Things to Do in Taupo

by Katja Kaven

Is Taupo among the places you’re going to stay at in New Zealand and you wonder what there is to do? Don’t worry, I got you covered and compiled a list of things to do in Taupo.

Taupo is a nice little town, located on New Zealand’s North Island. It is on the shore of Lake Taupo – the largest lake in New Zealand and Australia. This lake is actually as big as Singapore which is crazy to think about because Singapore has more inhabitants than the whole of New Zealand. The first activity on my list actually kind of includes Lake Taupo.

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Do a Tandem Skydive with Skydive Taupo – my favorite of the things to do in Taupo

There is just something about jumping out of a plane at 15,000 (or 12,000) feet – the feeling is indescribable. While there are a lot of cool places in New Zealand where you can throw yourself out of a plane, you should definitely consider doing it in Taupo. On a clear day, you can see the whole lake Taupo surrounded by mountains.

My number 1 of the things to do in Taupo.
I had the most amazing time!

I’m not gonna lie, the moments before your jump are scary. Very scary. But everything happens so quickly that before you even know it, you’re already in the air. After about a minute of freefall, you’ll get to enjoy the breathtaking view for another few minutes. The only bad thing about my experience skydiving was that it was over way too quickly!

In fact, I’ve enjoyed it so much that it made the list of my favorite activities in New Zealand. Watch my awesome skydive experience below. Naturally, it’s also one of my top Taupo activities.

Challenge Yourself Doing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

While this is technically not directly located in Taupo, most of the shuttles to the start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing leave from Taupo. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a 19.4 km tramping track close to Taupo. Furthermore, it is one of the most beautiful day hikes in New Zealand. Make sure to spend enough time in Taupo if you want to do the crossing, as it is highly weather-dependent and gets canceled a lot of the times.

If it is on, you’re in for a treat though! You’ll be picked up by a shuttle nice and early at 5:10am in the morning. Then, after a 1 ½ hour drive, you’ll reach the Tongariro National Park where your adventure begins. The nature is beautiful, and the hike is a lot of fun. You’ll pass craters, lakes, and forests on your way.

Of course, a hike makes my list of things to do in Taupo.
At the summit

Relax in the Hot Springs at Spa Park – relaxed things to do in Taupo

About a 40-minute walk away from Taupo’s city center, you’ll find this cool (and free) activity. There are many hot springs in New Zealand because of all of its geothermal activity. The nice thing about the ones at Spa Park in Taupo is that you can find your sweet spot with the perfect temperature somewhere between the hot waterfalls and the freezing Waikato River. Furthermore (bonus point), there are changing rooms and even some lockers (we just didn’t seem to be able to figure out how to use them).

One of the free things to do in Taupo.
Come here to have a good time

Admire the Huka Falls

If you keep on walking from the hot springs for another half hour, you’ll reach the impressive Huka Falls. Nearly a quarter of a million liters of water pass through every minute because the usually 100 meters wide Waikato River is forced to narrow down to 15 meters. In addition, the color of the water at Huka Falls is just mesmerizing. Some activities you can do there include a jet boat trip or river cruise. Therefore, the Huka Falls are definitely one of Taupo’s attractions.

This Taupo attraction can't miss from a list of things to do in Taupo.
The water is incredibly powerful

Take on the Hole in One Challenge

If you walk along Lake Taupo, you’ll spot a floating pontoon 100 meters away from the shore. It is worth checking out for sure as you can win 10,000 dollar – that is if you manage to get the red flag hole in one. If you hit the pontoon you receive a free ball, giving you another shot at winning. There are also two other, bigger holes on the platoon where you can win other fun stuff when hitting them. I had never played golf before and did terribly but this is still one of my top things to do in Taupo!

Challenge yourself with this one of the things to do in Taupo.
Getting the hole in one is quite the challenge

Eat at One of the World’s Coolest McDonald’s

I know, I know – I’ve never thought I’d recommend going to a McDonald’s. This one is pretty cool though (it’s among the ten coolest McDonald’s in the world)! Next to the normal McDonald’s store, there is a plane in which you can actually have your food and even view the cockpit! Therefore, it made my list of things to do in Taupo.

You can actually eat up there!

Other Things to Do in Taupo

These are some more things to do in Taupo. I haven’t done these myself but friends have told me that they were a lot of fun as well. Rent a mountain bike and explore the area. Furthermore, you can go on a cruise on the lake or go for a bungee or swing at Waikato River if you want some more action.

That’s it for my list of things to do in Taupo. As always, let me know if I missed anything. Have you done any of the activities above? How did you like them?

Tip: If you’d like to follow along with my life after traveling, follow me on Instagram here.

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For more tips for your trip to New Zealand, make sure to take a look at these blog posts! The Best Activities with Kiwi ExperienceThe Best Accommodations in New ZealandThings to do in TaupoKiwi Experience – where to stay longer (how to spend 2 months in New Zealand)Free things to do in WellingtonThe best walks in New ZealandVegan on Kiwi Experience.

Find more inspiration on what to do in different places. Check out things to do in Ubud, Hanoi, Hobart, Byron Bay, Sydney, Wellington and Alicante.

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