Things To Do In Taupo


I can not write about Taupo without discussing Huka Falls.

This powerful waterfall is one of the most checked out all-natural tourist attractions in the whole of New Zealand, as well as permanently factor: it’s seriously remarkable! What it lacks in elevation, standing at just 11 meters high, it offsets in stamina, as a tremendous 220,000 liters of water barrels over it every single second. If you, like me, the battle to conceptualize that quantity of water, let me inform you that it suffices to load an Olympic-sized pool in just 11 secs.

The absolute ideal means to experience the drops is from the bridge crossing over them, along with the many neighboring viewpoints scattered along the water’s side. And also while you can drive out to the drops, I suggest walking instead.

It takes a hr to finish the trek from Medspa Park to the falls, along the Huka Falls Route, and it’s such a beautiful trail, weaving alongside the indigenous woodland, and also I liked listening to the holler of the water obtaining louder with each action. If you only have time to do something in Taupo, this ought to be it.


If you’re one of the longest of veteran visitors of Never Ending Footsteps, you might recall my laden connection with jet boats. Back in 2013, I chose to leap aboard the Huka Falls Jet without so much of a disposition of what jet boats also were. The outcome? Well, I published a picture essay of the resulting trauma for all to see and laugh at.

Yet I’ve come a long way from that remarkable lady, and nowadays, I definitely adore jet boats. Seriously– they’re a lot fun! And Also the Huka Falls Jet? It’s the nation’s finest.

While on board, you’ll race with a stunning canyon, coming within inches of sheer rock face, and also equally as you reclaim your composure, dive right into a 360-degree spin, before getting right up close to the waterfall itself, seeing its power from metres away.

It’s an action-packed experience, as well as you’ll be speaking about it for days later on.


When you think of traveling to New Zealand, you’re more than likely fantasising concerning epic landscapes and also adrenaline-fuelled tasks. In Taupo, you can integrate both of these renowned characteristics and jump out of an aircraft in the country’s most skydived location. Yes, 30,000 people skydive in Taupo each year– well, in pre-COVID times– and also for good factor.

You’ve got beautiful Lake Taupo, snow-capped volcanoes, and also coast-to-coast sights of the attractive North Island, all thrown in together to make for an especially daring jump. There’s a reason Taupo is called the skydiving resources of the globe.

As well as if you’re a Lord of the Bands fan, understand that neighboring Mt Ngauruhoe is Mount Ruin from the movies! There’s absolutely nothing even more badass than leaping from an airplane over that volcano.

A 12,000 feet jump, with 40 secs of freefall, can be found in at just under 300 NZD.


If skydiving isn’t your point, you can still get up close as well as individual with the volcanoes from the air– by taking a picturesque trip over them.

You have actually obtained a couple of alternatives below, with both helicopter and float planes up for grabs as well as you’ll have the ability to select which area to see before you fly.

Go take a look at Huka Falls from above, soar over the triad of snow-capped volcanoes to look into Mount Ruapehu’s volcanic lake– visualized above– or go out over the rainbow-coloured geothermal landscapes to see them from a new angle. Heck, you can also register for a breathtaking flight over White Island– New Zealand’s infamous energetic volcano that erupted in 2019, eliminating 22 visitors– if you’re feeling particularly bold.

Reserve your floatplane experience with Taupo Floatplane (rates starting from $109) or your helicopter journey with Inflite Experiences (rates from $195).


Speaking of aircrafts, Taupo is the only location on the planet where you can consume a McDonald’s inside a plane without drawing in a substantial dosage of side-eye from individuals around you.

The deactivated DC-3 airplane has gotten on website for three decades currently, having been acquired by McDonald’s way back in 1990. Seating 20 diners, it still has the original cabin in the aircraft, as well as it produces an especially interesting location to consume your Huge Mac.

Let’s face it: none people go on holiday to eat McDonald’s, however if you find yourself with a desire, this is an unique area around to satisfy it.


Taupo is all about the adventure activities, so you shouldn’t be shocked to learn it’s house to New Zealand’s greatest water-touch bungy dive. Not only that, it’s also New Zealand’s only clifftop bungee jump!

Situated above the beautiful Waikato River, you’ll pay world-famous bungy-jumping firm AJ Hackett simply $120 to jump down into those refreshing waters. You can jump alone or with a close friend, and also you can additionally pick if you intend to be dunked in the river or continue to be completely dry. However where’s the fun in the latter?

If bungy jumping isn’t your thing, AJ Hackett additionally operates a giant swing in the same area. Attached to a rope that’s almost 50 metres long, you’ll leap from that clifftop and find yourself getting to speeds of approximately 70km/h as you swing backward and forward over the turquoise river. Badass.


Currently, this is specifically amazing!

Out on Lake Taupo, there’s a spot called Mine Bay, and also in that bay, you’ll find a modern Maori rock carving, 14 metres high, engraved right into the rock. I note that they’re reasonably current, in contrast to old, as a lot of individuals end up dissatisfied when they find they were finished in 1980. Still, I assume they’re pretty damn cool-looking.

Mine Bay is only accessible by water, so your three choices for seeing them are by cruise ($ 35), luxury yacht ($ 49), or by kayak ($ 115). The latter will permit you to obtain much better, so that’s what I suggest. Yet whichever vessel you choose, the makings are seriously impressive and also well-worth going out to.


If you’re wanting to stay energetic while you remain in Taupo, there are so many nature trails and treks to set out on.

Among my favourites, though, is the walk to the top of Mount Tauhara. Currently a vanished volcano, its dome shape provides a killer workout– in a good way– and the sights from the top, looking into the countryside are gorgeous. The course can be a little questionable at time, with tree roots and rocks to stumble over, but it’s nothing as well challenging.

The path is 2.5 kilometres in length– one means– as well as climbs around 500 metres in altitude. It takes 2 or 3 hours to deal with the return trip, depending upon exactly how in shape you are– simply head to Mount Tauhara car park to start your stroll.


Among my favorite evening tasks in Taupo is straying over to a fish and chip shop, getting hold of a takeaway, as well as eating it remaining on a spot of bright grass, keeping an eye out throughout the lake.

Tasty Fish and Chips is my best place, as it’s right beside the water.


If you’re on a tight budget plan and also searching for some cost-free activities to load your time in Taupo, look no further that the Aratiatia Dam release. This functions particularly well with the stroll from Health facility Park to Huka Falls– if you proceed down the very same route, you’ll end up at the Aratiatia Rapids.

Water is released with this dam several times a day. In summer season, it goes to 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and also 4 p.m., while in winter months, it goes to 10, 12, and also 2.

It takes around 2 hrs to get to the dam from Day spa Park– not consisting of time for taking pictures– so I would certainly aim to leave Health club Park around three hours prior to the water release. At 11 a.m. for the 2 p.m. launch, for example.

If four hrs of strolling sounds like your idea of hell, no worries. You can drive to the dam, rather.

When the gates to the dam open, you’ll be able to see amazed as a calm, narrow stream promptly transforms right into turbulent rapids, with water spurting past at 80,000 litres per secondly. Fifteen mins later, the spill entrances are closed as well as the relaxing stream returns. It’s pretty wild to reach witness the power of nature like that.

There’s a number of terrific point of views for enjoying the water launch– most individuals choose to stand on the bridge close to the dam, yet I advise venturing along the short walking path to acquire a far better viewpoint.

If you haven’t yet had enough journey in Taupo, I recommend getting on the Rapids Jet to really feel the stamina of the Aratiatia Rapids up close. When the dam gateways open, you’ll be right in the middle of the action, on the river, powering via the surges as well as totally experiencing the forces of the water.

And finally, if you’re a follower of all things Tolkien, several of the scenes from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug were filmed right here in the rapids– specifically, the scene when getting away dwarves hid out in barrels which were after that thrown downstream.