Things to Do in Taupo for Couples
For effortless romance, head to the stunning shores of Lake Taupo. The glistening waters of the Great Lake, the clear blue flow of the Waikato River, and moonscapes of the geothermal parks offer a romantic setting for adventures shared together. Choose from kayaking, sailing, soaking in hot pools, hiking or something more adventurous like bungy jumping or white water rafting. It’s all here in the big small town of Taupo, so plan your itinerary with this list of romantic activities in Taupo for couples.
1. Cruise Lake Taupo at Sunset
Let’s start with a romantic way to finish a day in Taupo. Relax with your loved one on a sunset cruise with either Sail Barbary (more info on Viator or Tripadvisor) or Taupo Sailing Adventures (on Viator or Tripadvisor), both offering irresistibly affordable rates for an effortless yet interesting experience. Enjoy the views of the sun casting golden hues across the lake as you sip on New Zealand beer or wine. Your skipper and guide will provide interesting commentary about the supervolcano caldera you’re sailing on as you make your way to an impressive Maori rock carving in the cliff face. Just try to resist doing a Jack and Rose moment at the front of the ship…
Location: Tours depart from Redoubt Street, Taupo Boat Harbour.
2. Team Up in a Double Kayak and Paddle to the Maori Rock Carvings
Another way to experience the lake together is teaming up in a double kayak! Test how well you work together in a kayaking excursion to the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings, following the nooks and crannies of the shores as you glide over clear water teeming in rainbow trout. Your reward for your efforts is paddling beneath the 14m (46ft) high Maori Rock Carvings. Kayaking tours are available with Canoe & Kayak Taupo (on Viator and Tripadvisor) and Taupo Kayaking Adventures (on Viator and Tripadvisor).
Location: Taupo Canoe & Kayak – 54 Spa Road. Taupo Kayaking Adventures – 2/876 Acacia Bay Road.
3. Enjoy a Romantic Walk Along the Riverside, the Botanical Gardens and More
There are many places to enjoy a romantic stroll hand-in-hand in Taupo – just start exploring in the 8 Best Walks in Taupo or if you’re prepared for a road trip, see the 10 Wonderful Walks Around Lake Taupo. A couple of easy options include the Riverside Trails along the Waikato River, seeing features like Huka Falls and the Otumuheke Stream hot springs. Alternatively, smell the flowers and enjoy picture-perfect gardens at the Waipahihi Botanical Reserve.
Location: Riverside Trails – Multiple entries but an easy one to find is from the car park in Spa Park, Spa Road. Waipahihi Botanical Reserve – Corner Hyde Avenue and Shepherd Road.
4. Go on a White Water Rafting Adventure Together
Strengthen the bond by tackling tumultuous rapids on a white water rafting trip. After being transported from Taupo to Turangi, you’ll get geared up and join professional guides to tackle the grade three rapids of the Tongariro River. You have two fantastic companies to choose to raft with, offering similar experiences except for, well, their snacks! Tongariro River Rafting provides hot drinks and snacks, as well as a stop by some hot pools in winter, on their rafting tour. (Learn more about Tongariro River Rafting on Viator or Tripadvisor.) On the other hand, Rafting New Zealand includes hot drinks and snacks on the river, as well as hot dogs and beer after the trip. (Find out more about Rafting New Zealand on Viator or Tripadvisor.) Yep, that’s all there really is to it…
Location: Pick-ups available from Taupo. Rafting New Zealand – 41 Ngawaka Place, Turangi. Tongariro River Rafting – 95 Atirau Road, Turangi.
5. Sooth the Senses with a Soak in the Hot Pools
It doesn’t have to be all-go in Taupo. Take some time to relax in Taupo’s luxurious hot pools. For instance, the large mineral hot pools of Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort come complete with waterfalls and sections for hydrotherapy. They also allow you to enhance the romance by booking into one of the indoor private pools. Another romantic option is the Wairakei Terraces, a selection of attractive tiered hot pools and a walkway to the geothermal terraces that are an interesting addition to your visit. If you’re on a budget, you can always head down to the Otumuheke Stream at Spa Park, a free natural hot spring running into the Waikato River. Find out more about Taupo Debretts Spa Resort (on Viator and Tripadvisor).
Location: Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort – 76 Napier-Taupo Road. Wairakei Terraces – State Highway 1, Wairakei. Otumuheke Stream – Spa Park, Spa Road.
6. Conquer the Fear Together in a Tandem Bungy Jump
Ever wanted to do something insane together? Here’s your chance – literally together – with a tandem bungy jump in Taupo! Taupo Bungy is New Zealand’s only clifftop bungy, hanging over the edge of the Waikato River. The tandem option allows you to be strapped to your loved one as you freefall down toward the Waikato River’s clear waters. There’s even the option to be dunked in the water or go dry.
Location: 202 Spa Road
7. Explore the Steaming Lunar-like Landscapes of a Geothermal Park
Some of the amazing places to grab some unique travel photos together is at the geothermal parks surrounding Taupo. Our top recommendation is Orakei Korako, which is a bit of drive out of town but well worth it to take a boat across the Waikato River to this obscure landscape of silica terraces, geysers, bubbling mud and steaming hot pools. It’s also home to the Ruatapu Cave, one of only two geothermal caves in the world. For a cheaper option close to Taupo, head to Craters of the Moon which has a network of boardwalks over a steaming geothermal valley. Learn more about Orakei Korako on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: Orakei Korako – 494 Orakei Korako Road. Craters of the Moon – 171 Karapiti Road.
8. Spend the Afternoon at a Unique Cafe and Art Experience
For couples who appreciate art and something unique, don’t miss a couple of excellent cafe and art gallery experiences surrounding Taupo. L’Arte Cafe and Gallery features a garden of colourful mosaic sculptures, while Lava Glass offers a sculpture garden of around 600 glass sculptures. When you’re done exploring together, enjoy an intimate coffee and their cosy cafes.
Location: Lava Glass – 165 State Highway 5, Wairakei. L’Arte Cafe – 255 Mapara Road, Acacia Bay.
9. Fly Over the Volcanoes in a Romantic Sunrise Scenic Flight
How about waking up to enjoy a sunrise flight over the majestic Lake Taupo and toward the volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park? The peaks of the volcanoes are the first to see the sun in the Taupo area, so catch them in stunning red hues with your loved one on a charter flight with Taupo’s Floatplane or Inflight Experiences Taupo.
Location: Inflight Experiences Taupo – 33 Anzac Memorial Drive, Taupo Airport. Taupo’s Floatplane – Ferry Road, Taupo Boat Harbour.
10. Treat Your Loved One to Dinner at Taupo’s Romantic Restaurants
Couples are spoiled when it comes to romantic eateries in Taupo. If you want to treat your loved one for an extra special occasion, see the fine dining restaurants in The Luxury Guide to Taupo. Otherwise, other romantic options include The Brantry serving gorgeously-presented plates of contemporary New Zealand cuisine and local wines. We also like The Bistro offering casual dining with fine dining plates. A trendy wine bar in town is Vine Eatery & Bar has a huge selection of wine, craft beer and whisky best enjoyed with their tapas plates. For the best of the rest, head to our The Honeymoon Guide to Taupo.
Location: The Brantry – 45 Rifle Range Road. The Bistro – 17 Tamamutu Street. Vine Eatery & Bar – 37 Tuwharetoa Street.