Self Drive Taupo | Avis Car Rental

Taupo Self Drive Holiday

Taupo is New Zealand's lake jewel, and although small, it offers access to big attractions-the largest freshwater lake in Australasia, the three imposing mountains in Tongariro National park and some of the best trout fishing in the world. Whether it is the geothermal springs and relaxing hot-pools or the adventure of tandem skydiving, Taupo provides you a comfortable base to tackle exciting country.





Craters of the Moon

Just ten kilometres north of the serene waters of Lake Taupo is a reminder of the forces that shaped the area. Walk through this geothermal hot spot and marvel at the moon-like craters, many still disgorging steam. The walk is perfect for all fitness levels and ages and should take you around 45 minutes to take in the loop. Budget another 20 to climb the lookout if you are keen; the view is well worth the steps you'll have to climb.

Craters of the Moon Website


Huka Falls

Lake Taupo drains into the Waikato River. The force of that immense volume of water meeting the river is responsible for one of New Zealand's most photographed attractions -Huka Falls. Just five minutes North of Taupo; this attraction can be accessed easily from the highway by foot. There is an historic swing-bridge and a selection of lookouts to view the 11m falls in action. Huka means foam in Maori and you'll soon see why. There are also a number of ways to see the spectacle by water. The Huka Falls Jetboat whisks you just metres from the froth and the river cruise Maid of the Falls is an option if you would like a more sedate experience.

Huka Falls Website


Taupo Hot Springs (Taupo DeBrett's Spa Resort)

A wonderful spa experience with a mix of new and old techniques to relax and rejuvenate. This complex is set amongst native bush and offers views out over the lake. The same geothermal powers that shaped the volcanic central plateau will be warming you in this clean and luxurious resort. Kids are well catered for with a warm water play area. Private spas and massage and beauty treatments are available for those wishing to be pampered.

Taupo DeBretts Website


Dinner at Hilton Lake Taupo

Taupo has many great eating options for the large number of well-served tourists that come through each year. One of the nicest of all is the Hilton's Bistro Lago. Simon Gault is executive chef and is also responsible for some of Auckland's best eateries including the iconic Euro. He is well known now as the celebrity judge from New Zealand television's Master Chef, but long before that he ensured that the best of local and international ingredients were being served up at this beautifully appointed restaurant.

Bistro Lago Website



Day Trip to Turangi

Situated a beautiful 40-minute drive away at the southern end of Lake Taupo, Turangi is a perfect set up for hiking, views of the lake and a picnic. Turangi sits on the banks of the Tongariro River, perhaps the best of all the great trout fishing spots in the region. If you are new to fishing there are many excellent guides available to introduce you to the secrets of fly-fishing, while more experienced anglers can always benefit from a bit of local knowledge. The Taupo region is one of the few to offer fishing all year round.

Turangi Website


Tongariro Alpine Crossing

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a world-renowned track and one of the most memorable journeys you can take. The 7-8 hour, 18 km track takes you across a landscape both spectacular and spiritual, with this area being the first in the world to be recognised as a World Heritage Site due to the cultural importance of the landscape to local Maori. The walk will take you across the saddle between Mt. Tongariro and Mt. Ngauruhoe where you will find other-worldly rock formations and emerald-green lakes. The easier walking route involves setting off from the Mangatepopo Valley end of the hike - but be sure to get the advice from a local i-site and follow all Department of Conservation guidelines before you head off.

Dept. of Conservation Website


Taupo Tandem Skydiving

Taupo is a skydiving mecca. There is something about floating to earth with a view of the three majestic mountains of Tongariro National Park, the beautiful lake and the rivers, bush and sparse expanse of the central plateau that makes this the most breathtaking view and experience you could hope for. Tandem skydiving is offered and requires the kind of strong constitution that you'd expect jumping out of a plane might, but past that the instructor will handle most of the work for you, leaving you to contemplate the earth below as it becomes ever closer. Located at Taupo Airport.

Taupo Tandem Skydive Website


Turoa and Whakapapa Ski Fields

Mt Ruapehu has some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country - especially into spring. The two fields, Turoa, out of Ohakune, and Whakapapa, on the National Park side are both fully accessible by two-lane sealed road. There is ample parking available once up the mountain. The great thing about these fields is that in season or out they are a wonderful attraction - with the lifts operating right through summer.

Mt Ruapehu Website


      Special Events

Taupo is home to a range of sporting events that bring visitors from all around the country and the world. The Ironman, Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, Oxfam Trailwalker, Great Lake Relay, Mizuno Half Marathon and Taupo Half Ironman all make use of the wonderful facilities, compact town centre, helpful council and wonderful nearby scenery to stage events in the region. Don't be surprised if you have to drive carefully past cyclists sharing the road, they might just be world champions!


Taupo Prawn Farm

Just ten minutes north of Taupo is an attraction that has a billion reasons a year to visit. That's how many baby prawns are born at this farm that has worked to create a truly unique tourist offering. There are educational tours that tell the story of the aquaculture venture that is sited here to take advantage of the spillover power from the geothermal power station next door, warming their pools to "prawn-friendly" temperatures. The park has grown over the years and now includes an architecturally designed bridge, a hole-in-one competition driving into the ponds and a top-notch restaurant. Perhaps you can guess their specialty?

Huka Prawn Park Website


Guided Kayaking on Lake Taupo

It would be a terrible shame to head to Lake Taupo and not get out on the water. The best way is by kayak, and it comes complete with a hidden surprise. On a cliff accessible only by water there are a series of beautiful carvings that were created by master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell. They depict the legendary navigator Ngatoroirangi, who guided the original Maori tribes to the region. He also included two small Celtic figures as a nod to the other cultures in the region. Put aside four hours for the kayak trip. You'll snack on New Zealand favourites like Anzac biscuits and drink Milo hot chocolate, and by travelling in a tandem kayak you won't be doing all the work yourself!


Jump off Bulli Point

If being on the water isn't enough then there is always Bulli Point. This is a cliff diving spot beloved by locals. There are three ledges to choose from, the highest giving you a 7m fall into the Lake. As with jumping into any water, be sure to know that the landing area is clear before you jump, and don't jump alone. Bulli Point is well signposted on SH1 heading to Turangi.



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