10 Things to Do in Taupo That You Shouldn't Miss

April 6, 2018 Vivienne Hutton

This adrenaline-pumping city offers an abundance of skydiving, jetboating and bungee jumping. Discover the marvels of Orakei Korako thermal park, featuring caves, hot springs and boiling mud pools. Gaze across Lake Taupo to see the spectacular volcanic mountains of Tongariro National Park, and make sure to visit Huka Falls, one of the great watery wonders of New Zealand.
Restaurants in Taupo

1. Great Lake Taupo

Lake Terrace, Taupo, New Zealand +64 800 525 382
Excellent
70%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 335 reviews

Great Lake Taupo

Reviewed By Tenorman41 - Palmerston North, New Zealand

Lying in the centre of the North Island, Lake Taupo is a wonderful hub for travelers coming from all directions. The roads circumnavigating the lake offer great views . The main town has a variety of attractions, and a great collection of cafes and bars and shops to keep locals and tourists happy.

2. Huka Falls tracks

Huka Falls Road, Taupo, New Zealand +64 7-376 0072
Excellent
61%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5 reviews

Huka Falls tracks

Always check the website for changes that might affect your trip.

Reviewed By rbthodge - Whitby, Canada

5 minute drive from central Taupo. Short walk along paved path to several view points of the rapids and falls.

3. Aratiatia Rapids

Huka Falls Road, Taupo, New Zealand +64 7-376 0072
Excellent
60%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 934 reviews

Aratiatia Rapids

Reviewed By Allgoodthyngs - Shrewsbury, United Kingdom

Definitely worth visiting. We were lucky that the dam was on free flow due to work being done rather then on timed release. The water pounds through the rapids. WE stood for some time simply mesmerised but the beauty of the water here like giant peppermint milkshake.
We walked the path and tried several different viewing platforms and enjoyed the birds, fauna and flora and wildlife along the way.

4. Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve

Taupo 3378, New Zealand
Excellent
60%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 271 reviews

Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve

Reviewed By janefromspain2015 - Brisbane, Australia

Hubby and I stopped off here to have a quick dip before heading to Napier. It was a Friday and apparently they empty the pools for cleaning on Thursday and so when filling again, they can be a bit hot ... yes, they were! The lower pool was uncomfortable, the middle pool nice and the top pool a no-go area for us.
Was very relaxing and the water is so soft. I would recommend going on a Sunday to get the best experience though once the lower pool cools a bit.

5. L'Arte

255 Mapara Road | Acacia Bay, Taupo 3385, New Zealand +64 7-378 2962
Excellent
56%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 191 reviews

L'Arte

Reviewed By Sue J - Auckland, New Zealand

Was taken to this Cafe at Acacia Bay Taupo by family who have frequently visited. A beautiful setting a amongst trees and well kept grounds. The food was outstanding and very generous servings. The owner was a very friendly,bright and bubbly person . The gallery on the the same grounds has some amazing pottery, ceramics, mosaics etc. the grounds also show off some of the clever mosaic pieces of which some are very large. While we were there a musician was playing in the gazebo/stage outside under the trees . Very pleasant. Certainly worth the trip .

6. Taupo Museum

4 Story Place, Taupo 3330, New Zealand +64 7-376 0414
Excellent
42%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 187 reviews

Taupo Museum

Reviewed By ruthandvern - Wilton, California

There are several elements in the museum. The "Nivea" is a 12 minute video we got in and stayed almost 10 minutes to see massive flooding pictures. (no pictures). The next room is the art gallery. The room was being re-set and the pieces coming out were thrilling, no pictures. The main body of the museum shows a sacred building with woven mats on the inner walls representing gaining wisdom, etc. The labels are on the bottom and both walls are the same. The interior allows no pictures. In the open area you find how the lumbering industry began and grew. It shows representations of tourism as it grew in the territory. The pictures are super for their era. there's a Darling trailer with time correct interiors to about 1950. Very fun exhibit. There are geological data displays, including a picture of the nearby volcanic 1995 eruption. Outside is the Ora Garden of Wellness that has traveled and won awards. Very nice.

7. Lava Glass

165 State Highway 5, Taupo 3384, New Zealand +64 7-374 8400
Excellent
51%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 652 reviews

Lava Glass

Lava Glass was founded in 2002 by award-winning master glass artist Lynden Over and his wife Christine Robb. It's an art glass gallery, glass blowing studio, sculpture garden and cafe complex, that offers a unique and fascinating window into the world of glass blowing in Taupo, New Zealand. Come and watch the spectacular art of glass blowing, browse the adjoining gallery of collectable art glass pieces and take a stroll through our beautiful garden. Our garden displays more than 500 glass sculptures and can be hired out for weddings and events. Entry glass blowing studio: $5 per person/ $20 per family* Entry sculpture garden: $7.50 per person/ $30 per family* Combo studio and garden: $10 per person/ $40 per family* *up to 7 people Following your visit, part of your entry fee will be deducted from any glass purchase from the gallery. Lava Glass art glass is available in our online shop, too. All artwork can be shipped anywhere in the world, GST free.

Reviewed By gogogo474 - Riverina

If you can afford these amazing creations, lucky you, and if like me you can’t, you will still not be disappointed. You get to watch the creators in action and appreciate the beautiful art for a very reasonable price, and for those who enjoy food, the cafe food was worth the visit on it’s own. Also reasonably priced for artistic and absolutely delicious food.

8. Waipahihi Botanical Gardens

Shepherd Road, Taupo, New Zealand +64 7-378 2937
Excellent
52%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 132 reviews

Waipahihi Botanical Gardens

Reviewed By Annaliese62 - Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

So pleased that I found this attraction listed on TripAdvisor as it doesn't seem to be advertised in any of the tourist brochures - but then its probably better to preserve the peace of such a restful escape from the tourist hype of Taupo.
The Gardens were much bigger than we expected and have many trees, including an Arboretum, so its not so much a flower garden but more a woodland garden and a great mix of native and exotic trees.
it is possible to just drive through the many roadways and enjoy the vistas from the car. However its much better to get out and walk around the Gardens which are beautiful beyond words !
Everything is pristine and so much love has gone into the Gardens which are so well cared for (we left a donation for the volunteers who give their time)
I was pleased to note its also accessible for those with limited mobility and using a walker (which I do) the lawns and pathways are easy to traverse.
We picked a great time of year to visit as the Gardens were a riot of colour with the many shades of tree Rhododendron which were alive with thousands of bumble bees busily collecting nectar. There is also a huge collection of Camellias which were on their very last in November. I would recommend it would be best to visit the Gardens in early or mid spring to experience them at their best.
The bird life is also truly impressive with flocks of Tuis flitting between the trees, and its such a lovely spot to enjoy a picnic, meditation or just sit still and take in all the natural beauty and serenity - can't wait to visit again.

9. Maori Rock Carvings

Lake Taupo, Taupo, New Zealand
Excellent
46%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 360 reviews

Maori Rock Carvings

Reviewed By Kimberley H - Perth, Australia

We visited the Maori Rock carvings as part of a Kayaking activity. Whilst the carvings are a relatively recent, and non-traditional artifact, they are incredibly detailed, well constructed and emblematic representation of Maori legends. I would recommend a visit when in Taupo.

10. Taupo i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

30 Tongariro Street, Taupo 3330, New Zealand +64 7-376 0027
Excellent
61%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 150 reviews

Taupo i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Reviewed By paullegate - Luton, United Kingdom

I-SITE Information Centres in New Zealand are invaluable and the centre in Taupo is no exception. There is plenty of information available on the Taupo area as well other parts of the North Island as well as a small selection covering the South Island. The staff members are very helpful and know the area inside out. The Taupo I-SITE is centrally located in CBD.

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