- Hiking / Trekking
Taupo was built on the banks of Lake Taupo, which sits in the middle of a crater. The area is mountainous, with good hikes and beautiful cascades, in particular the 'Huka Falls'.
During my visit to Taupo, I spent a fun afternoon on the 'Fearless Yacht', touring the lake. They only take out small groups and, on the day I went, we were only two! And during one and half hours bobbing about on the lake, I had the chance to see some amazing Maori rock carvings. They're detailed and impressive - well worth the trip. And if the sky is clear, you'll also be able to spy Mount Ruapehu in the Tongariro National Park.
If you enjoy fishing, I recommend you buy a licence and find a quiet spot to catch some rainbow trout. This area is a must-see in New Zealand. When the sun is out, if you have the courage, you can go on a skydive over the lake and see, perhaps, the best views of all!
I spent several weeks in the area during New Zealand's winter months and have particularly fond memories of my time In Taupo. Each day I warmed my bones with swim at Spa Park, a hot waterfall that pours into Lake Taupo. It's free to visit and far less touristy than Hot Water Beach at Coromandel.
You can also go to the hot springs at Kerosene Creek, a little river and waterfall in the heart of a forest, situated between Taupo and Rotorua. Even if you don't fancy a swim, the scenery's stunning nontheless. It's usually pretty deserted, but the water is cooler than at Taupo and the smell of sulphur strong. Rotten eggs everywhere!
I was fascinated by the Maori rock carvings, amazing stone reliefs on the walls above Lake Taupo, which can only been visited by boat or canoe. I reached them by yacht and crossing Lake Taupo was incredible, particularly the view of the snow-covered mountains. And the skipper really took care of us - fleece throws, huge cushions; everything we needed for a comfy trip.