The Top Places to Visit Near Taupo
Make the most of your time on the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake by not only experiencing Taupo but the surrounding gems. Delve into the World Heritage Area of the Tongariro National Park, go for a bushwalk in the Pureora Forest Park, visit the geothermal parks on the way to Rotorua, and much more! Plan your perfect road trip with this guide to the best day trips from Taupo. Plus, we’ve included a few day tours from Taupo where you won’t need your own vehicle.
For more trip-planning tips, check out The Complete Guide to Taupo.
5 Best Day Tours from Taupo
While this guide to the best day trips from Taupo focuses on self-drive day trips, we’ve listed a few day tours from Taupo should you not have your own vehicle.
Guided Day Tours from Taupo
- Taupo Highlights Tour with Go Explore NZ (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Kayak and mountain bike day tour with Taupo Kayaking Adventures (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook)
- White water rafting on the Tongariro River with Tongariro River Rafting (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Tongariro Crossing transfer with Tongariro Expeditions (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Full-day mountain biking, fishing and hiking packages with Chris Jolly Outdoors.
Tongariro National Park
The Best Day Trip from Taupo for Couples
Experience the volcanic landscapes of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, as you hike or simply enjoy a scenic drive around the Tongariro National Park. While the full-day Tongariro Crossing is a popular option to see the volcanoes, there is also a myriad of short walks to enjoy from Whakapapa Village.
Plan your day trip from Taupo further using the 10 Tongariro National Park Must-Dos.
The Best Day Trip from Taupo for Luxury Travellers
Travel time by car: 1 hour one-way
One of the top tourist spots of the country, Rotorua is famous for its geothermal activity and strong Maori presence. Explore its geothermal parks, indulge in some hot pools, attend a Maori cultural show, or do one of the many adventure activities in the area, including white water rafting and ziplining.
Plan more of your day trip from Taupo with the 20 Best Things to Do in Rotorua.
The Best Day Trip from Taupo for Families
After a scenic drive along the shores of Lake Taupo, you’ll come across the town of Turangi. Join a fishing guide for its renowned fishing on the Tongariro River, opt for one of the white water rafting experiences or walk/cycle the Tongariro River Trail. You might also like to check out the Tongariro Trout Centre to see some of the area’s native birds, freshwater fish species and, of course, trout!
Check out more activities in the 10 Amazing Things to Do in Turangi.
The Best Day Trip from Taupo for Foodies
Travel time by car: 20 minutes one-way
Whether you want to indulge in some fine dining at the K Restaurant, have a swing on the revered Kinloch Golf Club, or go for a swim at Kinloch Beach, this charming little settlement on the shores of Lake Taupo certainly has something for everyone. Active travellers can stretch their legs or hop on their bikes on the Whakaipo Bay and Kawakawa Bay tracks.
For more information on these activities, see the 10 Awesome Bike Trails Around Lake Taupo.
Pureora Forest Park
The Best Day Trip from Taupo for Budget Travellers
Travel time by car: 35 minutes to 40 minutes one-way
Discover Lake Taupo’s more tranquil side as you explore the hiking and mountain biking trails of the Pureora Forest Park on the western shores of the lake. The Rimu Walk is an easy walk closest to Taupo with its stands of dense forest. Alternatively, the Waihaha Hut Track is a full-day hike or mountain bike trip that meanders through the forest up to a hut overlooking the Waihaha River. There are many more walks in the Pureora Forest Park but note that most are more than two hours’ drive away.
For more hikes in the Pureora Forest Park, check out the Department of Conservation website.