nz barbary yacht cruise lake taupo
Nz taupo boutique lodge nature view friends stays very comfortable
Nz north taupo Otumuheke Spa Par
Nz north Craters Bike Park Miles Holden
nz barbary yacht cruise lake taupo
Nz taupo boutique lodge nature view friends stays very comfortable
Nz north taupo Otumuheke Spa Par
Nz north Craters Bike Park Miles Holden
The largest freshwater lake in Australasia

Lake Taupo

The beautiful Lake Taupo is located in central North Island. Covering a surface area of 616 square kilometres, it is considered more of an inland sea than a lake. Roughly the size of Singapore, it is the crater of one of the largest volcanic eruptions earth has seen in the last few thousand years. Enjoy spectacular geothermal walks past steaming terraces and bubbling mud pools. Cycle along forested shores or take a leisurely cruise.

A group of people cycling in a forest
Go cycling in the forest at Craters Bike Park
© Miles Holden
Two white sailing boats cruising a lake with Maori rock carvings
Take a scenic cruise to capture the splendour of Lake Taupo


Lake Taupo is the central hub of the North Island. The town of Taupo, which many consider the "adventure capital" of the North Island, and Turangi, are the gateway to Tongariro National Park. Both towns are renowned for trout fishing so if that is something you have always wanted to try, why not do it here?

Experience the natural beauty of Huka Falls

Huka Falls is a powerful waterfall that transports water from Lake Taupo into the Waikato River at a rate of 220,000 litres per second. The gushing waters pass through a narrow rocky gorge and over an 11-metre-high waterfall, creating a mighty whitewater pool at the base. For something more relaxing, explore the tranquil beauty of Lake Taupo with a lakeside walk or immerse yourself in the native forest with a nature hike on one of the many trails throughout the region.

Aerial view of  clear blue lake, green shrubbery and a black tar road winding through it
Enjoy majestic views of lakes, forests and geothermal wonders
White clouds of steam coming out of a clear blue geyser
Experience Wairakei terraces spa bath


The Mine Bay Rock Carvings are only accessible by boat or kayak and are not to be missed. Nestled in the cliffs that surround Lake Taupo, these Maori carvings were created by master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell to portray the story of his ancestor Ngatoroirangi and are an impressive ten metres in height.

The Craters of the Moon is an exciting must-do geothermal attraction. View the phenomena from a wooden boardwalk that winds its way through the valley filled with steaming craters and bubbling mud.

Rock face with Maori engravings surrounded by water
Learn about the Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay
Two women and a man standing in a store surrounded by brochures
Visit the Taupo i SITE information centre for helpful maps and brochures
© Matt Crawford


Taupo is the perfect base for exploring the region. Located at the edge of Australasia's largest lake, it is popular for fishing and boating. Other attractions include mountain biking, skiing, and exploring geothermal parks.

Bike the Great Lake Trail (suitable all year round), enjoy exceptional hiking within the Tongariro National Park and spend the day at Huka Falls with a picnic basket and a camera.

Catch your own lunch trout fishing

Huka Falls

The Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river, moves north from Lake Taupo to Huka Falls where it enters a shallow ravine of hard volcanic rock. The waters roar at great speed along the ravine before bursting out over Huka Falls into the swirling pool 11 metres below. Stand on the foot bridge right at the top of the falls to witness the powerful display of water blasting by. For the more adventurous, try a jet boat ride or river cruise.

Hike the Spa Park to Huka Falls trail, an easy one-hour walk that begins where the river is still tranquil and wide. Pass through native forests alongside the river and stop at several great vantage points where you can enjoy the full splendour of the falls.

Vertical view of a waterfall flanked by forest
Witness the powerful flow of Huka Falls
A man and woman on bikes riding on a trail along a lake
Bike along stunning lakes and through forests on Huka Falls Trails
© Fraser Clements

Things to do

With some of the North Island’s most impressive landscapes right on its doorstep, the Taupo region is perfect for outdoor adventures.

Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Considered one of New Zealand's greatest day walks, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing treks through volcanic alpine terrain, around an active volcano and descends into the water-filled craters known as the Emerald Lakes. Take in views of Mount Ngauruhoe - also known as 'Mount Doom' in the Lord of the Rings.

Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Two people in a yellow kayak on a lake
Spend the day kayaking the spectacular Lake Taupo
© Miles Holden

Discover geothermal wonders

The valley of Orakei Korako Cave and Thermal Park is a real hidden gem accessible only by a short ferry trip across Lake Ohakuri. Off the beaten tourist track, it is a volcanic world of geysers, hot springs, bubbling mud pools and some of the largest and most amazing silica terraces in the world. Wander through the Hidden Valley and visit the thermal Ruatapu Cave which extends more than 36 metres down into the 'Waiwhakaata' or 'Pool of Mirrors' hot pool at the bottom.

Brown, golden, white silica terraces and steam rising from the geothermal activity
Enter a volcanic world and marvel at the large silica terraces
A blue geyser in a geothermal wonderland
Discover a geothermal paradise

Rejuvenate in geothermal waters

With an abundance of thermal attractions and cultural experiences, the Wairakei Terraces offers something for everyone. Spend time relaxing in naturally heated geothermal pools below the ancient silica terraces. Take a guided tour of the Wairakei steam field. Or partake in an evening of Maori cultural experiences.

Enjoy a scenic bike ride

Pedal along the forested shores of Lake Taupo and admire the volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park on the Great Lake Trail. Explore dramatic scenery that combines lake views and powerful waterfalls.

Enjoy some family fun on a cycle trail in nature
Two ladies soaking in a naturallly heated rock pool
Soak in naturally heated geothermal pools at Otumuheke Spa Park
© Miles Holden

Nearby towns


Turangi, known as the unofficial trout fishing headquarters of New Zealand, sits on the banks of the Tongariro River. It is a great and convenient place to stay if you plan on hiking the Tongariro National Park because it has shuttles to the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Cycle the Tongariro River Trail which is one of the region’s most picturesque mountain bike trails. It is popular with beginners and experienced riders alike, because of the ease of access and stunning tranquillity just five minutes from Turangi town.

Sunset over a lake surrounded by brown grassland
Catch an amazing sunset near Waihi village
Explore the peaceful solitude of Turangi


Located 20 minutes drive from Taupo, Kinloch is a cosy place with spectacular views of Lake Taupo and the mountains of Tongariro National Park. Its sandy beach and relaxed vibe make it a wonderful summer holiday location or the ideal base for mountain biking on the popular Great Lake Trail. Hidden within Whangamata Bay, it is a popular spot for fly-fishing.

A small harbour with boats
Soak up the laid back lifestyle in Kinloch
View of a green lush golf course with sand bunkers
Tee off at a magnificent golf course
© Gary Lisbon


Mangkino is a place you go when you want to get away from it all. Take your fishing rod or mountain bike and savour the peaceful atmosphere. It is great for mountain biking and sits in the middle of two of the North Island's best tracks - the Waikato River Trails and the Timber Trail.

Aerial view of a long blue river surrounded by green forest
Bike, hike or walk to experience the grandeur of Huka Falls


Rotorua has been billed as a geothermal wonderland. Situated in one of the world's most active volcano regions it's overflowing with steaming hot pools and bubbling mud baths. In a city that is easy to navigate, you can bike, hike and walk to nearby attractions. Rich in Maori history and culture, visit a traditional Maori village and learn about how they connect to nature in their daily lives.

Discover New Zealand's culture | New Zealand holiday
Learn about Maori history, folklore and traditions
Man and woman walking over a zip lining bridge in tall green trees
Zip line through towering trees and ancient forests

Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in New Zealand. A place where you can find natural hot springs, mineral lakes and alpine meadows. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is the most popular and is widely regarded as one of the best hikes in the world. The scenic hike is 19.4 kilometres and passes three active volcanoes, ancient lava flows and geothermal wonders.

A woman in a yellow sweater overlooking a crater
Hike the scenic Tongariro Alpine Crossing
© Graeme Murray
Blue crater lake surrounded by white snow peak mountains
See spectacular glacial lakes and hot springs

How to get there

Taupo is in the centre of the North Island of New Zealand and can easily be reached by car, bus and plane. It is about a three and a half hours drive from Auckland and a four and a half hours drive from Wellington. Within easy driving distance you will find Waitomo Caves, Hamilton, Tauranga and Ruapehu nearby.

Aerial view of a large blue lake and a road on the edge of it
Enjoy the scenic drive to the easily accessible Taupo

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