What to do at night in Taupo.
The adventures in Taupo don’t have to end when the sun goes down. As a bustling town with hot pools, bars, cruises and a lake full of epic scenery (and trout), Taupo really has many things to do after dark! Take a look at the list below of the awesome things to do in Taupo at night!While Taupo is action-packed throughout the day (just take a look at this list of 10 Taupo Must-Dos), the evening is your chance to unwind in a thermal pool, have a drink, cruise, kayak or fish on the lake. What’s more, you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy these evening activities in Taupo. Other ways to save on the cents while in Taupo is to stay in budget accommodation or backpacker hostels. Plus, here are some extra ideas for some 12 Free or Cheap Activities in Taupo.
1. Unwind in a natural hot spring
Spa Park is home to one of Taupo’s natural hot springs which is free to bathe in. From the Spa Park car park, walk toward the Waikato River and follow the walkway until you feel the stream rising beneath the bridge. You’ve found the place! The gates to Spa Park close at 8pm.
Location: Spa Road, turn down Country Avenue to the Spa Park car park.
2. Or indulge at some thermal hot pools
If scrambling in the dark for a natural free hot pool isn’t your thing then don’t worry, there are plenty of hot pool complexes across Taupo for some no-nonsense relaxation. The Wairakei Terraces and Thermal Health Spa is open until 7pm, AC Baths and Thermal Hot Pools are open until 9pm, and DeBretts Thermal Resort until 9.30pm.
Location: Wairakei Terraces is on State Highway 1 in Wairakei 7km from Taupo, AC Baths are on Spa Road, and DeBretts is at 76 Napier-Taupo Road.
3. Enjoy an evening cruise on the lake
In summer, there are several cruises departing at 5pm for an evening cruise on New Zealand’s largest lake. Cruise with Chris Jolly Outdoors or sail with Sail Barbaryto the famous Maori Rock Carvings, a cultural masterpiece etched into the cliffs of Mine Bay. Some evening cruises include food, drink and some awesome sunset photo opportunities (if the weather is playing ball, that is).
Location: Lake Taupo Marina
4. Kayak at sunset
Sunset is a magical time to be on Lake Taupo with striking colours in the sky and the water at its stillest. Enjoy a relaxing paddle on the lakefront with tours departing from Acacia Bay.
Location: Acacia Bay, Taupo.
5. Sample the local cuisine
Taupo has more than enough choice to sample the local cuisine! It’s a classic thing to do at night in most towns, and that’s no less true for Taupo. But, because we are on a backpacker budget here, here are some ideas on where to eat on a budget in Taupo.
6. Do some night fishing
If you hadn’t figured out from the giant metal trout sculpture on the lakefront, Taupo is one of the best places from trout fishing in New Zealand. The lakes and rivers of the area are teeming with brown and rainbow trout. Join a fishing charter or fishing guide who can sort out all the nitty-gritty like fishing licenses and take you to the best spot for night fishing.
Location: Lake Taupo.
7. Party Lake Taupo-style
Taupo is one of the great places in New Zealand to experience the Kiwi nightlife! Try the Element Bar or Urban Retreat, both the resident backpacker bars, while Tuwharetoa Street has loads of bars and late night clubs to let your hair down.
Location: Taupo town centre
8. Stargaze at the Southern Hemisphere Sky
If you’re from the Northern Hemisphere, then you have to admit that stargazing at the Southern Hemisphere sky is pretty magical. Even with the Taupo town lights, a clear night still gives an impressive display of stars. However, the best views are away from artificial lights. We recommend the campsites around the lake.
9. Watch a movie at the cinema
Most cinemas in New Zealand are far from the massive city cinemas you might be used to. There’s something more intimate and characterful about the classic Kiwi cinema and the Starlight Cinema Centre is a great example of this. Showing all the latest blockbusters, going to the cinema in Taupo is a great option for a thing to do in Taupo at night.
Location: 26 Horomatangi Street
10. Check out the Friday Night Food Market
Running throughout summer every Friday, the Friday Night Food Market is best described as a grand feast of Mexico, Spain, Asian Fusion, Kiwiana and delicious deserts. That’s all complete with live music and cooking demonstrations in the gardens of the Wairakei Resort. The market is from 6-9pm every Friday from December to February.
Location: Wairakei Resort, 640 Wairakei Road. 7km from Taupo.