Lake Taupo sits in a caldera that was created during a volcanic eruption more than 26,000 years ago. Here, amid the pretty surroundings of forested hills and distant mountains, you can explore 238 square miles (616 square kilometers) of waterways, as well as several villages and townships. The most prominent of these is Taupo on the lake’s northeastern shore. Many visitors base their adventures around this town or smaller towns such as Turangi, considered the trout fishing capital of New Zealand, and Mangakino.
Check out the still waters of Lake Taupo, which consistently attracts fishing fanatics from around the world. If you prefer to be on the water, rent a kayak or canoe in Taupo. Boat tours of the lake will take you to see Māori rock carvings, a hot water beach and scenic Acacia Bay.
The Lake Taupo area has become famous in recent decades as an extreme sports hub. Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the spectacular scenery as you plummet through the air on a tandem skydive or leap from one New Zealand’s highest bungees.
Experience the fascinating areas of thermal activity. Orakei Korako, a 25-minute drive from Taupo, features live geysers as well as a mystical underground pool of green water.
Another highlight is Wairakei Terraces and Thermal Health Spa. Here you can relax in pools of hot, mineral-enriched water from a geothermal steam field. Nearby you will also find an intricately recreated Māori village, along with artificial geysers and silica terraces.
Head back to Taupo, where the township’s museum brings the area’s rich history to life. View stunning tribal paintings and take a look around a wooden Māori house.
Lake Taupo is a 3.5-hour drive south of Auckland. You should allow at least 3 days here to fully appreciate the range and diversity of sights and activities.