Must See Sights in Taupo

Huka Falls

The Huka Falls are New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction and have the largest volume of water of any New Zealand waterfall. Up to 220,000 litres of water powers through a 15m wide canyon every second. At the top of the falls is a set of small waterfalls, dropping over about eight metres. The final stage of the falls is an 11 metre drop. Cruise up for awesome views with the HukaFalls River Cruise or see the Huka Falls from above and below with Helipro Helicopters and the Hukafalls Jet. Alternatively ask at Lake Taupo Holiday Resort reception about the two-hour return walk from the holiday park to the falls and remember to take your swimmers for a dip in the thermal river on the way. 

Maori Carvings

The Maori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay are over 10m high and are only accessible by Lake Taupo or by air. The carvings were completed in the late 1970s, by master carver Matahi Wakataka-Brightwell. The peaceful spiritual and cultural beauty of these magnificent carvings towering over deep waters are awe inspiring. Trips can be organised through our Taupo holiday park reception, to visit the Maori Carvings by helicopter, kayak, the Barbary Sail boat or the Cruise Cat. On Sundays the Cruise Cat does a special brunch cruise out to the Maori Rock Carvings, or kayak Lake Taupo with Wilderness Escapes. 

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Book you bus at Lake Taupo Holiday Resort reception, for the best one day hike in New Zealand. The walk rises to 1600m above sea level over ancient and modern lava flows and scoria beds. This is a landscape of dramatic volcanic formations, tussock lands, alpine plants and lakes of emerald green. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is very dependent on the weather and is an alpine crossing. You will need to carry appropriate gear with you and have supplies in case of snow or inclement weather. Please remember this is an eight hour trek and allow for an extra night in Taupo. 

Aratiatia Dam and Rapids

About 10kms north of Taupo the Aratiatia Rapids are a must see Taupo attraction for any visitor to the region. At several specific times each day, spill gates from a dam are opened at the top of the Aratiatia rapids and the narrow gorge fills with turbulent water surging past. There are several excellent vantage points on the high rockbluffs that dominate this stretch of the river. Power up to the rapids with the exhilarating Rapids Jet or spend a day walking from Reception to the Huka Falls and Aratiatia Rapids. Mountain biking trails are also available for another fun Taupo activity. 

Orakei Korako

Take a couple of hours out of your Taupo holiday and wander through one of the best thermal areas in New Zealand. The Hidden Valley features the largest silica terraces of their kind and over 23 natural geysers. Explore Ratapu’s Cave – an extremely rare geothermal cave – the Diamond Geyser, and the Soda Fountain. Thermal tours are available through NZ RiverJet, which can include a pick up from our Lake Taupo holiday park. Kayak to Orakei Korako with Wilderness Escapes and cook your own lunch in a thermal spring. Alternatively fly out withTaupo’s Floatplane, with a tour that includes a 'fly over' of Craters of the Moon scenic reserve. 

Craters of the Moon

‘Karapiti’ is an active geothermal field with exposed steam vents that are constantly shifting, collapsing and reforming. Thermal mud pools bubble away and unusual species of plants thrive in this particularly noxious environment. Craters of the Moon is a place you must visit with its desolate moonscape and clouds of swirling steam. It is a forbidding volcanic example of the inner earth’s fiery inferno bursting forth. 

Waipahihi Botanical Reserve

The Waipahihi Botanical Reserve is situated high on a hill, with spectacular views over Lake Taupo and the Mountains of theTongariro National Park. The reserve was established in 1966, as a park of native trees and plants. The Botanical Reserve has 35 hectares of attractive gardens, a wonderful alpine garden, lemonwood walk and 2000 rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. The wonderful plantings of native trees have become a refuge for several species of native birds.

Jet Boat 

Jet boat to one of New Zealand's most visited attractions or best geothermal reserves. Experience the thrill of real whitewater jet boating on New Zealand's largest commercially jet boat-able rapids. 360 degree spins, exhilarating power and adrenaline to burn, combined with amazing scenery, makes jet boating in Taupo Something you will never forget. Please allow one hour for this activity.


Jump out of a plane at up to 15,000 feet and experience the incomparable exhilaration of free falling. Reach speeds in excess of 200km, with over one minute freefall. Then glide back down to earth with a spectacular parachute ride over the stunning background of the Lake Taupo region and the volcanoes of the Tongariro World Heritage Park. On a clear day it is possible to see both coasts of New Zealand's North Island, with a 15,000 feet tandem skydive. Please allow three hours for this activity. 

Trout Fishing 

Since the introduction of the rainbow and brown trout in the1890's the Taupo region has become world renowned for its large number of hard fighting fish. We also have some of the best back country wilderness fly fishing in the world for both rainbow and brown trout.Taupo is a wild fishery with no stocking, so you can fish 365 days a year. Take a charter boat out on the lake, or spend a day fly fishing at various local rivers, with an experienced local guide. There is no other way to taste Taupo trout, as you cannot buy it in the shops and restaurants. This Taupo activity requires at least two hours and up to one day. 


The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is described as the best one day walk in New Zealand. Book your bus pick up at reception. Experience this amazing walk through exceptional volcanic mountain scenery, and then unwind when you get back, in our free thermally heated swimming pool. Guided walks are also available through Pureora Forest Park -described as one of the finest rainforests in the world, or walk to the Huka Falls from Lake Taupo Holiday Resort. This Taupo activity requires at least two hours and up to one day. 

Scenic Flights 

See the best of our region from the air! Taupo has a range of scenic helicopter flights available from 10 minutes to over 2 hours. Most include landings in either alpine or geothermal locations.We have many activities available as well, which include heli-lunches,wine tasting, heli-fishing and hunting or heli-golf excursions. Trips Are also available, including, heli-quad, heli-biking and the Taupo Motorsport Park. Alternatively, take the floatplane out on a thermal volcanic safari. We can also book trips to White Island, New Zealand's Only active marine volcano. Please allow two hours for this activity.

Maori Culture 

“Simply the finest authentic Maori experience available,anywhere.” An unforgettable food and wilderness experience unparalleled elsewhere. Explore the tranquil sub-alpine homeland of the Tuwharetoa Iwi with a native guide, including exclusive access to a magnificent native wilderness, with unspoilt views and breathtaking natural beauty.Learn about the land, history and significance of Maori kai (food),including a delicious hangi feast using authentic Maori gathering techniques and cooking methods. Email at least one week in advance to reserve this trip. This activity requires one day.

White Water Rafting 

Experience the thrills of white water rafting while travelling through isolated New Zealand wilderness. Trips are available for all skill levels, from the novice to the expert, and we have family floats available as well. Raft New Zealand’s premier half day Grade 5 whitewater – a trip for the serious thrill seeker – with steep drops,rocks and waves. The most popular trip is the Rangitaiki, Grade 3-4,with two hours of fast flowing action through the heavily wooded Kaingaroa Forest. Or cruise through the full filled rapids and boulder gardens of the Tongariro – Grade 3. Please allow a full day for this activity.

Mountain Biking 

Ride New Zealand’s most remote downhill mountain bike trail and downhill 2500ft, through the stunning alpine landscape of the Kaimanawa Ranges, through 10km of purpose built track. The 42nd Traverse is one of the most popular mountain bike rides in the North Island. You will experience brilliant biking on old logging tracks, through remote native bush. Or try the 17km downhill that is the Fishers Track, which includes awesome panoramic views, native bush and farmland. This activity requires at least one hour and up to one day.

Quad Bike Combo 

Keep the challenges coming with Taupo’s Motorsport Park,Taupo Quad Adventures and Helistar Helicopters. Drive a formula challenge single-seater or take out your choice of V8 supercar for a lapon the Taupo Track. There’s no arguing between Holden and Ford here,we’ve got a choice of both! Taupo Quad Adventures features a range of exciting (and muddy) tracks designed for all experience levels, through stunning New Zealand native bush. Full transport, including transfers to and from our Taupo holiday park, are provided by Helipro Helicopters,giving you a chance to enjoy some of the scenic wonders Taupo has to offer. This activity requires at least two hours and up to one day.


With Australasia’s biggest freshwater lake and New Zealand's Biggest river, combined with untouched native bush and fantastic views,kayaking is a must do activity while staying in Taupo. Take a guided kayak trip out to the Maori Rock Carvings, out to Lake Taupo’s Northern and Western Bays and down the mighty Waikato River. We also have thermal adventures available where you can kayak to Orakei Korako, explore the Hidden Valley thermal area, including geysers, boiling mud and silica terrace. Cook your own lunch using geothermal water! This activity requires at least two hours and up to one day.

Are you an adrenaline junky, in need of a quick fix? Taupo features New Zealand’s highest water touch bungy jump, located 47m over the crystal clear waters of the Waikato River. Feel the fear and do it anyway with Taupo’s exhilarating high ropes course. Giant Swing not enough? Try the Trapeze and the High Log in Rock N Rope’s awesome adrenaline combo.

Scenic Cruises 

Take the Sunday Brunch Cruise with the Cruise Cat or visit the Maori Rock Carvings with the Barbary, a sail boat once owned by Errol Flynn! Cruises are also available along New Zealand's longest river, to New Zealand's biggest waterfall, with a Huka Falls River Cruise. 

Shopping, Spa Therapies, Skiing, Snowboarding and Hunting 

Taupo really does have it all, with a select range of boutique shops and an outstanding range of cafés, bars and restaurants.Also featuring on our must do list is time will spent at one of our day spas. Calm your spirit and relax with a hot stone massage, which will awaken your senses and provide your ultimate holiday treat.

During the summer months come ‘fly’ with us over Lake Taupo with 400 and 800ft parasailing. Through the winter stay with us while experiencing the thrills and spills of skiing and snowboarding with two of NZ’s best ski fields.

Taupo can also bring you some of the best hunting trips.Preferring fair chase hunts, our local guides can take you after deer during The Roar, or Wild Boar and Trophy Goat.

Great Lake Taupo

For more information about the Great Lake Taupo region, please visit the Official Great Lake Taupo Visitor Information website.

Take advantage of all we have to offer at Lake Taupo Holiday Resort.
Book with us for a one stop resort style holiday with diverse accommodation, fantastic secure facilities and quality you can rely on.

Bookings are essential and can be made here.