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Places to visit in New Zealand - Taupo

Lake Taupo blog about places to visit in New Zealand

 

Lake Taupo is the largest Lake in New Zealand, created by a supervolcanic eruption about 27,000 years ago. According to Wikipedia, this was the world's largest known eruption over the past 70,000 years, ejecting 1170 cubic kilometres of material and causing several hundred square kilometres of surrounding land to collapse and form the caldera.

Today, Lake Taupo is the hub for many fantastic outdoor opportunities but also the perfect spot to take a break from your travels and enjoy the scenery and slower pace of life in New Zealand.

For the outdoor enthusiasts there are many options to consider, here are just a few highlights:

  • Mountain bike tracks through forest and native bush for all levels.
  • Easy & scenic 10km bike track following the Lake from Town, great for all ages.
  • Walking tracks from easy to advanced, including scenic bush and river walks
  • Skydiving, sunrise and sunset and all-times in between
  • Jet Boating, a real adrenaline rush
  • Sailing, hire your own boat or enjoy a cruise on a charter yacht
  • Cruise Cat & boat tours around the Lake.

We recommend visiting a few key places when staying in Taupo. The first being Huka Falls, an awesome thundering 11-metre high waterfall and the most photographed natural attraction in New Zealand.  You can drive directly to the falls and park nearby, or take a scenic walk from Spa Park along the Waikato River. You can also experience the Falls up close on either a jet boat or take a leisurely cruise onboard a river cruise.

The natural thermal springs at Spa Park is another great spot to visit.  The Otumuheke Stream hot stream flows into the Waikato River and creates natural hot pools where you can sit and soak in thermal water for free, any time of year. The site was upgraded this year and now includes toilets, changing rooms and a small cafe.

The Maori Rock carvings are also a must-see when visiting Taupo. These are one of New Zealand’s most extraordinary artworks carved into the side of a cliff on the edge of the Lake.  The carvings can be viewed by taking a scenic cruise, sailing trip or kayaking tour.

If you enjoy hot pools we also recommend visiting either De Bretts or Wairakei Terraces, especially lovely at night, or the family-friendly AC Baths, which has a more family focus.  Most places are open until 9pm at night.

As well as outdoor activities and adventure, Taupo has a fantastic selection of cafes, bars and restaurants and a unique selection of boutique shops.  We recommend taking the time to stop for a drink at one of the eateries overlooking the Lake and soak up the stunning view!

 

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