• 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.

Hold on tight! The Aratiatia Rapids rolls out quite the impressive welcome mat 😎 Did you know the rapids are released three times a day in winter, sending out a torrent of cascading water from the dam gates? Credit: @Torisgoodlife #RapidsJet #Taupo #NZadventure #ThrillSeeker #Aratiatia #NZtravel #NZmustdo
Jumping off the boat grinning from ear-to-ear, that’s the Rapids Jet effect! #HappyNationalSmileDay ☀️ #Taupo #RapidsJet #Happiness #PureJoy #Waikato
Hands up for the long weekend! It’s time for a royally good adventure with Rapids Jet – the jewel in Taupō’s crown. We’re open every day over King’s Birthday weekend 👑🚤 #Taupo #RapidsJet #NZ #LongWeekend #NZRapids
Stretch your legs after your ride with this must-do walk in @lovetauponz 🚶‍♀️🚶‍♂️ Aratiatia Rapids will blow your mind as millions of litres of water erupts and cascades over the stream below – it’s a sight for all the senses 🙌 #AratiatiaRapids #RapidsJet #OutdoorAdventures #Taupo
Discover the magic of the river where scenes from “The Hobbit” were filmed. An adventure fit for Bilbo himself 🌄✨ Relive the magic of the iconic barrels scene with our thrilling jetboat experience. #AratiatiaRapids #RapidsJet #OutdoorAdventures
Overdue for a romantic getaway with your partner? Whether it’s a date, an anniversary, or just a cute weekend break, Taupō offers a mixture of stunning scenery, thrilling activities, and relaxing spa treatments to suit every couple ❤️ Check out the link in bio to get inspired! #RomanticGetaway #Taupo #NZ #RapidsJet #NZMustDo
Smiles all round! Happy Mother’s Day from our whānau to yours 🥰 #RapidsJet #Taupo #JetBoat #NZActivities #WhiteWaterRafting #Waikato
Like a rollercoaster, but on the water – hold on tight for the ride of your life 🎢💦 #Taupo #RapidsJet #NZ #NZMustDo #NZTravel
See more and spend less with our all-new package deal that encompasses the best of Rotorua and Taupō 😍 Geysers and mud pools in the morning, jetboating in the afternoon, and feasting on Māori kai and culture in the evening? Sounds like the perfect day to us! Book your combo online now – incredible stories and gorgeous scenery await at @Te Pa Tu and @WaioTapu ✨ #NZ #Taupo #Rotorua #ComboDeal #Package #Culture #Adventure #Thrills #NZTravel
Family bonding, adrenaline-style 🙌😎 Reuniting with the cousins or getting the squad together soon? Book out an entire boat trip for yourselves or get amongst our daily departures! #familyfun #grouptravel #rapidsjet #NZ #Taupo
Nature is our playground – where every splash tells a story 🌊🚤 #RapidsJet #Taupo #NZNature #JetBoat #NZ #NZTravel
A shout-out to our superstar team 🙏🦸‍♂️ Our crew are all about making sure you have a great experience from start to finish – and making every spin and splash a memorable one! #EmployeeAppreciation #NZTravel #RapidsJet #Taupo