Great Lake Taupo Bucket List
Taupo Skydives, Bungy, Tongariro Alpine Crossing & loads more!
Chances are, if you’re travelling through the Great Lake Taupo region you’re also ticking off the bucket list. After all, that’s what travelling is all about, right? Not to miss out on the fun, we thought we’d make our own Great Lake Taupo bucket list. So while you’re here add these must do's to your list.
1. Skydive Taupo
This features on everyone’s bucket list somewhere, right? Well you couldn’t have come to a better place for it. Little old Taupo is the world’s premiere home of skydiving. We boast the greatest number of tandem skydives per year anywhere in the world, and are proudly home to New Zealand's original drop zone.
Why here you ask? Because the scenery is incredible. If you go for the 15,000 foot option – that’s a minute of freefall time if you're wondering - you’ll see from the East Coast of New Zealand to the West Coast, and it doesn't get any better than that. Actually it does, Taupo is also the cheapest place in New Zealand to take the plunge. You're out of excuses, so get booking!
2. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing
People come from all corners of the world to tick the iconic, one-day Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike off their must do list. It takes between six and eight hours depending on how fit you are, and treks across active volcanoes, past emerald lakes and back down through stunning native bush. If you’re really fit you can also climb the side of Mt Ngauruhoe - that’s Mount Doom for you Lord of the Rings fans. This climb which will tack an extra three hours onto your epic journey, but the wicked slide down the mountain side at the end is well worth it.
3. Bungy Taupo - jump off a cliff!
You may be detecting a bit of an adrenaline junkie theme throughout this bucket list, but this is New Zealand after all. Taupo Bungy has been throwing people off their ledge since 1991, so they’re old pros at it. The plunge is 47 metres into the crystal clear waters of New Zealand's longest river the mighty Waikato - making it the country's highest water touch bungy. As they say, ‘why live on the edge when you can jump off?
4. Have a soak in one of the Taupo hot pools
This region is a wonderland of New Zealand geothermal activity, so you’ve got to take advantage of it while you’re here. There are a few different spots in Taupo where you can enjoy a hot soak. AC Baths, Wairakei Terraces and DeBretts Taupo Hot Springs offer paid hot pools, or if you’re short on cash from all that skydiving and bungy jumping you can soak in the free ‘hot spot’ in the Waikato River near Spa Park. Come on down and mingle with some locals – bliss!
5. Visit the Maori Rock Carvings
These epic 14-metre high carvings are hidden from sight around the side of Lake Taupo and are only accessible by water. You can sail, cruise or kayak to get a glimpse of these iconic carvings, and the trip is worth every cent. Make sure you pack your camera. If making the trip by kayak, make sure to stop off at the large rock just around the corner from the carvings for some seriously fun bomb action.
6. Get wet
Take a spin in one of Taupo's famous jet boats on the Waikato River - it is a Kiwi invention after all! Or perhaps you'd prefer to experience the full force of the region's rapids, in which case you'll want to raft your way down the mighty Tongariro River in Turangi. Our rapids cater to novices and rafting gurus. Ask our friendly rafting guides which trips would suit you the best. You can also get wet with other water activities in the region such as kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, wakeboarding or simply swimming.
7. Take a picture of McDonalds
No really, we’re being serious. Taupo’s Maccas tops the list as ‘the most unique McDonalds in the world’, so make sure you go and enjoy a Big Mac in their decommissioned DC3 plane. That’s right, you can eat in the plane. Oh and of course, there’s free WIFI so you can Instagram your experience.
All you need to know when backpacking around our region