The main centre of the Central North Island is Taupo, a lakeside resort offering an excellent range of accommodation, dining and activities. Lake Taupo is the focal point for the town. From swimming to boating and fishing, it offers a wealth of outdoor recreation options. The small town of Turangi on the southern shores of Lake Taupo is the hub of trout fishing in the region.
Do & Discover
The majestic Lake Taupo plays host to activities as varied as fishing, cruising, paddling, flight-seeing and water sports. Away from the great lake, there’s a variety of attractions that range from a relaxing round of golf to the thrill of one of the country’s top skydiving operations. Get out on the waters of Australasia’s largest lake with Canoe & Kayak, Chris Jolly Outdoors, Flyfish Taupo and Taupo Rod & Tackle, or get a bird’s-eye view with Taupo’s Floatplane. For action and adventure, try Formula Challenge, Hukafalls Jet, or take the plunge with Skydive Taupo, Freefall Skydive, or Taupo Tandem Skydiving. For a more relaxed experience, unwind at Taupo DeBretts Hot Springs or the AC Baths, play a round at Wairakei International Golf Course, discover the story of the lake at the Taupo Museum, explore geothermal activity in the area at Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park, the Volcanic Activity Centre, or visit unique attractions at the Huka Honey Hive or the Huka Prawn Park.
Food & Drink
The busy town of Taupo offers some great spots to grab a coffee as well as some sophisticated dining options, and there are also some culinary gems waiting for you elsewhere around the region. Head to Licorice Café in Turangi or Taupo’s justifiably popular Replete Food Company for great coffee or cabinet food. For dining in Taupo, try Edgewater Restaurant, Lotus Thai, The Brantry, Pimentos Restaurant, or contemporary Kiwi chic at Plateau Restaurant & Bar.
Taupo draws plenty of travellers to its natural wonders and central location and, accordingly, there’s plenty of good accommodation offerings that range from high-end resorts to decent basic lodgings. Stay on-budget at Tiki Lodge or Lake Taupo Top 10 Holiday Resort, house the clan at Bella Vista Motel Taupo, Quest Taupo, or Camellia Court Motel, or go upmarket with Bayview Wairakei Resort, Huka Falls Resort, or Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels Taupo.
Taupo Airport is 10 minutes from town and offers domestic flights to Auckland and Wellington. Numerous scenic flights, fishing safaris and skydive flights also operate out of Taupo Airport. Taupo is located on State Highway 1, midway between Auckland and Wellington. It is 4 hours by road from Auckland and 5 hours from Wellington. The drive around the eastern side of the lake from Taupo to Turangi takes approximately 40 minutes. Coach and shuttle services operate to popular visitor activities. Find out more at the Taupo i–SITE, 30 Tongariro Street.
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