Lake Taupo Tours

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Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand, at over 230 square miles (596 square kilometers). Formed by a prehistoric supervolcanic eruption, the lake now sits in the volcano’s dormant caldera. Walk the pristine shores of this natural taonga (treasure), kayak or waterski, or enjoy the trout fishing for which the lake is famous.

The Basics
This massive lake is calm and picturesque—the perfect landscape for relaxing with friends and family. You can kick back at Acacia Bay, or avoid the crowds and head across the lake to quieter Dog Beach and Fish Beach. There’s plenty for adventurous travelers to do as well. The 6-mile (10-kilometer) Great Lake Walkway is a popular walking and cycling route, from Taupo Harbour to the end of Five Mile Bay. Swimming and kayaking are big here too, plus tour operators all around the lake offer jet boating, windsurfing, skydiving, bungee jumping, and other adventure sports. No matter your activity, you won’t help but notice the geothermal activity—there are giant steam plumes all over the place.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Lake Taupo is a must for outdoor enthusiasts and waterbabies.
  • Accommodation is available all around the lake: backpackers might want to look into holiday parks at the lake’s south end, while families and others should head to Taupo, a town at the lake’s northern tip.
  • Other attractions in the area include nearby Huka Falls and the Orakei Korako Cave and Thermal Park, which gets you up close and personal to Taupo’s geothermal activity.
  • If you fancy fishing, you can enter the Lake Taupo International Trout Fishing Tournament, which happens each year on April 25.
 
How to Get There
Lake Taupo is located in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Rotorua, about an hour’s drive away. From Auckland or Wellington, you can catch a daily flight to the town of Taupo, or drive along State Highway 1.
 
When to Get There
Lake Taupo and its surroundings are beautiful at any time of year. If you’re interested in getting on or in the water, summer is the best time to visit—though it’s also the lake’s busiest time, as it’s a popular New Year destination. Try visiting in November or February, when the beaches are less crowded.
 
Cruise Around Lake Taupo
If you’re looking to relax in style, take a cruise around the lake. These boat trips often include a visit to Mine Bay, where Maori Master Carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell carved a series of towering sculptures into the rock, each one telling a story about the local iwi (tribe) and their ancestors.
Location
Address: Taupo, New Zealand
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10 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Maori Rock Carving Cruise from Taupo

Cruise around the scenic bays of Lake Taupo and admire the Maori Rock Carvings during this 1.5-hour boat tour. Aboard the boat, listen to informative commentary about the ecology, volcanology and cultural history of the area. Admire the impressive views of the snowy mountain tops of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park and Lake Taupo's picturesque shores. See the Maori Rock Carvings depicting the legends of the local Tuwharetoa tribe. Choose from morning departure (includes tea) or afternoon departure (includes a fishing demonstration).
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From
USD32.37
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  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From
USD32.37

Half-Day Kayak to the Maori Rock Carvings in Lake Taupo

Paddle a kayak to the magnificent Maori rock carvings on Lake Taupo with a half-day tour from Acacia Bay. You’ll learn the cultural significance behind the towering inscriptions, which were completed in 1980, and enjoy great views across the crystal-clear lake to the Tongariro Mountains. Approaching the Maori rock carvings by kayak means you can see them up close, passing native bush and tiny inlets, then floating right at the base of the cliff. Both morning and afternoon departures are available and beginning paddlers are welcome.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
USD77.41
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
USD77.41

Taupo Adventure Combo: Jet Boat Ride and Whitewater Rafting

Enjoy a thrilling combo of 2 of Taupo's best water activities. You’ll have the time of your life with each adrenaline-charged experience: Spin out to Huka Falls on a Waikato River jet-boat ride and go whitewater rafting on the Tongariro River. With professional guides and all equipment provided, you’ll see all angles of Taupo’s great outdoors.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
USD154.13
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  • Duration: 2 hours
From
USD154.13

Lake Taupo 12,000-Foot Tandem Skydiving

Experience the thrill of freefalling from 12,000 feet (3,660 meters) above Lake Taupo on this New Zealand tandem skydiving adventure. Prepare for your flight with pickup in a stretch Hummer, then gear up and gather your courage on the flight up to altitude. After jumping from the plane with a tandem master, enjoy 40 exhilarating seconds of freefall followed by unbeatable views of both coasts and the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park as you glide back to earth by parachute.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
USD196.35
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
USD196.35

Lake Taupo 15,000-Foot Tandem Skydiving

Fall to Earth from 15,000 feet (4,570 meters) on this tandem skydiving adventure at Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s original drop zone. Get picked up in a stretch Hummer, and prepare for your flight with an orientation and professional gear. After cruising to altitude, summon your courage and jump from the plane with a tandem master over the shores of Lake Taupo. During 60 unforgettable seconds of freefall, catch views of both coasts and the snowy peaks of Tongariro National Park before gliding back to solid ground via parachute.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
USD252.65
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
USD252.65

Great Lake Trail Lake Taupo 2-Day Mountain Biking Tour

Western Bay Scenic 2 Day Mountain Biking TourRide the Great Lake Trail on this 2-day Grade 3 mountain biking tour, a perfect way to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Great Lake Taupo region. You will be biking the 19.5 km Kawakawa section (Orakau & K2K) on Day 1 and the 21km W2K section on Day 2. The Great Lake Trail is one of the most popular trails of the New Zealand Cycle Trail network. You will be riding along undulating pumice trails through native forest and wetlands, where the landscape unfolds to reveal stunning views across the water to the majestic volcanic mountains of the Tongariro National Park. Dramatic scenery combines with serene lake views, powerful waterfalls, native bird song and incredible trail quality to deliver an unforgettable experience.
  • Duration: 2 days
From
USD161.87
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  • Duration: 2 days
From
USD161.87

Tongariro Volcanic Direct Helicopter Flight

Get the best possible views of Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on a helicopter tour from Taupo. You'll look down on volcanoes, Lake Taupo, and the Kaimanawa Range, plus land on the snow for another perspective of the landscape.
  • Duration: 1 hour
From
USD489.12
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  • Duration: 1 hour
From
USD489.12

Half-Day Kayak to the Maori Carvings from Taupo

Take in the scenery of Lake Taupo during this half-day kayaking tour from Taupo. After a brief paddling lesson, set out in your kayak from Jerusalem Bay. Follow your guide along the shoreline of New Zealand’s largest lake to rock cliffs where you can see Maori carvings. Stop at a scenic spot for snacks and an optional swim on a tour that is suitable for all levels of experience.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
USD69.67
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
USD69.67

Great Lake Taupo Mountain Bike and Kayak Package

Explore the northeastern end of Lake Taupo by both land and water with a combo bike and kayak tour from Taupo. You'll start by biking from Acacia Bay to Kinloch along the W2K section of the Great Lake Trail on a 2- to 2.5-hour ride. Then enjoy lunch before hopping in a kayak to paddle from Whakaipo Bay to the Maori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay.
  • Duration: 8 hours
From
USD267.43
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
USD267.43

Tandem Skydive in Taupo from 12,000 Feet

Jump out of a plane at 12,000 feet (3.6 km) on this tandem skydive in Taupo, the North Island’s premier destination for water sports and white-knuckle outdoor activities. Begin with a 20-minute flight over Lake Taupo, Tongariro National Park, and Mt. Ruapehu. Then, leap out of the plane with your experienced instructor and free-fall for almost a minute at terminal velocity, reaching speeds of 124 mph (200 kph). Upgrade on the day to get photos or a video of your experience. Hotel pickup available upon request. 
  • Duration: 2 to 3 hrs
From
USD196.35
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  • Duration: 2 to 3 hrs
From
USD196.35


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