There is no shortage of activities on offer in Taupo, be it an adrenaline rush or the more sedate - there is something for everyone! From the ever popular Bungy to Taupo being internationally known as a mecca for Skydiving, to Jet Boating and even fishing for the father who loves the catch even Scenic Flights to the even places as simple to Taupo's AC Baths and our one and only Starlight Cinema!
Taupo Bungy operates not far from the town centre at what is known as the Hell's Gate section of the Waikato River. The location is quite scenic and utilises a custom-built cantilever platform protruding from a cliff face over the river. There is a cafe and several good vantage points. They are open 7 days a week and are endorsed by the New Zealand Safety Standards Authority.
With New Zealand's largest river, the Waikato, flowing from Lake Taupo there is little wonder that jet boating is available and there are three operators providing trips on various sections of the river. Jet boating is a very New Zealand activity and well worth the effort.
Taupo's natural scenery with its lake, forests and volcanic backdrop make for an excellent skydive location. Taupo can safely be described as New Zealand's skydive Mecca as people flock here to do a jump at the cheapest prices in the country with a saftey record unbeaten by any other skydive company in the world. There are three companies operating from Taupo Airport: Freefall, Skydive Taupo and Taupo Tandem Skydiving. Each company offers tandem skydives from both 12,000 and 15,000 feet above the ground and also provide various DVD and photo options to capture the moment. Freefall and Taupo Tandem can also cater for experienced solo jumpers and a skydive school also operates over the summer months which offers training to beginners.
With a surface area of approximately 616 square kilometers, Lake Taupo is the focal point for the town and its people and to truly appreciate it you really need to head out on it. There are many hidden bays and some spectacular views to be had from on the water. Well worth a look are the large Maori rock carvings which can only be accessed by water.
The options available range from large, powered charter boats to kayaks. The Barbary, a 1926 racing yacht with an interesting history, is quite popular and a good option for a sunny day.
Lake Taupo itself is widely considered to be the rainbow trout capital of the world and the lake's tributaries also contain some fine brown trout. As a result, there are numerous charter and guiding companies which offer both lake and river fishing expeditions. The easiest way to find and book such trips is via local fishing stores and booking centres.
With the natural beauty of Taupo and its surrounds a scenic flight is well worth considering. There are a number of companies offering flights ranging from 15 minutes to several hours over the town, lake, mountains and volcanic areas. Both helicopter and fixed wing flights are available.
There are many opportunities to walk in and around Taupo. Forest, mountains, guided walks and unguided.
Being in the heart of the Taupo Volcanic Zone you don't have to travel far to encounter geothermal activity. There are several examples of this around Taupo and, though not as heavily marketed or developed as those in nearby Rotorua, they still provide a fascinating insight into the fragility of our planet.
Craters of the Moon is located only a few minutes drive north of town on Wairakei Road (the old State Highway 1) and only costs $5 to visit. It provides an other worldly atmosphere and is easy to walk around.
Ten minutes north of town also on Wairakei Road, the Wairakei steam field can be accessed by car and provides an insight into the tapping of the earth's heat for electricity generation. The 176MW Wairakei Power Station opened in 1958; the first geothermal plant in New Zealand and only the second commercial-scale geothermal plant in the world. Geothermal power plants in New Zealand today produce 14 percent of the country's electricity requirements.
25 minutes north you can find "The Hidden Valley" of Orakei Korako which contains geysers, boiling mud pools, hot springs and large silica terraces and also the majestic Ruatapu Caves. Entry charges apply.
Join an eco-cultural tour. Your guide will take you through the magnificent Pureora Forest Park and explain how the Maori people utilised the forest resources in their daily lives. You will learn to weave/carve a taonga (special gift) and to "hongi" (traditional Maori greeting/farewell)
Over recent years the event industry in Taupo has been thriving. A combination of attractive venues and a supportive community have been key to this growth. Taupo now hosts a number of major international and national events, including:
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