Taupo Travel Guide

Activities & Events

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!

Bungy jumping

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.

Taupo Bungy202 Spa RoadPhone: +64 7 377 1135Price: Solo Bungy Jump $109 - Tandem Bungy Jump $218FREEPHONE: 0800 888 408 (New Zealand Only)
Jet boating

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.

Huka Falls JetKaretoto Rd, Wairakei Tourist Park, Taupo.Phone: +64 7 374 8572Fax: +64 7 374 8573Price: Adult $95 - Child $55
Rapids JetRapids Road, AratiatiaPhone: +64 7 378 5828Fax: +64 7 378 3828Hours: Office Hours, Summer 9AM-5PM - Winter 10AM-4PMPrice: Adults $85 - Children $45Children 5yrs and over, life & spray jackets are provided.
NZ River JetGolden Springs, ReporoaPhone: +67 7 333 7111
Skydiving

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.

Taupo Tandem SkydivingPhone: +64 7 377 0428Fax: +64 7 378 0468NZ Freephone: 0800 2 7593483
Freefall SkydivePhone: +64 7 378 4662Fax: +64 7 377 4851NZ Freephone: 0800 373 335
Cruising/sailing

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.

The BarbaryTaupo Boat HarbourPhone: +64 7 378 5879(info@sailbarbary.com)
Ernest Kemp CruisesPhone: +64 7 378 9222
Chartered & fly fishing

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.

Chartered trout fishing
Trout CatchingPhone: +64 7 377 2039Fax: +64 7 378 0107Price: $85 per hour - 2hr minimumMobile: +64 7 27 485 5391
K2 Charters2/36 Motutaiko St, TaupoPhone: NZ Freephone: 0800 34 74 52 (FISHK2)Fax: +64 7 376 7452Price: $95/hour, 2hrs minimum
Lake Taupo Charter Boats NZPhone: +64 7 378 3444Fax: +64 7 377 2926
Fish Lake Taupo Charters (Shoreline Safaris)29 Tamatea Rd, TaupoPhone: +64 27 477 6279 - AH: +64 7 378 2169Fax: +64 7 377 2926
White Striker Charters15 Matua Road, File Mile Bay, RD2Phone: +64 7 378 2736Fax: +64 7 378 2734Price: $100-$135 per hour - 2 hours minimum
Fly fishing
Free Time Fishing AdventuresPhone: +64 27 419 7651
Fishing stores
Fly & Gun Shop, 27 Gascoigne Street, +64 7 378 4449
Taupo Launchmans Association, Taupo Boat Harbour, +64 7 378 3444, .
Taupo Rod & Tackle, 7 Tongariro Street, +64 7 378 5337.
Greenstone Fishing, 147 Tongariro Street, +64 7 378 3714.
Scenic flights

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.

Tramping/walking

There are many opportunities to walk in and around Taupo. Forest, mountains, guided walks and unguided.

Awhina Wilderness ExperienceHours: Open 7 days, half day/full day guided walks on Mt Titiraupenga
Adventure packages
Swimming & sauna
AC BathsOff Spa RoadPhone: +64 7 376 0350Fax: +64 7 376 0359Hours: 6AM-9PM 7days
Taupo Hot Springs SpaNapier Taupo HighwayPhone: +64 7 377 6502Fax: +64 7 377 6501Hours: 7.30AM-9PM 7days
Taupo Thermal ParkCounty AvePrice: free of chargeFind the bridge with the hot river that merges with the cold river.
Cinema
Starlight Cinema CentreStarlight Arcade, Horomatangi StPhone: +64 7 377 1085Fax: +64 7 377 1081Info Line +64 7 378 7515, All Cinemas Air conditioned & Wheelchair Accessible.
Family & children
Lilliput Farm136 Link RdPhone: +64 7 378 2114Fax: +64 7 378 2216Hours: Weekdays 10AM-2PM, Weekends & Public Holidays 10AM-4PMPrice: Adults $8, Children 2-15yrs $5, Family Pass (2Adults + 2Child) $22.
Taupo Horse TreksHours: Open 7days!Bookings Essential!
Booking agents
Experience Taupo57 Tongariro StreetPhone: +64 7 377 0704Bookings for all Taupo based Adventure Tourism
I-Site TaupoTongariro StreetPhone: +64 7 376 0027
Geothermal activity

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.

Orakei Korako, Tutukau Road, +64 7 378 3131, .
Maori culture

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)

Events

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:

Taupo EventsTaupo has a lot more events than just these, although these are main events - they aren't the only ones. This is a list of all of the current events happening right now, tomorrow and next week!
A1 Grand Prix, . The world cup of motor sport. The largest international motor event to be held in New Zealand. The New Zealand round of the series is held at the Taupo Motor Sport Park. The 2008 round is being held over January 18-20.
Great Lake Cycle ChallengeStarted in 1977 with just 30 riders this 160km road cycle around Lake Taupo now attracts over 10,000 entrants every year. It is also a round of the prestigious UCI Golden Bike Series. The last Saturday in November is when the event takes place.
Ironman New ZealandTaupo has been home to this event since 1999. Ironman New Zealand is the oldest event outside of the world championships in Hawaii. It is held on the first Saturday in March each year.
Levene Half MarathonNew Zealands largest half marathon and also the biggest in the southern hemisphere, follows the shore of Lake Taupo for most of the course. Held in early August every year.
Oxfam TrailwalkerThe world's greatest team challenge to overcome poverty and injustice offers you a rewarding physical endeavour, a fun experience to share with friends and colleagues and the chance to do something amazing for yourself and others.

source: Wikivoyage

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