bio! ✨ #RapidsJet #Taupo #TePaTu #Rotorua #MaoriCulture #nzmustdo
Looking for a thrill that will leave you breathless? Look no further! Our jetboats are fueled by adrenaline and designed for speed 🚤😍 www.rapidsjet.com
Travelling around Aotearoa to catch all the football action? ⚽🏆 Just two hours from Waikato Stadium, and right by Taupo and Rotorua, our fast-paced jetboat ride is the perfect way to keep up the thrills between games! #nzmustdo #travelgram #mustdonewzealand #rapidsjet #jetboat
The gates of Taupō's Aratiatia Dam are released several times per day, turning a calm and peaceful trickle into the roaring, thunderous Aratiatia Rapids! View this spectacular sight from a series of lookouts, then come play in the rapids with us aboard our bright-yellow jetboats 🚤🌊 #AratiatiaDam #rapidsjet #nzmustdo #ifyouseeknz #spectacle #instatravel