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The Great Lake Taupo region of New Zealand is in the centre of the country’s north island and offers so much for visitors to do and see. The town rests on the banks of Australasia’s largest lake – Lake Taupo – and is home to adventure, beautiful scenery and anything you can think of to do in the great outdoors!
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Taupo, look no further! Here are eight fun things to do in Taupo.
Huka Falls is a thundering 11-metre high waterfall – generated by the massive amount of water crashing and colliding through a volcanic rock gorge between the Waikato River and the northern point of Lake Taupo. The sheer volume of water flowing over the falls amounts to 220,000 litres per second (enough to fill one Olympic sized swimming pool in 11 seconds), which is what forms the stunningly powerful falls and rapids.
To experience the Falls, there are a few options – by walking trail and viewing platforms positioned on the cliffs of the falls, by a leisurely cruise on board the Huka Falls River Cruise or by an exhilarating jetboat ride with Huka Falls Jet – where you’ll get up close and personal on a thrilling ride near the falls themselves and the surrounding lake.
Ski & Snowboarding
The months between June and October are ski and snowboard seasons in New Zealand. Mt Ruapehu has three ski areas which all boast brilliant skiing, snowboarding and sledding conditions. The slopes are about an hour and a half out of Taupo, but definitely worth the trip.
So, if you’re looking for things do to near Taupo rather than in, the ski fields are a perfect fit. There are beginner areas, as well as natural halfpipes, chutes, bowls and backcountry areas for those more experienced. Some of the best ski and snowboarding conditions in New Zealand can be found in Mt Ruapehu, making the skiing or snowboarding the mountain one of the must do things to do around Taupo, and New Zealand as a whole.
Hiking & Biking
Taupo has plenty of stunning hiking tracks and biking trails, with most of them located alongside the Huka Falls and Waikato River. One of the most popular paths is the Spa Park Track, which takes you on an easy walking track to Huka Falls, going along natural hot water springs, the Otumuheke Stream, and through gullies, forests and open farmland, offering perfect views of the Waikato River and valleys.
As for biking, similar to the walking track, the Spa Thermal Park trail climbs along the Waikato to Huka Falls – and is perfectly suited for intermediate riders, so everyone can enjoy. There are also more advanced tracks for hikers and biking located around the Taupo area.
Skydiving is one of the most exciting things to do in Taupo, and perhaps one of the only things to do above Taupo. If you skydive over Great Lake Taupo, you can expect views of the snow-capped volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park and the Taupo Lake itself, giving you something special to admire as your freefall 9,000 ft, 12,000 ft or 15,000 ft.
Located 47 metres above the Waikato River is New Zealand’s highest water touch bungy jump – as you plunge into the crystal-clear water, you have a perfect view of stunning scenery around the Taupo Lake and Waikato River area. You can choose not to go head first into the water as well, so if you don’t feel like getting wet, this adrenaline-fuelled activity is still a perfectly fun thing to do in Taupo.
The Taupo region has a massive selection of golf courses – nine to be exact. Two of which – the Kinloch Club and Wairakei Golf and Sanctuary – are consistently ranked in New Zealand’s top 10 golf courses. Known for having world-renowned fairways, Taupo’s selection of golf courses are located in the most picturesque of areas the town has to offer.
Golfing could also be one of the most profitable fun things to do in Taupo. You could win up to $10,000 at the Lake Taupo Hole in One Challenge, where the challenge is to hit a hole in one 100 metres over Lake Taupo. So, have fun and win some spending money!
Rivers in the Great Lake Taupo region, and even Lake Taupo itself are considered to be trout fishing meccas. Even nearby town Turangi is known as the Trout Fishing Capital of New Zealand. The area is a great place to base yourself if you’re a fishing and fly-fishing enthusiast, or even if you’ve never fished in your life, Taupo is the perfect place to start!
Taupo is home to some of the most world-class whitewater and river rafting conditions. And no, you cannot raft down Huka Falls. What you can do is raft down some of the most pristine, crystal clear water surrounding by lush native bush. Most of Taupo’s white-water rafting is done on the Tongariro River, in the southern end of Lake Taupo. The river produces three sections of world-class whitewater from Grade 2 to Grade 4 – it’s pretty much one of the absolute essential fun things to do in Taupo.
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