Taupo is centrally located in the middle of the North Island, approximately 3½ hours
from Auckland and 4½ hours drive from Wellington. There's a genuinely friendly
here and plenty to see and do so why not stay a day or two? Popular with both
and New Zealand visitors alike, Taupo offers something for everyone. Lake Taupo is New
Zealand’s largest lake and extends over an area of 250 square miles – similar in
to Singapore. At its deepest point it is 522 ft deep (opposite Waitahanui) and is 40
length from Tokaanu in the south to Taupo township in the north. It was formed by an
enormous volcanic eruption nearly 2000 years ago. You can still see evidence of Taupo’s
fiery birth with a visit to Craters of the Moon with its steaming craters, boiling hot mud
and volcanic landscapes. Certain spots in Lake Taupo and along the Waikato River also
warm, geothermal water currents – perfect for a spot of swimming.
In the 1870's the thermal activity around the area began to attract visitors and spa
were developed. Today a visit to De Brett’s Thermal Pools lets you relax in the
hot waters – and for families, enjoy the fun hydroslide.
By the 1890's Lake Taupo and its tributary streams had been stocked with rainbow trout from the Russian River in California - and they and the elusive brown trout have thrived ever since, making Taupo one of the best trout fishing areas in the world. No visit to Taupo is complete without trying to land ‘a big one’ from one of the many fishing boats, which operate on the lake, or angling in one of the streams flowing into the lake.
New Zealand’s longest river, the Waikato, flows through Lake Taupo then makes its way towards the coast. Don’t miss stopping at Huka Falls to marvel as the mighty Waikato River thunders through the narrow canyon. The Huka Falls Jet will take you on a thrilling ride along the Waikato River, lined with native bush, sheer rock faces and natural hot springs before taking you to the base of the thundering Huka Falls – an awe-inspiring sight. The Aratiatia Rapids are also worth a visit to see the Waikato River drop 28 metres in the space of a kilometre – the rapids are formed when the dam gates of the Waikato River are opened several times a day. Hobbit fans will recognise the rapids from Peter Jackson’s movie, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
The splendour of Lake Taupo dominates the landscape and don’t miss an opportunity to get out onto the water. The Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, which can only be seen from the water, make for a great boat trip or kayaking excursion. Sailing, fishing, wind-surfing, jet-skiing and parasailing all offer the chance to experience the beauty and clear waters of Lake Taupo.
Taupo offers an active life-style with mountain biking, cycling and hiking all popular. For thrillseekers, options abound with bungy jumping, whitewater rafting and tandem skydiving – all in a spectacularly scenic environment.
With three golf-courses, Taupo is a golfer’s dream destination. The Wairakei International Golf Course is rated in the top twenty courses outside of the United States. Set amidst the Wairakei Geothermal Park, Wairakei is a place of majestic beauty – a stunning location only moments away from Taupo’s geothermal activity and 10-kms / 6-miles north of Lake Taupo. Skirting the edges of active geothermal fields course, the volcanic contours have been used to sculpt fairways, elevate tees and greens and bury hazards within the natural landscape.