• a group of people on a rocky beach

Taupo and Tongariro Holidays

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
  • Charlie, Destination Manager


    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.”


  • Lucy, Destination Specialist


    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.”