Set on the shores of New Zealand’s biggest lake, this scenic town is an adventure lovers paradise.
Taupo lies at the very centre of the North Island on the northern shores of New Zealand’s biggest lake. The area is rich in thermal activity, the lake itself being the flooded crater of a huge volcano. To the south of the lake tower the North Island’s tallest mountains, Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe.
Taupo is famous for its geothermal activity. There are public thermal pools in the town and many of the local hotels and motels have private pools. The town is a popular base for trout fishing on Lake Taupo. In the summer months the lake is excellent for swimming; there are also cruises that operate on the lake.
Taupo has a number of other attractions such as a museum, an art gallery and a botanic reserve. A short drive north of the town is the magnificent Huka Falls. Here the Waikato River thunders through a narrow gorge and plunges 11 metres to the river below. There are viewing platforms and walking tracks next to the river and the area is an excellent picnic spot.
The area that surrounds Taupo is a haven for adventure lovers. In the summer months there is climbing and walking on the extensive network of tracks and huts in Tongariro National Park, including the Tongariro Crossing, the best one day hike in New Zealand. In winter, Mt Ruapehu is the home of New Zealand’s biggest ski fields: Whakapapa and Turoa.
The region abounds with examples of geothermal activity such as the bubbling mud pools and steaming vents of Wairakei Thermal Valley. A little further a field is the spectacular Orakei Korako, a geothermal valley of colourful silica terraces and spouting geysers.