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How to Spend 1 Day in Taupo

How to Spend 1 Day in Taupo

The lakeside city of Taupo is an adventure lover’s wonderland, with many ways to have fun outdoors. One day in the central North Island city is enough time to try an extreme sport or two or to have a more relaxed time enjoying Taupo’s scenic beauty. Here’s how to get the most out of one day in Taupo.

Morning: Fun on the Water

With the enormous Lake Taupo lapping at the city’s feet, as well as numerous rivers nearby, there are many ways to have fun on the water in Taupo. Join a white-water-rafting trip (with varying grades to suit your experience), rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak, or enjoy the thrill of a jet-boat ride to the mighty Huka Falls. If you’d rather not get wet, relax on a sightseeing cruise on the lake, and keep your eyes open for contemporary Maori rock carvings. 

Afternoon: Geothermal Fun

While nearby Rotorua is well-known for its geothermal activity, the Taupo area offers some equally beautiful and interesting hot-water and mud pools. Spend a couple of hours in the afternoon at Orakei Korako, Wairakei Thermal Valley, or Craters of the Moon. The colorful, bubbling, steaming, pock-marked ground has an otherworldly feel that’s fun for kids and adults alike.

Night: Soak in a Thermal Bath

After a busy day of sightseeing, spend the evening soaking in a thermal bath at Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort. This is a great activity throughout the year: In the colder winter months, the waters will warm you up even when the air is chilly, whereas in the summer there are cooler baths too. You can pay to use a private bath or join a public pool, and kids can also enjoy waterslides and rides.

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Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details

6 Tours and Activities

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Maori Rock Carvings Eco Sailing Taupo

Maori Rock Carvings Eco Sailing Taupo

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487
Relax aboard a sailing yacht on Great Lake Taupo during this sightseeing cruise to Maori rock carvings. Accessible solely by water, this impressive rock art on the cliffs of Mine Bay was created by a master carver in 1976. You’ll come up close to the 22-foot-high (10-meter) gallery and enjoy postcard views from the deck. Relax with a complimentary glass of wine or beer if you sail in the evening.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$34.27
From
$34.27

Hukafalls Jet Boat Ride from Taupo

Hukafalls Jet Boat Ride from Taupo

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276
Spin and speed your way to Huka Falls during a thrilling jetboat ride on the Waikato River. Hold on tight as you zip over the crystal-clear waters past rugged cliffs and native bush on New Zealand's longest river. Feel the power of the thundering waterfall up close as it blasts into the turbulent pool. Round-trip transport is included from hotels in Taupo.
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$75.45
From
$75.45

Taupo Adventure Combo: Jet Boat Ride and Whitewater Rafting

Taupo Adventure Combo: Jet Boat Ride and Whitewater Rafting

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22
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.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$168.56
From
$168.56

General Entry to Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort Water Park

General Entry to Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort Water Park

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52
Relax into the natural hot spring waters of Taupo’s DeBretts Spa Resort after a busy day of sightseeing. Or, splash around and have some fun in the outdoor playground and waterslides. This spa resort caters to many interests. There are two large mineral pools to enjoy, as well as a waterfall feature, bubbling hydrotherapy jets, and beautifully landscaped gardens.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From
$16.50
From
$16.50

Stand Up Paddle Board Hire - Lake Taupo

Stand Up Paddle Board Hire - Lake Taupo

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3
Enjoy Lake Taupo in an active yet relaxing way with a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) rental. You can set off across the water at your own pace, paddling along the shore or checking out sights such as the Maori Rock Carvings.
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$34.27
From
$34.27

Lake Taupo - Maori Rock Carvings Package (Mountain Biking & Kayaking)

Lake Taupo - Maori Rock Carvings Package (Mountain Biking & Kayaking)

star-4.5
2
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.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$272.74
From
$272.74