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Taupo Things to Do

Taupo is a popular tourist destination, with a huge range of attractions. From bubbly mud pools and spouting geysers to sky diving and high speed jet boat rides to the base of a spectacular waterfall, there is something to entertain everyone!

Lake Taupo

Boating on Lake Taupo, New Zealand. Copyright: Destination Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo is the largest lake by surface area in New Zealand with a surface area of 616 square kilometres (238 square miles). It is also the second largest freshwater lake by surface area in geopolitical Oceania after Lake Murray (Papua New Guinea).

Drained by the Waikato River, (New Zealand's longest river), Lake Taupo's main tributaries are the Waitahanui River, the Tongariro River, and the Tauranga Taupo River.

Activities on Lake Taupo include freshwater fishing, boating, kayaking, swimming, jet boating, jet skiing and much more.

Huka Falls

Huka Falls in Taupo, New Zealand

The spectacular Huka Falls are New Zealand's most visited natural attraction, providing a fantastic photo opportunity.

Watch as more than 220,000 litres of water thunders over the cliff face every second!

The Huka Falls Waterfall is located in the Wairakei Tourist Park, just a short drive north of Taupo. There is an Information Centre located by the falls and several viewing platforms provide excellent vantage points. A series of bush walks follow the river and around the falls.

Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon near Taupo, New Zealand

Run by a charity, the Craters of the Moon is a thermal wonderland located in the Wairakei Park. The thermal area sprang up in the 1950s when the nearby power station lowered underground water levels.

A 45-minute loop walk visits bubbling craters, mud pools and steam vents along a mixture of gravel and wooden boardwalks. An additional 20 minute uphill climb gives an amazing view of the bubbling craters and steaming vents.

Volcanic 'Mount Doom'

The Tongariro National Park World Heritage Area is nestled at the southern end of Lake Taupo. The park is legendary for its dramatic and eerie scenery and is very accessibile. Ski on an active volcano or take a one day hike from alpine meadow to mountain summit, with stunning volcanic landscapes along the way.

Thanks to a geologically turbulent past, the area provided the Lord of the Rings crew with the raw material they needed to create mystical Middle-earth, including Mordor, Emyn Muil, Mount Doom and the Plains of Gorgoroth.

Mine Bay Carvings at Lake Taupo

Mine Bay Maori Carvings in Lake Taupo, New Zealand. Copyright: Tourism NZ

Master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell carved Ngatoroirangi, his first ever rock carving, onto the cliff face at the southern end of Mine Bay, Lake Taupo.

The best way to view the carving is by sea kayak. Trips begin with a launch trip to the site, then visitors transfer to kayaks to view the carvings.

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