Taupo sits on the north shore of Lake Taupo, the largest lake in the southern hemisphere. The town is a gateway to everything the area has to offer, including trout fishing, waterskiing, hot springs and boat cruises. Come for an action-packed adventure holiday or for a relaxing getaway in scenic surroundings.
Huka Falls is one of the most visited tourist attractions in New Zealand and can be found just north of the town. More than 58,118 gallons (220,000 liters) of water flow over the falls every second. Stand on an observation platform above the falls or take a boat cruise to its base.
The area around Taupo is known for its geothermal springs. Boiling lakes, bubbling mud pools and geysers can all be explored on hiking trails in Spa Thermal Park, just a short walk from the town. There are numerous hot springs fit for bathing, from privately owned spa experiences to free public baths.
The lake provides endless opportunities for activities. Come to swim, fish, waterski or take a boat cruise. Trout fishing is the most popular form of fishing. Rent gear from vendors in town and fish from the edge of the lake, or sign up for an all-inclusive tour. The best spot for swimming and waterskiing is Five Mile Bay, west of Taupo airport. The beach is most busy during summer, as it’s too cold to swim in winter.
Many cruises on Lake Taupo take in the Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay. The carvings are more than 33 feet (10 meters) tall, and are an important cultural attraction for locals. Register for a kayak tour for the best photo opportunities close to the carvings.
The town of Taupo is well catered to tourists, with tour operators, hostels, hotels and restaurants all within walking distance of the town center. Taupo is a 3.5-hour drive from Auckland through rugged scenery and winding highways. Some visitors choose to skip the drive and fly in to Taupo. Either way, you’ll need a rental car, as there is limited public transport in town.