Food Tours and Experiences in Taupo
You’re bound to experience the awe-inspiring lake, river and geothermal landscapes of Taupo. You’re probably going to do the must-dos like Huka Falls, bungy jump, mountain bike, skydive or something else… But did you know that Taupo is a foodie hub as well? With eateries rivalling those of New Zealand’s large cities and a whole array of food tours and experiences, this small town certainly packs a flavoursome punch! Find out more with this list of the things to do in Taupo for foodies.
1. Catch Your Own Trout for Dinner on Lake Taupo
Trout: it’s the pride of Lake Taupo! The only way you can try trout in New Zealand is to catch it yourself (selling trout commercially is illegal), so join one of the fishing charters on the lake. Operators like Pinnacles Charters, Lake Taupo Cruises, Chris Jolly Outdoors and many others can help you catch your own trout no matter how experienced you are. Alternatively, fly fishing poses more of a challenge, but the local guides, like Trout Fishing Guides NZ and Riverstone Fly Fishing Guides, will keep you right and supply all the gear you need. With your catch, contact either the Vine Eatery, Bistro Lago, The Bistro, Plateau Bar & Eatery or The Brantry who will cook up your fish for you.
Location: Many fishing charters depart and/or can be booked at the Taupo Boat Harbour along Redoubt Street.
2. … and Catch a Prawn for Dinner at the Huka Prawn Park
Something fun for all ages, the Huka Prawn Park offers a unique foodie experience in New Zealand. Visitors can catch their own prawns in geothermally heated pools! Take a tour of the nursery and hatchery and even feed baby prawns before making your way to the pools to give catching the critters a try. Whether you’re successful or not, you’ll be able to try prawny goodness at the on-site Riverside Restaurant.
Location: Karetoto Road, Wairakei, approximately 7km (4 miles) from Taupo town centre.
3. Take a Honey Tour at the Huka Honey Hive
It’s not all fishy business in Taupo! The Huka Honey Hive is a great place to try New Zealand’s famous manuka honey, as well as all sorts of bush honey and meads in their store with free tastings. There is even a bee display to see the honeybees at work, while the on-site cafe is a good place to try delicious ice creams and sweet treats. Huka Honey Hive also offers guided tours to visit their gardens and learn about all things honey, even gives the chance to extract your own jar of honey spun fresh from the comb. Note that tours only run between mid-October to early April.
Location: 65 Karetoto Road, Wairakei, approximately 6km (4 miles) from Taupo town centre.
4. Try the Local Artisan Goods and Produce at The Taupo Market
Every large town in New Zealand has one and Taupo is no different! If you happen to be in town on Saturday, don’t miss The Taupo Market featuring an array of stalls selling organic bread, meat, pies, preserves, fresh fruit and vegetables, doughnuts, crepes, artisan cheese, raw foods, fruit wines, honey and the list goes on! The event takes place from 9am to 1pm. We also feature this activity in the 12 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Taupo.
Location: Nukuhau Shopping Centre, 150 Acacia Bay, approximately 1.5km (1 mile) from Taupo town centre.
5. Take a Brewery Tour at the Crafty Trout Brewery
Specialising in craft beer and cider made with alpine volcanic water, Crafty Trout Brewery is at least worth a visit to try the local hoppiness in their beer cafe. Otherwise, why not take their brewery tour to learn more about the mineral water’s amazing journey through volcanic fire and glacial ice to be combined with hops, malt and yeast? Tours take place daily except for Tuesdays. For more like this, see the 12 Things to Do in Taupo on a Rainy Day.
Location: 135 Tongariro Street, Taupo town centre.
6. Visit Artsy Cafes with a Difference
Taupo has a couple of destination cafes that offer more than just a foodie experience. While L’Arte Cafe and Gallery offers a feast for the tastebuds with all cafe delights produced fresh on-site, they also offer a feast for the eyes with a wealth of colourful mosaic sculptures to admire among picturesque gardens. Alternatively, head to Lava Glass, which also features a sculpture garden, art gallery and a cafe with a fantastic range of breakfast and lunch food to please carnivores and vegetarians alike.
Location: Lava Glass – 165 State Highway 5, Wairakei. L’Arte Cafe – 255 Mapara Road, Acacia Bay.
7. Indulge in Taupo’s Cafes, Restaurants and Other Eateries
Finally, it’s an obvious one but a foodie experience nonetheless! Most visitors are surprised by the array of restaurants and eateries this town has to offer. Dive into the cafe culture of the town at Victoria’s Cafe Kitchen Bar for excellent seasonal fare and good coffee. For sweet treats, don’t miss Baked with Love for its creative cakes and doughnuts! Plus, pick up a gourmet ice cream to eat by the lake from Luna’s Gelateria. And for something healthier yet irresistibly yummy, try Raw Balance who specialise in raw takeaway foods that are gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. They also offer weekly workshops, which are worth seeking out if you plan to stay in town a while. Oh man, and we haven’t even got onto dinner! Check out The Foodie Guide to Taupo for more recommendations.
Location: Victoria’s Cafe Kitchen Bar – 127 Tongariro Street. Baked with Love – 11 Gascoigne Street. Luna’s Gelateria – 29 Tongariro Street. Raw Balance – 45 Oruanui Street.