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Backpacking in Taupo, Turangi & Tongariro

 Backpacking Lake Taupo Website

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Gidday, and welcome to Backpack Lake Taupo: the one-stop site for the backpacker and traveller on a budget in the Great Lake Taupo region of New Zealand. We know how to look after backpackers and budget travellers. From adventure and nightlife to accommodationand transport, you'll find everything you need to know for backpacking and budget travel in the Lake Taupo region. 

 Backpackers Taupo

Taupo Things To Do

Walk over active volcanoes on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, leap out of a plane and skydive above Lake Taupo, chill out in a hot pool or have a beer and watch the sunset over the lake...

The Great Lake Taupo region is one awesome adventure playground, perfect for backpackers and budget travellers.  Many of our operators even offer a free pick-up service, so it's worth asking for a lift!

Backpacker Accommodation

The Great Lake Taupo region takes good care of its backpackers and budget travellers. You'll be spoilt for choice. From campgrounds to luxurious hostels, there are options for every budget.

The rooms are spotless, the facilities are great and the hosts bend over backwards to make sure you have a great stay in Taupo: they'll even come and pick you up! Many hire out sporting/cycling/outdoor gear. They'll also help you out with activities and bookings. These hosts definitely know what's what and what's hot in this big beautiful outdoor playground!

Taupo Transport & Travel

Fly, drive, bus, shuttle or hitch to Taupo and you're in the middle of more adventure than anywhere else in New Zealand - maybe even the world!  You're also at base camp for the world famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing and the Mt Ruapehu skifields, with transport leaving daily and returning daily.

The Great Lake Taupo region is the backpacking heart of the New Zealand's North Island.  Base yourself in Taupo and you're within easy day-trip distance to the vineyards of Hawke's Bay, the steamy geothermal attractions of Rotorua and the mysterious limestone caves of Waitomo. There is a range of affordable and convenient transport options to, from, in and around Taupo for backpackers and budget travellers.

Taupo Nightlife

The Lake Taupo region is full of funky bars. Choose an Irish bar or an English pub in the heart of Taupo that serves local English and Irish beer and a great pub grub menu. Visit a sports bar, an upmarket lounge bar or a trendy boutique bar for resonably priced food and drink.  Head to a nightclub where you can boogie the night away to live music with the masses.  It's a fun town, so sample the beat and the rhythm of Taupō!

The hostels have bars and often food as well.  Meet other backpackers before you go to town to experience a fun night in the bars and clubs with the locals or other tourists.

Taupo Hikes & Walks

Mighty waterfalls, native bush, mountain ranges and active volcanoes make the Great Lake Taupo region a world class destination for walkers and hikers of any ability and fitness.

At the south end of Lake Taupo, the Tongariro National Park is a World Heritage Area, home to the famous Tongariro Crossing - a day-long hike over active volcanoes.  Other stunning walks and hikes in this alpine area abound, and several operators offer daily transport from Taupo and Turangi.

Closer to Taupo there are many tracks through a variety of scenery; native bush, the thundering waterfalls of the Waikato River, lakeside strolls, and tracks to remote bays and tributaries of Lake Taupo.

The ancient forests of the Pureora Forest Park are only 45 minutes to the west of Lake Taupo, where rare New Zealand birds find sanctuary.

Booklets and maps detailing all the walks are available from Taupo's Information Centres and Department of Conservation offices, but we've listed some of the best our region has to offer with walks and hikes from Taupo to Tongariro

Taupo Education

Learn rock climbing or whitewater kayaking, improve your English, become an outdoor instructor, get into Maori language and arts...

The Great Lake Taupo region has a range of quality education opportunites of interest to backpackers and budget travellers.

Learn more about Maori arts and language while you're in New Zealand.  The New Zealand Education & Tourism Corporation (NETCOR) offers certificates in:

  •  Toi Whakairo - bone, wood, greenstone carving
  •  Raranga - weaving
  •  Te Reo Maori - language

Equipped with excellent workshop facilities and situated in the geothermal Wairakei Tourist Park, NETCOR provides a genuine learning experience.

For further information contact:
PO Box 1546,
Ph/Fax: (+ 64) 7 378 0254

The Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre of New Zealand (OPC)
Situated in the best outdoor training venue in the North Island, OPC offers a range of residential outdoor education and outdoor skills training courses for all ages.  More than 20 professionally qualified outdoor instructors ensure a high quality educational experience where safety is managed with skill.

Our programmes include:

  • Skills training in kayaking, rock climbing, mountaineering, bush skills, navigation, first aid etc
  • Tertiary training courses in outdoor leadership and instruction
  • Personal development programmes for all ages.
  • Leadership courses for students or adults.

Also offered is marine outdoor courses at the Great Barrier Island Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

For further contact information:
Freephone 0800 OUT THERE
PH 07 386 5511
FAX 07 386 0204
Private Bag 37

Taupo Language and Outdoor Education Centre
Improve your English and enjoy Taupo's great outdoors at the Taupo Language & Outdoor Education Centre (TLOEC).  TLOEC is a private English Language School, registered by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority with Government accredited English courses.

TLOEC runs the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam course - a prerequisite for university and polytechnic entrance in New Zealand, and a condition of permanent residency for non-English speakers.

Taking advantage of Taupo's superb outdoors, you can choose from a range of outdoor activities while you learn, including snow sports, golf, kayaking, fishing, sailing, and bungy jumping. Basically, anything you find on the activities page!

TLOEC can organise your accommodation.  A 'homestay' with a Kiwi family is the most popular choice among students.

For further information contact:
Taupo Language and Outdoor Education Centre
PO Box 1234
New Zealand
Tel: (+64) 7 378 8881
Fax: (64) 7 378 2206

Waiariki Institute of Technology
Study for a tertiary qualification in one of New Zealand's premier tourist destinations with the Waiariki Institute of Technology.  The Institute runs degree and certificate programmes in:

  • Tourism & Hospitality
  • Forestry and Wood Processing
  • Nursing, Health & Social Sciences
  • Business and Computing
  • Maori Studies and Design

The Institute also offers English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and IELTS preparation programmes. Geared for international students, they can get you living and learning in New Zealand.

For further information contact:
Waiariki Institute of Technology
Private Bag RO 3028
Main Phone: +64 7 346 8999
Main Fax: +64 7 346 8768

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