Taupo

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Taupo is a town in the central North Island of New Zealand. It lies at the northern end of Lake Taupo, at its outlet into the Waikato river.

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Points of Interest in Taupo

There are many sights of interest in the Taupo region, most of which are free of charge, and you should set a day aside to check out some of the sights. To get around the sights transport is a must - a mountain bike at the very least for people with some fitness or perhaps a rental car or shuttle for those who prefer to relax while on holiday.

  • Aratiatia Dam – The first dam in the Waikato Hydro power scheme. The gates are opened daily at 10AM, 12PM, 2PM and 4PM (10, 12 & 2 during winter) which causes the spectacular recreation of the Aratiatia Rapids.
  • Huka Falls – New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction located just to the north of town on the Waikato river. New Zealand’s largest river is forced between a narrow split in the bedrock. Quite impressive with flows often exceeding 220,000 litres per second.
  • Kinloch – A pretty lakeside village 15 minutes drive west of Taupo.
  • Lake Taupo Museum and Art Gallery +64 7 376 0413. Story Place. A small museum located near the centre of town behind the Great Lake Centre on Story Place. Contains exhibits on the Maori, volcanic and early European history of Taupo. A Maori meeting house is also recreated within the building and exhibitions of art by local and New Zealand artists are ongoing. The "Ora" garden which won the 2004 Chelsea Flower Show has recently been added in a specially created outside area.
  • Lions Walk – A walkway starting in town and heading south for about 5 miles following the lake edge. Paved in places through the efforts of local service clubs.
  • Mount Tauhara – The mountain sitting on the eastern edge of town can be climbed fairly easily (get directions from your accommodation) and the views from the top on a clear day are remarkable, take your camera.
  • Waipahihi Botanical Reserve – Located in the suburbs has both vehicle and walking tracks through forest and gardens. Also boasts one of the best vantage points of the lake and mountains of the Tongariro National Park.
  • Craters of the Moon – An easy 45min/2.75km walk through an active and ever changing geothermal wonderland.
  • Volcanic Activity Centre +64 7 374 8375. Karetoto Road. Just north of town in the Wairakei Tourist Park is the Volcanic Activity Centre which provides an insight into the Taupo Volcanic Zone. There are many interactive displays and educational tours through to university level can be arranged.

Huka Falls

Craters of the Moon

Taupo Museum and Art Gallery

Taupo Bungy

Wairakei International Golf Course

Aratiatia Rapids

Waipunga Falls

Taupo Hot Springs

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Popular events in Taupo in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Taupo

Background

The Lake Taupo area is situated on a volcanic plateau. The lake, famed for its trout fishing and boating, fills the caldera of one of the largest super-volcanoes in the world, in a still active geological region. About 26,000 years ago, the lake area was a volcano that erupted in an enormous explosion that ejected about 800 cubic kilometres of material and spread it over the central North Island, forming the Volcanic Plateau. The resulting hole in the ground became Lake Taupo after it filled with water draining off the surrounding hills. It last erupted about 1,800 years ago.

Today, Lake Taupo feeds the Waikato River with the water to run eight hydroelectric power stations. After leaving town, the river rushes through the tourist attractions of Huka Falls and Aratiatia Rapids.

Activities

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 Bungy, 202 Spa Road,  +64 7 377 1135. FREEPHONE: 0800 888 408 (New Zealand Only) Solo Bungy Jump $109 - Tandem Bungy Jump $218.

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 Jet, Karetoto Rd, Wairakei Tourist Park, Taupo.,  +64 7 374 8572, fax: +64 7 374 8573, e-mail: reservations@hukafallsjet.com. Adult $95 - Child $55.
  • Rapids Jet, Rapids Road, Aratiatia,  +64 7 378 5828, fax: +64 7 378 3828, e-mail: info@rapidsjet.com. Office Hours, Summer 9AM-5PM - Winter 10AM-4PM. Children 5yrs and over, life & spray jackets are provided. Adults $85 - Children $45.
  • NZ River Jet, Golden Springs, Reporoa,  +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 Skydiving +64 7 377 0428, fax: +64 7 378 0468, e-mail: skydive@tts.net.nz. NZ Freephone: 0800 2 7593483
  • Freefall Skydive +64 7 378 4662, fax: +64 7 377 4851, e-mail: skydive@freefall.net.nz. NZ Freephone: 0800 373 335
  • Skydive Taupo +64 7 377 8300, e-mail: info@skydivetaupo.co.nz. NZ Freephone: 0800 586 766

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 Barbary, Taupo Boat Harbour,  +64 7 378 5879. (info@sailbarbary.com)
  • Chris Jolly Outdoors (Taupo Boat Harbour),  +64 7 378 0623.
  • Ernest Kemp Cruises (Taupo Boat Harbour),  +64 7 378 9222.
  • The Junk (Taupo Boat Harbour),  +64 7 377 1164.
  • Kayaking Kiwi +64 800 35 34 35.
  • Taupo Launchmans Association +64 7 378 3444.
  • Two Mile Bay Sailing Centre +64 274 967 350.

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 Catching (Chartered trout fishing service),  +64 7 377 2039, fax: +64 7 378 0107, e-mail: linzyhunt@paradise.co.nz. Mobile: +64 7 27 485 5391 $85 per hour - 2hr minimum.
  • K2 Charters (Chartered trout fishing), 2/36 Motutaiko St, Taupo (Berth 6, Lake Taupo Boat Habour (Ferry Road).),  NZ Freephone: 0800 34 74 52 (FISHK2), fax: +64 7 376 7452, e-mail: k2charters@xtra.co.nz. $95/hour, 2hrs minimum.
  • Taupo Lake Adventures (Chartered trout fishing/Sightseeing), 75B Kaimanawa Street, Taupo,  +64 7 378 7217 - Mobile: +64 27 471 7650, fax: +64 7 378 7278, e-mail: les@taupolakeadventures.com.
  • Windsor Charters (Trout Fishing - Scenic Tours),  Boat +64 27 272 9856, After Hours: +64 7 378 8738, e-mail: windsor-charters@xtra.co.nz.
  • Lake Taupo Charter Boats NZ (Fishing & Cruising),  +64 7 378 3444, fax: +64 7 377 2926.
  • Fish Lake Taupo Charters (Shoreline Safaris) (Trout Fishing & Sightseeing), 29 Tamatea Rd, Taupo,  +64 27 477 6279 - AH: +64 7 378 2169, fax: +64 7 377 2926, e-mail: waimarie@fishlaketaupo.co.nz.
  • White Striker Charters (Chartered Trout Fishing), 15 Matua Road, File Mile Bay, RD2,  +64 7 378 2736, fax: +64 7 378 2734, e-mail: richard@troutcatching.com. $100-$135 per hour - 2 hours minimum.
  • Te Moana Charters (Chartered Trout Fishing),  Phone: +64 7 378 4839 - Mob: +64 27 497 7379, fax: +64 7 378 5511, e-mail: gus.grace@hyber.net.nz.

Fly fishing

  • Taupo Trout Fishing (Professional Guiding Services by Andrew Christmas),  +64 21 116 2752, e-mail: christmas67@hotmail.com.
  • Mark Aspinall Fly Fishing Guides +64 7 378 4453, e-mail: markaspinall@xtra.co.nz. Mobile: +64 21 500 384
  • Gofish Taupo Regional Guides (Fly Fishing),  +64 7 378 9395, e-mail: gofishtaupo@xtra.co.nz. Mobile: +64 7 27 673 6261
  • Free Time Fishing Adventures (Guided fly fishing & Casting Lessions),  +64 27 419 7651.
  • NZ Fly Fish (Fly Fishing Specialists), e-mail: u2fish@nzflyfish.co.nz.

Fishing stores

  • Fly & Gun Shop, 27 Gascoigne Street, +64 7 378 4449
  • Taupo Launchmans Association, Taupo Boat Harbour, +64 7 378 3444, [7].
  • Taupo Rod & Tackle, 7 Tongariro Street, +64 7 378 5337. [8]
  • 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.

  • Taupo Air Services, Taupo Airport,  +64 7 378 5325, e-mail: taupoair@xtra.co.nz.
  • Taupo's Floatplane, Taupo Boat Harbour,  +64 7 378 7500, fax: +64 7 377 0843, e-mail: info@tauposfloatplane.co.nz.
  • Clark & Jolly Helicopters, Taupo Airport,  +64 7 377 8805, e-mail: info@helinz.co.nz.
  • Mountain Air, National Park, toll-free: 0800 922 812, e-mail: mountain.air@xtra.co.nz.

Tramping/walking

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

  • Awhina Wilderness Experience, e-mail: info@awhinatours.co.nz. Open 7 days, half day/full day guided walks on Mt Titiraupenga.

Adventure packages

  • 4PLAY (The Ultimate Adrenalin Combo),  NZ Freephone: 0800 FOURPLAY (368 775), e-mail: info@experiencetaupo.com. $492.

Swimming & sauna

  • AC Baths, Off Spa Road (Take Spa Road, past Taupo Bungy),  +64 7 376 0350, fax: +64 7 376 0359, e-mail: acbaths@taupovenues.co.nz. 6AM-9PM 7days.
  • Taupo Hot Springs Spa (DeBretts), Napier Taupo Highway,  +64 7 377 6502, fax: +64 7 377 6501, e-mail: spa@taupohotsprings.com. 7.30AM-9PM 7days.
  • Taupo Thermal Park, County Ave (From the Taupo Bungy, follow Spa Rd and turn left after 200 m). Find the bridge with the hot river that merges with the cold river. free of charge.

Cinema

  • Starlight Cinema Centre, Starlight Arcade, Horomatangi St,  +64 7 377 1085, fax: +64 7 377 1081, e-mail: comment@starlightcinema.co.nz. Info Line +64 7 378 7515, All Cinemas Air conditioned & Wheelchair Accessible.

Family & children

  • Taupo Puzzle World (Family Fun) (Corner of Palmer Mill Rd and SH5),  +64 7 377 6555, e-mail: enquires@taupopuzzleworld.com. Open 7days 10AM-5PM.
  • Topgun Paintball +64 7 377 6404, e-mail: info@topgunpaintball.co.nz. $35/person.
  • Lilliput Farm (Fun & Animal Park), 136 Link Rd (10m from Taupo - SH1 to Hamilton, Link Rd is first on the left, 4km from the Waireki turn off.),  +64 7 378 2114, fax: +64 7 378 2216, e-mail: lilliput@slingshot.co.nz. Weekdays 10AM-2PM, Weekends & Public Holidays 10AM-4PM. Adults $8, Children 2-15yrs $5, Family Pass (2Adults + 2Child) $22..
  • Taupo Horse Treks. Open 7days!. Bookings Essential!

Booking agents

  • Experience Taupo, 57 Tongariro Street,  +64 7 377 0704. Bookings for all Taupo based Adventure Tourism
  • I-Site Taupo, Tongariro Street,  +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, [9].

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) [10]

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 Events (EventFinder.co.nz). Taupo 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, [11]. 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. [12] The 2008 round is being held over January 18-20.
  • Great Lake Cycle Challenge. Started 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 Zealand. Taupo 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 Marathon. New 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 Trailwalker. The 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.

Food

Cafes

  • BodyFuel Cafe (Licenced Cafe/Restaurant), 67 Tongariro St, Taupo (on SH1 opposite Information Centre),  +64 7 378 9555, fax: +64 7 378 9550, e-mail: bodyfuelcafe@hotmail.com. Open 7:30AM-5:30PM 7days.
  • The Clubhouse (Bar/Restaurant), 10 Roberts St,  +64 7 378 2534.
  • Replete (Cafe/Restaurant), 45 Heu Heu St, Taupo,  +64 7 378 0606, fax: +64 7 378 7896, e-mail: info@replete.co.nz. M-F, 7:45AM-5PM - Sa,Su 8:30AM-Late afternoon.

Dining

  • Plateau, 64 Tuwharetoa St,  +64 7 377 2425.
  • Ploughmans, 43-45 Charles Cres,  +64 7 377 3422.
  • SOB, 67 Heu Heu St,  +64 7 377 0646.
  • Yama +64 7 376 5759.

Drinks

Non-alcoholic

  • Tank Juice Bar, 3 Horomatangi St (next door to Soundz Music on the corner),  +64 7 378 1064. Situated in Taupo township - fantastic, refreshing and thirst quenching juices.

Alcoholic

  • Bond Lounge Bar, 40 Tuwharetoa St,  +64 7 377 2434.
  • Finn MacCuhals (Irish Pub), Tuwharetoa St,  +64 7 378 6165.
  • Kazbar (Bar and gaming lounge), 22 Tuwharetoa St,  +64 7 378 8542.
  • Mulligan's Public House (Irish/backpackers Bar), 17 Tongariro St,  +64 7 376 9100.
  • Pitch (Sports Bar), 38-40 Tuwharetoa St,  +64 7 378 3552.
  • Plateau, 64 Tuwharetoa St,  +64 7 377 2425.
  • S.O.B. (Mexican bar/restaurant), 67 Heu Heu St,  +64 7 377 0646.
  • The Clubhouse (Bar/restaurant), 10 Roberts St,  +64 7 378 2534.
  • The Shed (Bar/restaurant), 18 Tuwharetoa St,  +64 7 376 5393.

Shopping

  •    Riverside Market (Taupos Local Marketplace), Riverside Park,  Contact Sue, +64 21 930 020. Saturdays 10AM-1PM. Seasonal Fruits & Veges, Cakes & Biscuits, Apparel, Lavender Products, Free Range Eggs, Jewellery, Fresh Baked Bread, Curios & Collectables, Preserves, Arts & Craft, Books & Flowers. Also Car Boot Sale - First Saturday of every month.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Taupo on Wikivoyage.

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