Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt

Taupo tours & excursions guide

  • 5 minutes

North Island, New Zealand

Taupo tours & excursions, where to go and what to do guide. The premier attraction in Taupo is the massive lake;  watersports is a summertime favourite. The stunning location is scenic New Zealand at its best. Combined with New Zealand’s unique volcanic marvels, bike trails and the temptation of a soak in hot pools you will readily join ‘I LOVE TAUPO’ fan club.

Craters of the moon in Taupo, New Zealand
Craters of the moon in Taupo, New Zealand

Is there anything else to do in Taupo, other than watersports or fishing?

Taupo is located on a volcanic plateau with geothermal wonders entrancing tourists who visit Orakei Korako, Craters of the Moon, geothermal hot pool springs all adding to the pleasure of visiting one of New Zealand largest and most beautiful lakes, Lake Taupo.

How many days do you need to visit Taupo?

The minimum number of day required to visit Taupo attractions is two days. This allows the visitor to tour Maori Rock Carvings, Huka falls, stroll along the Taupo lakeside boardwalk and join one of the many lake excursions.

Huka Falls, Taupo, New Zealand
Huka Falls, Taupo, New Zealand

Taupo – romance is Lake Taupo

Maori Rock carvings, Taupo, New Zealand
Maori Rock carvings, Taupo, New Zealand

Relish double kayaking to Maori Rock Art or cruise the lake at sunset. Romance does not need to cost the earth. Taupo has plenty to offer couples from adventures on water double kayaking to finding out about New Zealand’s owl the Morepork. There are cafes where you can choose together for a special moment. Laugh together as you stroll past fun street art and snap a quirky selfie pose together… read more Taupo romance, things for couples to do – Best Bits.

Is Taupo a good place for a bike holiday?

Taupo is a premier destination for cyclists with the highlight ‘Love the Ride, Cycle around the lake’ event held every November. The shared Waikato River trail, mountain bikes, e-bikes and walkers explore New Zealand’s longest river – the mighty Waikato River. The Waikato trail finishes at Atiamuri Village (Whakamaru section of the trail).

"Share with Care" cycling around shore of Lake Taupo, NZ

Bike hire shuttle services regularly visit Atiamuri Village for pickup or drop off.

Waikato river trail, Arapuni swing bridge, Waikato, New Zealand
Waikato river trail, Arapuni swing bridge, Waikato, New Zealand

Where can I ride in Taupo?

  • Biking trails. Waikato River Trails
  • Biking trails. Craters Mountain Bike Park, curated mountain bike park, Craters Mountain Bike Park has around 50km of bike trails to suit all abilities. There are plenty of options to choose from, allowing you to escape for just an hour or two or have a full day on the trail
  • Biking trails. Waihaha Section – Great Lake Trails
  • Bike parks. Taupo Bike Park.
  • Biking trails. K2K Trail – Great Lake Trails (experienced riders)
  • Geothermal Spa Thermal Park is where  Otumuheke Stream hot pools are located. Shared pathway Huka falls Taupo to falls track and and the Rotary Ride mountain bike trail

.., read more Ride, cycle and explore mountain bike trails in Taupo.

Which is the better place to visit, Taupo or Rotorua?

Taupo and Rotorua distance is 82 km, less than an hour’s drive, you can easily base yourself in either Rotorua and Taupo and visit both places. There are several world class attractions between the two towns such as Orakei Korako, Waitapu Geothermal Wonderland and on the outskirts of Rotorua Te Puia Geothermal Park and Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. Check out Taupo to Rotorua day trip route for details.

Te Puia plumbs of super heated water from geysers, Rotorua, NZ
Te Puia plumbs of super heated water from geysers, Rotorua, NZ
Maori storehouse, Rotowhio Marae, Te Puia, New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, Rotorua, NZ
Maori storehouse, Rotowhio Marae, Te Puia, New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, Rotorua, NZ

Which town is the more popular place to stay for overseas visitors, Taupo or Rotorua?

Rotorua is a popular destination for tourists especially on coach tours as Rotorua showcases Maori culture as well as stupeneduous displays of geological wonders such as geysers, boiling mud pools and brightly coloured silica terraces. Scenic Lake Taupo has its own set of geological marvels. Both places are worthy contenders for #nzmustvisit tags. Visit both places Taupo and Rotorua and you will not be disappointed.

Should I stay in Taupo or Rotorua?

The best way to choose a hub to explore the central North Island volcanic plateau is your interests? If you want to see Maori cultural events then Rotorua is a good base. If you interested in watersports, lake cruises and unwinding Taupo is a great place to stay. Either Taupo or Rotorua have plenty of nearby activities and attractions.

What can you do nearby Taupo?

  • Tongariro river trail & attractions white water rafting experiences with Tongariro River Rafting
  • Rotorua to Taupo: Geothermal Scenic Highway. The day trip from either Taupo or Rotorua is highly recommended. The area is home to large geothermal caves, native bush with bird song and a picturesque lake with steaming hot vents.
Hot Springs Algae, and Emerald Terrace, Orakei Korako, Rotorua, New Zealand
Hot Springs Algae, and Emerald Terrace, Orakei Korako, Rotorua, New Zealand

The lake is dotted with steaming quiet streams where a natural foot massage is just the perfect way to relax… READ MORE Orakei Korako.

Seaplane (float plane), Lake Taupo, NZ
Seaplane (float plane), Lake Taupo, NZ

Can you easily visit Lake Taupo from Rotorua?

It is very easy to visit either tourist town, Taupo or Rotorua as they are only 80 km apart with a modern state highway (six) connecting the two places. A number of tour operators have day trips between Taupo and Rotorua making it easier for visitors to enjoy both places.

What is the best way to get around Lake Taupo?

For individual travellers the easiest  way to explore Taupo and nearby is a vehicle. For visitors short on time either join a multiple ( 2–3) day tours of the central North Island pick up and return point is generally Auckland, the largest city in the North Island, NZ. In Taupo there are several shuttle bus services as well as taxis.


Flying into Taupo and don’t want the hassle of a hire vehicle. Tour operators will collect you from your central Taupo accommodation, make sure to specify before booking your accommodation address.



Best Bits travel guide is published by Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.


Our editors independently visit tour operators, purchase tickets, pay for accommodation, and rate products and places. We are not paid to go on a tour or visit a place. We only make money if you decide to purchase a product through our website links. We promise to never accept free products from manufacturers in return for boosting their products. Read more about our affiliate programme in the terms and conditions HERE.

Related articles


If you have a query about content, travel deals or anything else, our team is happy to answer all your questions 🙂

    Your information is secure, no third party involved.
    100% Safe, secure, privacy guaranteed. Privacy Policy.