18 Most Fun Things To Do In Taupo, New Zealand

Taupo is a town in the central North Island of New Zealand; this place has a rich history that dates back thousands of years, starting with the indigenous Maori people who first settled here.

The Maori tribes of Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa have strong historical connections to the Taupo region. It is believed to be the heart of a demigod named Tia, who was slain and buried beneath Lake Taupo, giving it its unique shape. 

Things To Do In Taupo nz

The Maori people consider the lake sacred and have many traditions and legends associated with it.

Taupo was established in the 1860s during the New Zealand Wars, a series of conflicts between the British colonial government and Maori tribes. The region became an important military base during this time.

In the late 19th century, the discovery of geothermal activity in the Taupo region sparked interest in tourism. The geothermal wonders, such as the famous geysers and hot springs, attracted visitors worldwide, providing exceptional things to do in Taupo.

The town of Taupo gradually developed as a tourist destination, offering activities like fishing, boating, and hiking at many interesting places you can find below. 

1) Explore the Waikato River of Huka Falls

Huka Falls is a crystal-clear waterfall located on the Waikato River. It came into existence in 1989. It features a tourist bridge, a canyon, and a powerful water stream

Huka Falls is one of the top tourist attractions in Taupo, offering unlimited exciting things to do in Taupo. Here you can fly fishing, experience mountain biking, relish culinary delights, and have a long walk at Prawn Park.

You can also cruise at Waikato River with your loved ones, plan a picnic at Spa Park or enjoy jet boating there. Do you want to go on a helicopter tour? Huka Falls is the perfect spot for an amazing helicopter ride. 


Wairakei, Taupō 3384, New Zealand. 

2) Go on a scenic cruise at Lake Taupo.

Lake Taupo is known as one of the largest freshwater lakes in New Zealand. It offers various water activities and things to do in Taupo, like swimming, kayaking, boating, and trout fishing.

You can also go on a scenic cruise and enjoy the stunning views of landscapes surrounding the lake while cruising on crystal-clear waters.

If you want to experience the exhilaration of skydiving, Lake Taupo is the perfect spot. Book your skydiving session today and have an adrenaline rush from the jaw-dropping views this lake offers its visitors. You’ll see the views of the lake, mountains, and volcanoes as you are free from an airplane.


Taupo · 141 Te Heuheu Street.

3) Explore the Orakei Korako Geothermal Park

Orakei Korako Geothermal is located right beside Lake Ohakuri. There are many outdoor sparkling activities and things to do in Taupo’s Korako Park. It is famous for its colorful silica terraces, geysers, and bubbling mud pools

You can take a boat ride at Lake Ohakuri and enjoy the scenic, crystal-clear water and surrounding landscapes. You can dip in the natural hot springs with therapeutic properties.

The Geothermal Park of Korake is also the finest spot for picnics, covering nature’s wonders and walking pathways. And yes, don’t forget to walk at Emerald Terrace. 


494 Orākei Kōrako Road, Taupō 3083, New Zealand

4) Relax in the hot pools at Taupo DeBretts. 

Taupo DeBretts is a Spa resort spread from Taupo Lake to 800 meters in New Zealand. You can explore many adventurous activities and things to do in Taupo DeBretts, like hiking, biking, skiing, and trout fishing at the amazing Huka Falls. 

Visit the Taupo DeBretts Hot Springs for a soothing dip in natural thermal pools; it also features two thrilling water slides. Race your friends or family down the twisting slides and enjoy the adrenaline rush as you splash into the water below.

Taupo DeBretts features an Aqua Play area. If you have kids, they will love it as they can interact with water playgrounds, fountains, water cannons, and other interactive features, providing endless entertainment for children of all ages.


Napier-Taupo Road 76, 5bState Highway, Taupō 3330, New Zealand.  

5) Catch some trout fish at Lake Shores

Taupo is said to be the trout fishing capital and owner of New Zealand. Lake Shores offers a beautiful natural setting and numerous recreational activities and things to do in Taupo for visitors to enjoy.

Witness the power and beauty of the pure waters as they rush through a narrow gorge and plummet into the pools of Lake Shores. You can go on a leisurely walk along the well-maintained paths or even take a jet boat ride to experience the falls up close.

Lake Shores is the largest lake in New Zealand, offering a wide range of water-based activities. You can go fishing, boating, or cruising.

If you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping fun, engage in watersports such as kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, sailing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding. 


Taupo · 59 Redoubt Street, Berth 21.

6) Go Hiking at the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and National Park 

Tongariro National Park is home to an eye-catching alpine crossing. Embark on one of the world’s best day hikes, taking you through volcanic landscapes, emerald lakes, and stunning vistas.

Explore Tongariro National Park and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, as it is a popular and challenging hike known for its stunning volcanic landscapes. Hiking to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a 19.4-kilometer. The hike typically takes 6-8 hours and offers breathtaking views of Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe.

Also, remember to explore the Red Crater. The Red Crater is an active volcanic cone that showcases vibrant red and orange hues created by the oxidized iron in the soil. It offers a unique photo opportunity and a chance to appreciate the powerful forces of nature at work.


Taupō isite 0800 525 382, 30 Tongariro Street, Taupō

7) Take a jet boat ride at Waikato River

Waikato River is a fantastic destination for kayaking or canoeing enthusiasts. Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato is a famous museum on the banks of the Waikato River. It offers enriched, interesting things to do in Taupo, like arts, heritage, and history exhibitions.

Explore the galleries featuring Maori and Pacific Island artifacts, contemporary art displays, and interactive exhibits. Also, remember to learn about the cultural significance of the Waikato River at the museum. The museum also hosts regular events, workshops, and activities for visitors of all ages.

You can also rent a kayak or canoe from various rental providers along the river or join a guided tour. Paddle along the serene waters of the river and enjoy the scenery and wildlife; this place will soothe your inner nature lover’s soul because of its sparkling beauty.


Waikato River, Waikato, New Zealand.

8) Visit the Taupo Museum and Art Gallery

The Taupo Museum and Art Gallery was established in 1980 to preserve and showcase the cultural heritage of the Taupo District in New Zealand. It was originally constructed in 1919 as a Great War Army Drill Hall

Taupo Museum and Art Gallery regularly host a variety of exciting things to do in Taupo, along with exhibitions that showcase the region’s history, culture, and contemporary art.

The exhibits often cover local history, Maori culture, natural wonders, and regional artists’ creations. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about the area’s heritage and appreciate the region’s artistic talent.

Depending on your schedule, you can also find opportunities to participate in art workshops, listen to guest speakers, join guided tours, or even attend live performances at Taupo Museum and Arts Gallery.


4 Story Place, Taupō 3330, New Zealand.

9) Go bungee jumping at AJ Hackett Taupo Bungy & Swing

AJ Hackett Taupo is a swing and bungee jump located in the heart of the geothermal region of Aotearoa. AJ has been in the jumping business since 1988. The idea of bungee jumping was taken from the ritual of jumping at Oxford University’s Dangerous Sports Club

Try bungee jumping at the iconic AJ Hackett Taupo Bungy & Swing if you want an extreme adventure. Leap from a platform above the Waikato River and feel the thrill of a 47-meter plunge.

It’s a unique way to get your heart pumping.

When you take a leap of faith from the AJ Hackett Taupo Bungy & Swing, you’ll experience the adrenaline rush of free falling. 


202 Spa Road, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

10) Explore the Moon’s Craters at Geothermal Walking

Discover the landscapes of Taupo at the Craters of the Moon geothermal area, as it is the largest geothermal spot in New Zealand. It features a Geothermal eruption crater and a colorful border of the crater.

You can walk along the boardwalks at Moon’s Craters and witness the bubbling mud pools, hissing steam vents, and colorful mineral formations. You’ll have a vibe of stepping into a surreal world of volcanoes.

You can also wander along a network of geothermal walking tracks to witness the open sky Moon’s Craters feature.


171 Karapiti Road, Wairakei, Taupō 3377, New Zealand.

11) Go mountain biking at Craters Mountain Bike Park

Craters Mountain Bike Park is a man-made 55 km of well-crafted mountain park. It offers berms, flow, descent, and year-round old-school riding.

Taupo has some excellent mountain biking trails that cater to all skill levels. One of them is Craters Mountain Bike Park offering varieties of tracks with stunning outdoor activities and things to do in Taupo. You can do mountain biking and enjoy gentle rides here. 

For a more challenging ride, head to the Great Lake Trail, which offers a network of trails through native forests along the lake’s edge.


Poihipi Road, Wairakei, Taupō 3377, New Zealand.

12) Take a scenic flight at Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site offering spectacular things to do in Taupo. It features three stunning active volcanoes Mount Ngauruhoe, Mount Ruapehu, and Mount Tongariro.

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is also a famous spot for day hiking that will take you through volcanic terrain, breathtaking vistas, and hot springs.

Want to enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the landscapes covering Lake Taupo, Mount Ruapehu, and Tongariro National Park? Then take a flight to Tongariro National Park and enjoy the beauty of Taupo.


Manawatu-Wanganui 4691, New Zealand.

13) Play a round of golf at Wairakei International Golf Course 

The Wairakei International Golf Course was designed by renowned golf course architect Commander John Harris in 1970. The course has gained international recognition for its unique and challenging layout and picturesque volcanic terrain that attracts golf enthusiasts globally.

The course is nestled within a geothermal valley, surrounded by natural bush and wildlife. As you navigate the fairways, you’ll encounter natural hazards like steam vents and hot lakes. 

Whether an avid golfer or a casual player, a round of golf at Wairakei is a fantastic way to enjoy the region’s beauty while testing your golfing skills.

In addition to golfing, also take out some time to wander through the adjacent Wairakei Resort and discover the geothermal features such as bubbling mud pools, steaming geysers, and colorful mineral terraces.


Wairakei International Golf Course, Wairakei, Taupō, New Zealand.

14) Discover the Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings 

The Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings boast a captivating history from the late 1970s. Created by master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell and a team of volunteers, these impressive rock carvings pay homage to Ngātoro-i-rangi, a legendary Māori navigator

Do you want to learn some fantastic things to do in Taupo, visit Māori Rock Carvings.  Once you reach the carvings, you can marvel at the intricate details and hear captivating stories about Māori culture and mythology from knowledgeable guides. 

For a more adventurous and up-close encounter with the Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings, consider kayaking or paddleboarding a more interesting activity to the site. 

As you paddle towards the carvings, you’ll have a unique perspective of the artwork. This hands-on experience allows you to engage with the carvings intimately and unforgettably, creating lasting memories of your visit to Mine Bay.


Mine Bay, Acacia Bay, Taupō 3330, New Zealand.

15) Take a scenic drive at the Napier Taupo Road

The Napier-Taupo weaves together human determination and natural obstacles. Initially constructed in the 1930s. The highway traverses rugged terrain, passing through breathtaking gorges and hilly landscapes. 

Over the years, it has become a popular route, offering travelers unforgettable journeys and things to do in Taupo through captivating landscapes. Hike or bike through the extensive network of trails. 

Reach the summit for a breathtaking vista of the Hawke’s Bay region, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of NZ. Hawkes Bay region has top-notch wine tastings, cellar door experiences, and vineyard spots. Enjoy the region’s rich winemaking history and savor its delightful flavors. 


80-100 Napier Road, Hilltop, Taupō 3330, New Zealand.

16) Shop unlimited products at the Taupo Market

Established in the 1970s, the market started as a small gathering of local farmers and artisans who came together to sell their goods. Over time, it grew, attracting diverse vendors from all over the region. Today, the Taupo Market is a vibrant hub of activity, offering a wide array of shopping things to do in Taupo, like fresh produce, handmade crafts, and delicious food.

Taupo Market is a food lover’s paradise; tasting the sample artisanal cheeses, freshly baked bread, gourmet chocolates, and a wide variety of local and international delicacies will tantalize your taste buds incredibly. 

From savory to sweet, the market offers diverse culinary delights that will leave you satisfied and sparkling with gastronomic joy. 

However, whether you’re looking for a special gift or a piece to adorn your home, you will find something that catches your eye and sparkles with creativity and craftsmanship.


Northcroft Reserve, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

17) Walk around Waipahihi Botanical Reserve

Waipahihi Botanical Reserve has its origins dating back to the mid-20th century when it was established to protect and showcase the unique flora and fauna of the region. Over the years, dedicated individuals and local authorities have transformed the reserve into a thriving sanctuary. 

When you visit Waipahihi Botanical Reserve, find a spot to picnic with family or friends. Spread out a blanket, indulge in delicious food, and soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

The reserve offers numerous shaded areas and grassy patches, providing an ideal setting for relaxation and unwinding things to do in Taupo. Explore the reserve’s well-maintained walking trails and take a more challenging hike while enjoying the diverse plant life. 


Cnr Hyde Avenue & Shepherd Road, Waipahihi, Taupō 3330, New Zealand.

18) Witness the Aratiatia Rapids

Nestled in the region of New Zealand, these rapids have been witness to the rich cultural heritage of the Maori people and have served as a vital route for trade and transportation. From ancient legends to colonial encounters, the Aratiatia Rapids exude an irresistible charm that captivates visitors’ attention. 

One of the most exciting things to do in Taupo’s Aratiatia Rapids is to witness the powerful release of water. A hydroelectric dam controls the rapids, and several times a day, the dam gates are opened, causing a surge of water to rush through the gorge. 

You can also stroll along the well-maintained walking trails that wind through the rapids and lush green areas. The trails cater to various fitness levels, so you can choose the one that suits you best. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature, and listen to the sounds of the rushing water to have some unforgettable memories. 


630 Aratiatia Road, Rotokawa 3377, New Zealand

Best Hotels to Stay in Taupo

When planning a Taupo tour, accommodation is another hurdle you might be worried about. However, we have some luxurious retreats offering impeccable service and breathtaking views, rated among the best hotels in Taupo for an unforgettable experience. 

  • Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort.
  • Sails on the Lake.
  • Accent on Taupo.
  • Lake Taupo Holiday Resort.
  • Taupo Ascot Motor Inn.
  • Millennium Hotel and Resort Manuels Taupo.

We hope you have a wonderful tour while visiting all the places we’ve found for you; remember to book your rooms in the hotels mentioned above to have a refreshing holiday.