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Holidays in Taupo and Tongariro are all about exploration. Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest freshwater lake, was born in fire. This huge body of water is the caldera of the Taupo volcano and was formed by a vast eruption tens of thousands of years ago. Today it’s a popular visitor destination that offers watersports, hiking, and extraordinary landscapes.

If you’re looking to enjoy the great outdoors as a family, Lake Taupo is for you. A highlight is the Great Lake Trail - a 44 mile-long mountain biking and hiking track with sections for all abilities that follows the curve of the lake. Couples will find plenty for you as well. Book skydiving and other high-adrenaline activities.

Taupo and Tongariro holidays: fire and water

The Huka Falls to the north is where the Waikato River meets the lake. It’s an astonishing sight – as 220,000 litres of water a second roar through the narrow pass – and is must-see during your Taupo holiday. A bridge spanning the rapids lets you get close enough to feel the spray on your face.

New Zealand is an island of volcanoes and there are also some fascinating geothermal attractions nearby, including the Wairakei Thermal Valley. This natural wonder boasts steaming mud pools, abstract silica formations, and the dramatic Champagne Cauldron.

Hewn into the rock at Mine Bay are some fine contemporary Maori Rock Carvings. They’re only accessible by boat, so charter a sailing vessel or take a kayak tour on the crystal-clear waters to marvel at the spectacular craftsmanship. An hour to the south you’ll find the Tongariro National Park and its three active volcanoes, including Ngauruhoe - which appeared as the ominous Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Ruapehu is a popular ski resort with some exceptional slopes and a lively après ski scene, perfect for winter holidays in Tongariro.

For keen hikers and walkers, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a legendary trail. Along this taxing route you’ll see vibrant blue lakes and wide vistas as you head for the summit at Red Crater.

Destination Highlights

  • Cycle the Great Lake Trail through the forests surrounding majestic Lake Taupo
  • Revel in the power of nature at Huka Falls and Wairakei Thermal Valley
  • Witness the breath-taking Maori carvings hewn into a sheer cliff face at Mine Bay
  • Ski on an active volcano at Ruapehu in the Tongariro National Park

Great sample itineraries


Lake Taupo is the perfect spot to get active and enjoy the great outdoors. Get inspired by our selection of popular itineraries for your Taupo holidays.

Milford

Auckland To Christchurch Tour

  • 17 Days
  • Guide Price £6,495 PP
Set out on a New Zealand adventure and get a true taste for the country on an escorted New Zealand...
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Cultural holidays
a body of water

Tour Of Australia And New Zealand And Fiji

  • 24 Days
  • Guide Price £13,399 PP
Our tour of Australia, New Zealand and Fiji will take you to the top sights in these wonderful destinations. The...
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Couples Holidays
Milford Sound Fiordland New Zealand

Multi Centre Holidays Australia New Zealand

  • 18 Days
  • Guide Price £5,929 PP
Our New Zealand voyage tour is the perfect way to discover everything these beautiful islands have hidden away. This 18-day...
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Wildlife holidays

New Zealand Cultural Tour

  • 18 Days
  • Guide Price £5,895 PP
Take our Cultural New Zealand tour and experience some of the wonderful sights this beautiful country has to offer in...
View Tour
Couples Holidays

Explore Lake Taupo & Tongariro National Park

Best time to visit Lake Taupo & Tongariro National Park

Summer is the best time to visit Taupo and Tongariro, when temperatures are warm and the days are long. Expect highs of 21°C - 23°C from December to March. If you’re planning to ski in Tongariro, the season runs from June to October. During the months of July, August and September you can expect deep snow, making for some fantastic skiing conditions. 

 

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Charlie, Destination Manager

“A visit to Lake Taupo isn't complete without a ride on the jet boat at Huka Falls - get ready for a soaking.”

 

Charlie
Destination Manager
Lucy, Destination Specialist

“Relax in a natural spa pool at Otumuheke. A hot stream flows into the Waikato River and naturally forms these pools at just the right temperature to bathe in. Walk upstream to find more hidden bathing spots.”

 

Lucy
Destination Specialist

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