Ultimate Travel Guide to Taupo

Our Ultimate Taupo Travel Guide

Taupo in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island is home to the country’s largest lake, Lake Taupo, and offers a plethora of water activities like sailing and kayaking. It also has geothermal parks and hot springs, making it a perfect spot for relaxation.

If you want a taste of the true Kiwi lifestyle on your next trip to Taupo, we’ve put together a list of some of our must-do’s, places to stay, and more! 

Time Zone

New Zealand Standard Time (GMT +12) 

Best Time to Go to Taupo

The best time to visit Taupo is during the summer months from December to February. The weather is typically warm and sunny, perfect for enjoying Lake Taupo’s water activities like swimming, boating, or fishing. 

This is also a great time to explore the Huka Falls or hike in Tongariro National Park. 

Things to Know about Taupo 

Currency:  NZD (Check the current exchange rate)

Language: New Zealand English 

Calling Code: +64

How to Get Around 

Buses: The Taupo Connector is the local bus service that operates throughout the city. One-way fares start at 4 NZD. You can also get a Bee Card to lower your fares to as little as 2 NZD. 

Taxis: Taxis are a convenient way to get around if you don’t want to walk or take the bus. Taxis start at 4 NZD and go up by 3 NZD per kilometre. We’ve used Great Lake Taxis Taupo and Local Taxis Taupo.

Car service: If you want more flexibility on your trip, you can rent a car starting at around 55 NZD daily. Some car rental companies in Taupo include RaD Car Hire Taupo and Pegasus Car Rentals Taupo.

Bike rental: There are several bike rental shops in Taupo where you can rent bikes for as little as 25 NZD for two hours. We’ve used Pack & Pedal and Taupo Mountain Bike Hire.

Where to Stay in Taupo

Whakaipo Lodge 

Address: 1/504 Mapara Road, Acacia Bay, Taupō 3385, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 378 9298

Pricing: $$

Top Reviews NZ-01

Whakaipo is in a tranquil rural setting, a cozy spot that feels like a home away from home. The rooms are comfortable and spacious, with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. 

And the best part? There are plenty of cute baby lambs on-site that you’ll love petting and taking selfies with.

Lake Taupo Lodge

Address: 41 Mapara Road, Acacia Bay, Taupō 3385, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 378 7386

Pricing: $$

Top Reviews NZ-01

Lake Taupo Lodge is set within magnificent landscaped gardens overlooking beautiful Lake Taupo and the mountains. You have six guest suites to choose from, each with a private patio or balcony. 

The suites also have king-size beds, fireplaces, and spa baths. The lodge also has many common areas, including a library, a games room, and a spa.

Acacia Cliffs Lodge

Address: 1/133 Mapara Road, Acacia Bay, Taupō 3385, New Zealand

Phone: +64 21 821 338

Pricing: $$$

Top Reviews NZ-01

Acacia Cliffs Lodge is a luxury boutique lodge perched on a cliff top overlooking Lake Taupo and the Tongariro National Park, with awesome stunning panoramic views. 

The lodge has four private guest suites, each with a balcony, modern en suite bathroom, and lake views. The staff here makes it easy to participate in town activities by helping you arrange things to do like fishing, golfing, and more.

The Point Villas 

Address: 24A & B Whakamoenga Point, Taupō 3351, New Zealand

Phone: +64 27 847 3327

Pricing: $$$

Top Reviews NZ-01

The Point Villas are the perfect place to relax and unwind in luxury. The villas are surrounded by native bushland and gorgeous mountain views. 

You can enjoy the peace and privacy of the estate as each villa has its own private mineral-heated swimming pool, spacious living area and a fully equipped kitchen.

Huka Lodge

Address: 271 Huka Falls Road, Wairakei, Taupō 3384, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 378 5791

Pricing: $$$

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Huka Lodge is on the banks of the Waikato River, just upstream from the Huka Falls. This place has hosted some of the world’s most famous guests, including Bill Gates, Elizabeth II, and the Monty Python troupe. 

There are 20 suites and cottages at Huka Lodge, all of which are luxurious. But, the cottages are even more spacious, and they offer a more secluded and private experience.

If you want to stay in for the night, there are two restaurants on-site with fine dining and stunning views of the river.

Kinloch Manor

Address: Kinloch 3377, New Zealand 

Phone: +64 7 377 8482

Pricing: $$$

Top Reviews NZ-01

Kinloch Manor may be the perfect place for you if you’re looking for a truly luxurious and unforgettable stay in Taupo. It’s set on a 254-hectare estate overlooking Lake Taupo and features a Jack Nicklaus Signature 18-hole golf course, a spa, and a variety of dining options.

The lodge itself is beautiful, with spacious rooms and suites and stunning views of the lake and golf course. Plus, there are a variety of activities available to you, including golf, fishing, hiking, biking, and spa treatments.

Where to Eat in Taupo


Address: 97A Kaimanawa Street, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 929 8633

Pricing: $$$

If you’re looking for an exceptional dining experience in Taupo, then Embra is the place for you. (It’s in a restored heritage building for the architect geeks among us.)

The food is delicious, the atmosphere is inviting, and the staff is excellent. Their Wagyu beef fillet, roasted scallops, and salmon are all popular choices on the menu.

Malabar Nepalese and Indian Kitchen 

Address: 2/40 Tūwharetoa Street, town center, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 281 7011

Pricing: $$

Malabar Nepalese and Indian Kitchen is a must-try! Every dish is packed with authentic spices that transport you to India and Nepal. 

Their chicken tikka masala is creamy and flavorful. The lamb vindaloo is also excellent, with just the right amount of heat. 

You also can’t go wrong with their garlic naan bread and mango lassi to wash down the spice.

Brantry Eatery 

Address: 45 Rifle Range Road, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

Phone: +6473780484

Pricing: $$

Brantry Eatery is where you go for a good bottle of wine with your dinner. They have an award-winning wine list, with over 100 wines available. (Yes, by the glass or the bottle.) 

The menu at Brantry Eatery changes seasonally, but some of their signature dishes include roasted lamb shoulder, pan-seared scallops, and chocolate fondant.

2 Mile Bay Sailing Club 

Address: 331 Lake Terrace, Two Mile Bay, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

Phone: +64 27 588 6588

Pricing: $$

Indulge in delicious food while gazing out at the sparkling waters of the lake. Start off your culinary adventure with their seafood chowder packed with juicy prawns, tender fish, and succulent mussels. 

If you’re in the mood for something heartier, try their angus beef burger. They also have a kids’ menu with scrumptious options like fish and chips or chicken nuggets, ensuring that little ones are happy diners too.

Thai Delight Restaurant

Address: 19 Tamamutu Street, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 378 9554

Pricing: $$

Make your way to the Thai Delight Restaurant for authentic Thai flavours. Prepare yourself for a culinary journey filled with bold flavours and aromatic spices. 

The menu features a wide variety of dishes, including curries, stir-fries, noodles, and rice dishes. Some must-try dishes here are their Pad Thai, and their Tom Yum Goong.

Sorrento Italian Dining & Wine Bar

Address: 42 Tūwharetoa Street, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 378 8212

Pricing: $$

Visit Sorrento Italian Dining & Wine Bar for a taste of Italy. The pasta is homemade, the pizzas are thin and crispy, and the tiramisu is the best I’ve ever had. 

Plus, their extensive wine list features some of the finest Italian wines.

The Steak House Taupo 

Address: 17 Tongariro Street, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 378 6788

Pricing: $$

You cannot miss The Steak House if you’re a steak lover! They are known for their high-quality meat from New Zealand’s finest farms. 

In addition to steaks, there are a variety of other dishes on the menu, including seafood, pasta, and salads. They also have a good selection of wines and beers to choose from.

Vine Eatery & Bar

Address: 37 Tūwharetoa Street, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 378 5704

Pricing: $$

Vine Eatery & Bar is known for its Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, extensive tapas menu, and full bar. Some popular tapas dishes include the charcuterie board, the seafood platter, and the lamb shanks.

And the desserts at Vine Eatery & Bar are decadent and delicious. Some popular desserts include the chocolate lava cake, the crème brûlée, and the cheesecake.

K’s Kitchen 

Address: 250 Spa Rd, Taupo, New Zealand


K’s Kitchen is known for its Korean fried chicken, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, and it’s served with a variety of dipping sauces.

They also serve other dishes like bibimbap, japchae, and dumplings. The restaurant also has a selection of Korean beers and sake.

What to Do in Taupo

Take a trip to Huka Falls

Huka Falls—a roaring waterfall, with over 220,000 litres of water tumbling over the edge every second. There’s a bridge right at the top where you can get a fantastic view. 

And the best part? It’s just a short, easy walk from the car park.

Spend a few hours at the Spa Thermal Park 

Address: Tauhara, Taupō 3378, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 376 0027


Spa Thermal Park boasts naturally heated hot pools that are perfect for a relaxing dip. The warmth of the water is just right–not too hot, not too cold, making it a fantastic spot for both kids and adults. 

Plus, the park is surrounded by scenic walking trails where you can spot native birds and plants.

Go buy honey at the Huka Honey Hive 

Address: 65 Karetoto Road, Wairakei, Taupō 3351, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 374 8553


If you’re a fan of honey, a visit to the Huka Honey Hive is an absolute must! This place is a sweet paradise where you can taste and buy various honeys, including the world-renowned Manuka honey. 

Don’t forget to try their honey ice cream. It’s divine!

Take a hike up Mount Tauhara

Hiking up Mount Tauhara is an adventure that will take your breath away from the physical challenge and stunning views! 

The trail winds through lush native bush, opening up to reveal panoramic vistas of Lake Taupo and the surrounding landscape. It’s a bit steep at times, but there are plenty of places to rest and soak in the scenery.

Do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Address: Tongariro National Park, North Island, New Zealand

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is an absolute must-do for nature lovers! 

Trek past ancient volcanoes, stunning emerald lakes, and wide-open plains. 

(It shouldn’t take you any longer than a day.) 

Pack plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen—it can be a challenging trek but oh-so worth it!

Soar through the skies with Taupo Tandem Skydiving 

Address: Anzac Memorial Drive, Wharewaka, Taupō 3378, New Zealand

Phone: +6473770428


Soar like a bird above the stunning Lake Taupo and get an unbeatable view of the majestic mountains and crystal clear waters.

The team at Tandem Skydiving are total pros, making sure you feel safe and confident before you take the leap. And when you do, oh boy, it’s like nothing else—the rush of wind, the feeling of absolute freedom, and the breathtaking views!

Visit the Wairakei Terraces 

Address: 671 Wairakei Drive, Wairakei, Taupō 3384, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 378 0913


Imagine walking among cascading silica terraces that shimmer in the sunlight, with steam rising from the hot mineral waters. That’s just a glimpse of what awaits at Wairakei Terraces. 

The terraces are not just beautiful, but they also have a fascinating history tied to Maori culture. Plus, you can even take a dip in the geothermal pools—it’s like nature’s own spa! 

Remember to bring your camera, because the sights here are truly picture-perfect.

Go bungy Jumping with AJ Hackett Taupo Bungy

Address: 202 Spa Road, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

Phone: +64 800 286 4958

Suspended high above the stunning Waikato River, you’ll feel a rush of adrenaline as you take the leap, free-falling towards the sparkling water below. Even if you’ve never gone bungy jumping, the AJ Hackett Taupo Bungy professionals help you feel safe and confident. 

 And the best part? The breathtaking views of the town itself.

Where to Shop in Taupo

Market Central Taupo 

Address: Northcroft Reserve, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

Phone: +642102359712


Stalls overflow with fresh local produce, handmade crafts, and delicious food at Taupo Market. It’s possible to find anything from juicy strawberries to beautiful hand-knit scarves here. 

Remember, the market is only open on Sundays, so plan your shopping day accordingly. 

Charlie Who

Address: 24 Te Heuheu Street, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 378 3969


This boutique is brimming with stylish clothes, accessories and homewares, all carefully selected for their quality and unique design. 

Don’t miss their collection from local New Zealand designers and remember to check out their beautiful range of jewellery for the perfect finishing touch to any outfit!

Chef’s Complements 

Address: 11 Gascoigne Street, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 377 4455


Chef’s Complements is the go-to shop for anyone who loves cooking. The store has every kitchen gadget you could dream of, from professional-grade pots and pans to cute cookie cutters. 

Plus, they have various gourmet food items perfect for adding a special touch to any meal.

Address: 47a Te Heuheu Street, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

Phone: +64 7 377 4068


Every item at Kura Gallery has a tale to share, from stunning hand-crafted jewellery to mesmerizing art pieces telling stories of New Zealand’s rich culture and beautiful landscapes. 

It’s the perfect place to find a special gift or keepsake that truly captures the spirit of Aotearoa. Don’t forget to check out their collection of Maori designs— it’s awe-inspiring!

What to Expect from Taupo Weather

Spring (September to November): Spring in Taupo is mild, with temperatures typically ranging from 7-17°C. It’s a time of rebirth, with blossoming flowers and increasing daylight hours.

Summer (December to February): Summers are warm and comfortable, usually between 11-25°C. It’s a great time for water activities on Lake Taupo and hiking in the nearby mountains.

Fall/Autumn (March to May): During fall, temperatures cool down slightly, averaging between 8-20°C. The weather is generally stable, making it a great time to enjoy outdoor activities.

Winter (June to August): Winter brings cooler temperatures, with averages between 3 to 12°C  during the day. Rainfall is more frequent this season, and it’s also a good time for skiing on Mount Ruapehu.

Apps to Download for a Trip to Taupo

Google Translate: word translation with offline capabilities
iOs | Android

Google Maps: navigation GPS app with offline capabilities
iOs | Android

MetService: An app that provides accurate and up-to-date weather forecasts

iOs | Android

CamperMate: If you’re planning a camper van trip, this app provides information on camping sites, facilities, and nearby attractions. 

iOs | Android