Taupo travel guide

Taupo Tourism | Taupo Guide

You're Going to Love Taupo

Taupo is a mix of people who simply want to luxuriate in the natural surroundings and beauty all around and adrenaline-loving thrill-seekers who take on the incredible mountains and choppy waters. No matter why you arrive, you're sure to think: "I could get used to this way of life!"

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Taupo

1. Take Part in Any Outdoor Adventure!

Skiing, bungee-jumping, kayaking, tandem skydives, parasailing, mountain biking, white-water rafting: if there's an outdoor activity your heart has been yearning for, you can do it in Taupo.

2. Decipher the Maori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay

Taupo has a rich indigenous history. You can kayak out to the carvings on Mine Bay, featuring huge faces and smaller historical figurines, a testament to the Maori people.

3. Conquer Mt. Tauhara

The infamous Mt. Tauhara is actually a dormant volcano. If you manage to reach the top, you'll be rewarded with incredible views of Taupo and the Central North Island.

4. Splash Around at Action World Taupo

Action World, with its splash and wave pools and water slides, is a great draw for families or simply those who love water parks.

5. Stroll in the Waipahihi Botanical Reserve

Created from scratch, the Waipahihi Botanical Reserve is a sprawling 35 hectares of rare alpine plants, rhododendrons, azaleas, and camellias.

Where to Eat in Taupo

A local Taupo favorite is Spoon and Paddle. This youthful and relaxed cafe serves up everything from freshly brewed, fair trade coffee to local beers and melting lamb shoulder tortillas. Mains cost between NZ$12 - NZ$19.

When to visit Taupo

Taupo in August
Estimated hotel price
1 night at 3-star hotel
Taupo in August
Estimated hotel price
1 night at 3-star hotel

The activities you want to partake in will determine the "best" time to go. There are four distinct seasons with a mild summer, perfect for beach-going, and a cool winter which, coupled with the area's mountainous terrain, makes skiing a viable activity. The climate is cooler in Taupo than anywhere else, in general, because of its high elevation.

Data provided by weatherbase
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Taupo


International visitors will land at Taupo Airport (TUO), via Auckland or Wellington. Use a taxi to get to the city center, which is five miles away.


There are no trains to Taupo but there are shared trips on shuttles. Use the Mountain Shuttle to Tongariro Crossing, running between Ketetahi and Mangatepopo for NZ$30.


Surrounding cities like Napier are easily accessed. Use the Thermal Explorer Highway for 83 miles to get to Tamamutu St. and arrive in Taupo.


Book online with NakedBus (also known as Mana Trips). A trip from Taupo to the National Park Village in Tongariro, for example, starts at NZ$19, plus luggage and booking fees.

Airports near Taupo

Airlines serving Taupo

Singapore Airlines
Excellent (3,952 reviews)
Qantas Airways
Good (4,906 reviews)
Air New Zealand
Excellent (2,853 reviews)
Air China
Good (5,755 reviews)

Where to stay in Taupo

If you love that good lodge life, check into the Huka Lodge. Visitors who are looking for modest but comfy accommodations will love the Cove. Backpackers will appreciate the hospitality of Blackcurrant Backpackers.

Popular neighbourhoods in Taupo

National Park Village - Tongariro Crossing - a national park with mountains you can scale, trails you can get lost on, and horizons that are a feast for the eyes. It is located at the base of Mt. Ruapehu.

Wharewaka - located at the end of the bus line, Wharewaka is quickly becoming known for its high density of vacation home developments, as well as its beaches.

Acacia Bay - looking straight out onto the sparkling waters of the pristine Lake Taupo is this district, which is popular for visitor accommodations as well as for local residents.

Where to stay in popular areas of Taupo

Most booked hotels in Taupo

Acacia Lake View Motel
Excellent (9.2, Excellent reviews)
Ascot Motor Inn Taupo
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
Hilton Lake Taupo
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
The Cove Taupo
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
Tui Oaks Motel
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
See all hotels

How to Get Around Taupo

Public Transportation

Though most visitors to Taupo can get by on foot, Taupo Central has a "Busit" service, which is its local transportation. A single Busit fare for an adult is NZ$1.50. If you're paying with cash, a single fare is NZ$2.


Grab a taxi from local providers like Great Lake Taxis. Rides are metered, not pre-set. Fares start at NZ$3 and NZ$1.86 per mile thereafter.


You can rent a car from companies like Budget or Thrifty Taupo Airport. Fares vary but the regional average works out to about NZ$35 - NZ$120 per day for a standard 4-door rental.

Car hire agencies in Taupo

The Cost of Living in Taupo

Shopping Streets

The Taupo town center features a whole array of boutique shops and outlets with lots of parking. You can also head to Ballentynes Fashion Central Taupo.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk in Taupo costs NZ$2.42 and a dozen eggs costs NZ$5.