Plan a Foodie Trip to Taupo
Taupo might be famous for its oversized lake and adrenaline activities like bungy jumping and skydiving but did you know it has a foodie side? Taupo boasts a range of eateries that would put some of the large New Zealand cities to shame, as well as food tours of an apiary, craft brewery and to catch your own freshwater critters like trout and prawns. With some of the finest restaurants in town located in Taupo’s hotels, it also means your accommodation could even be a foodie experience. Otherwise, you might want to stay in self-catering accommodation and treat yourself to fresh local produce from The Taupo Market. Either way, you’ll be guided through it all with this foodie guide to Taupo.
Foodie Activities in Taupo
- Catch your own trout for dinner on Lake Taupo
- Or catch a prawn for dinner at the Huka Prawn Park
- Taste honey and take a honey tour at the Huka Honey Hive
- Try the local artisan goods and produce at The Taupo Market
- Take a brewery tour at the Crafty Trout Brewery
- Visit the artsy cafes with a difference at L’Arte Cafe and Lava Glass
- Indulge in Taupo’s cafe, restaurants and other eateries.
Learn more about each experience in the 7 Things to Do in Taupo for Foodies.
Food Experiences in Taupo
Ready to catch your own meal? Taupo really puts you to work, in a leisurely way, of course, with trout fishing and even prawn fishing. Let’s start with the trout: the pride of Lake Taupo! Fishing charters can take you on the lake to catch your own trout no matter how experienced you are. Alternatively, fly fishing poses more of a challenge, but the local 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.
Something fun for all ages, the Huka Prawn Park offers a unique foodie experience in New Zealand where 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 go. Whether you’re successful or not, you’ll be able to try prawny cuisine at the on-site Riverside Restaurant.
It’s not all fishy business in Taupo, however, with some sweet tastings to be done at the Huka Honey Hive. Try New Zealand’s famous manuka honey, as well as all sorts of bush honey and honey meads. 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. The Huka Honey Hive also offers guided tours in the high season (October to April) to visit their gardens and learn about all things honey, even getting the chance to extract your own jar of honey spun fresh from the comb.
And there’s a lot more foodie treats to discover, including a local craft brewery, the Taupo Market and a couple of interesting cafe experiences. Check them out in the 7 Things to Do in Taupo for Foodies.
The Best Restaurants in Taupo
Taupo might just be a small New Zealand town when it comes to dining, but it’s got choice similar to a city! Dive into the cafe culture of the town at Victoria’s Cafe Kitchen Bar (127 Tongariro Street) for excellent seasonal fare and good coffee that many people miss, as it’s not on the lakefront like the other popular cafes. For sweet treats, don’t miss Baked with Love (11 Gascoigne Street) for its creative cakes and doughnuts! Plus, pick up a gourmet ice cream to eat by the lake from Luna’s Gelateria (29 Tongariro Street). And for something healthier and innovative, try Raw Balance (45 Oruanui Street) who specialise in raw takeaway foods that are gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. They offer weekly workshops, which are worth seeking out if you plan to stay in town a while.
What’s for dinner? SMK Southern Meat Kitchen (40 Tuwharetoa Street) is a must for the carnivorous with their American wood smoker slow-cooking all kinds of meaty dishes along with craft beer from local brewer, Escape Brewery, all served in a takeaway street-eat fashion. Vine Eatery & Bar (37 Tuwharetoa Street) is a popular joint with the locals offering a huge range of wines, craft beer and whisky along with sharing plates and an a la carte menu. To wrap up our recommendations, we suggest Lake Taupo Lodge (41 Mapara road) if you are after an exclusive fine dining experience that will dazzle your palet.
Alternative Things to Do in Taupo
While it’s hard to believe, it’s not all about the food in Taupo. There is a big lake with stuff to do on it, not to mention scenic flights, bungy jumping, skydiving and other cool and crazy activities. Complete your getaway to the lakeside town with some of these:
- Visit a geothermal park such as Crater of the Moon or Orakei Korako (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Rafting the Tongariro River with Tongariro River Rafting (on Viator or Tripadvisor) or Rafting New Zealand (on Viator or Tripadvisor)
- Sail the lake with Sail Barbary (on Viator or Tripadvisor) or Taupo Sailing Adventures (on Viator or Tripadvisor)
- Take on the Taupo Bungy
- Relax in some mineral thermal pools at Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort (on Viator and Tripadvisor) or the free Otumuheke Stream at Spa Park
- Skydive over Mordor with Taupo Tandem Skydiving (on Viator and Tripadvisor)