Kayaking, Sailing and Cruises on Lake Taupo
Contained within the crater of a supervolcano, Lake Taupo is a huge draw to the central North Island. But once you get to its shores in the town of Taupo, then what? How can you actually experience the vast lake before you? Luckily, we have the listicle to help! We’ll guide you through your kayaking options, the different types of cruises and even fishing on this list of ways to experience Lake Taupo.
For more Taupo talk, don’t forget to head to the 10 Best Things to Do in Taupo.
1. Sail to the Maori Rock Carvings
One way to experience Lake Taupo is on a sailing cruise. Join either Sail Barbary (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor), Sail Fearless (on Viator and Tripadvisor) or Taupo Sailing Adventures (on Viator and Tripadvisor) for a couple of hours out on the water. Sailing tours often include light refreshments, onboard commentary and the opportunity for a swim in summer. The main event of any sailing tour, however, is stopping by the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings in the lake’s cliff face. You might also want to check out the 8 Best Sailing Tours in New Zealand for more places to cruise around the country.
Location: All sailing tours depart from the marina on Redoubt Street, Taupo.
2. Kayak on the Great Lake
To earn your view of the Maori Rock Carvings, join one of the kayaking tours to paddle your way to them. Canoe and Kayak Taupo offers a popular tour from Jerusalem Bay following the shoreline with towering cliffs (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). They also offer stand-up paddleboard hire (on Viator and Tripadvisor). Alternatively, Taupo Kayaking Adventures is another option for guided tours departing from Acacia Bay (on Viator and Tripadvisor). Plus, check out the 10 Best Kayaking Lakes in New Zealand for more experiences like these.
Location: Canoe and Kayak – 54 Spa Road, Taupo. Taupo Kayaking Adventures – 2/876 Acacia Bay Road, Acacia Bay, Taupo.
3. Take a Lake Cruise
Kick back on a relaxing catamaran or steamboat cruise on Lake Taupo. Listen to commentary on the Maori Rock Carvings, the volcanology and the cultural history of the lake as you soak in the scenery. Cruises include light refreshments, such as with Ernest Kemp Scenic Cruises (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor), while afternoon cruises with Chris Jolly Outdoors (on Viator and Tripadvisor) also include a fishing demonstration.
Location: All cruises depart from the marina on Redoubt Street, Taupo.
4. Experience Parasailing
Just try to resist riding with Lake Taupo’s parasailing crew after watching the colourful parachute go back and forth across the lake a few times! Big Sky Parasailing offers flights for up to three people with harnesses suitable for as young as five years old. Parasail flights are about 10-15 minutes long while the boat trip on the water is between 25 minutes to an hour depending on how many other cruisers are flying. Note that the activity is only available between October and April. See more places to parasail in the 5 Incredible Places to Do Parasailing in New Zealand.
Location: Tours depart from Redoubt Street, Taupo.
5. Fish for Rainbow Trout
Finally, another way to experience Lake Taupo is by hopping on a fishing charter. Lake Taupo is renowned for its thriving population of rainbow trout thanks to strict fishing regulations. Don’t worry about a fishing licence if you’re going with one of Taupo’s fishing charters, however, as they’ll have the paperwork all sorted out for you. While Pinnacle Charters, LAKeFUN Taupo, Chris Jolly Outdoors and Taupo Lake Adventures are all worthy charters to join, you’ll find a lot more options at the Lake Taupo Marina.
Location: Fishing charters depart from Lake Taupo Marina on Redoubt Street, Taupo.