5 Days in Great Lake Taupo for Families

A suggested itinerary for a five-day holiday in Taupo with the kids.

Day 1

Morning - allow 2 hours

Huka Prawn Park

Huka Prawn Park - Karetoto Rd, Wairakei Park, Taupo
One of the greatest Taupo attractions - Home of “Shawn the Prawn”
Experience New Zealand’s only Prawn Park! “Shawn’s Walk” features a guided Hatchery Tour and an introduction to ‘Hook-A-Prawn’ Fishing. Try out Shawn’s Water Gauntlet and the Prawn Bikes, feed the trout and enjoy a foot soak in the geothermal foot bath. Finish off your experience with a treat of New Zealand Prawns in the riverside restaurant.

Afternoon - allow 2 hours

Hukafalls Jet - Karetoto Road, Wairakei Park, Taupo (next to Huka Prawn Park)
Feel the exhilaration and the power of a Hukafalls Jet boat ride! Marvel at the incredible water level views of the spectacular Huka Falls, and enjoy the sensation as you slide past cliffs and trees at 80km per hour. The awesome performance of the boats will put your heart in your mouth when your driver spins your Huka Jet through 360° in its own length at high speed.

For younger children who can’t jet boat, go into Taupo and take a ride on the Lions Train located in the Tongariro North Domain. This is next to the wonderful playground especially suited to younger children.

Afternoon - allow 2 hours return

Huka Falls

Spa Park to Huka Falls Walk
Park at either Spa Park or Huka Falls and walk the return path between the two. Please don't leave any valuables in the car. There is a great playground, flying fox and agility course at Spa Park, sure to keep the children amused.

Late afternoon - allow 2 hours

Taupo DeBretts Thermal Pools - Napier-Taupo Highway, Taupo
What better way to end the day than with a luxurious soak at the hot pools? This iconic spa has been a family favourite for years. With an interactive warm water playground and giant hot water dragon slide, plus the non-water games, mineral pools and fantastic BBQ areas. There's even a spa for mum to relax in while dad has fun with the kids

Day 2

Morning - allow 2 hours 

Feeding Trout

Tongariro National Trout Centre -State Highway One, Turangi
The Tongariro National Trout Centre is a great place for kids. There’s a small but highly interactive gallery detailing the history of trout fishing, an underwater viewing area featuring native species and of course some big eels, and a Children’s Fishing Pond where trout can be fed. The children’s pond is open for fishing several times a year, go onto the Trout Centre website to check out the dates. Bookings are essential for these days.

Afternoon - allow 2 hours

Tongariro River Rafting Family Float  - Atirau Road, Turangi

This leisurely 1½ hour trip down the soft, tumbling waters of the Lower Tongariro brings the magic alive for first time rafters and especially children. You still get to paddle and there are some small rapids to navigate but nothing too wet or wild. Suitable for children from 3 years of age.

Afternoon - allow 2 hours

Tokaanu Thermal Pools - Mangaroa Street, Tokaanu
Located a short drive from Turangi, these thermal pools are a slice of real kiwiana and great for a soak after a busy day. Situated right next door is a short walk through boiling mudpools as well.

Day 3

Morning - allow up to 3 hours

Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon - Huka Falls Road, Wairakei Park, Taupo
Named for its other-worldly atmosphere, the Craters of the Moon thermal area in sprang up in the 1950s, when the nearby power station lowered underground water levels. The 30 minute walk visits bubbling craters, mud pools and steam vents. You can also see a lot of interesting plants that have adapted to thrive in the hot, steamy conditions.

Afternoon - allow 1 hour

Huka Honey Hive - Karetoto Road, Wairakei Park, Taupo
Unique honeybee experience. Free sampling of NZ honey products.  If the bees make it, we’ve got it. Live beehives, displays, and a bee video show. The café features honey ice creams.

Afternoon -  allow up to 2 hours

Volcanic Activity Centre - Karetoto Road, Wairakei Park, Taupo
The hottest place in town… Earthquake simulator, interactive displays and continuous audio visual presentation. 

Late afternoon 

Lion's Walk to Wharewaka Point
Walk along the Lion's Walk as it travels along the lakefront from the township to the playground and swimming beach at Wharewaka Point.

Day 4

Morning - allow a minimum 2 hours

Lilliput Farm Fun & Animal Park - 136 Link Road, Oruanui, Taupo
Great fun for the younger family members, hand feeding over 25 different animal and bird species. Picnic area and playground. Open 10-2 weekdays, 10-4 weekends and public holidays.

Afternoon - allow a minimum 2 hours

Pureora Forest

Pureora Forest Park - Off State Highway 32, Western Bay Road
Drive to this pristine forest and see some amazing podocarps and other native plants and birds, plus journey to the geographical centre of the North Island. Tracks take between 30 minutes to 2 ½ hours to walk.


Waikato River Trails Mountain Bike Ride - Various access points near Mangakino
Hire some mountain bikes or bring your own and ride the Maraetai to Whakamaru Dam section of the Waikato River Trail. Included in this section of the trail is riding across a 70m suspension bridge that goes over the Waikato River.

Day 5

Morning - Allow up to 3 hours


Mountain Biking

Craters of the Moon Mountain Biking - Huka Falls Road, Wairakei Park, Taupo
Hire mountain bikes and cruise around the many tracks in the Craters of the Moon mountain bike park. Rapids Sensations hire bikes and all the gear.


Taupo Horse Treks - Karapiti Road, Wairakei Park, Taupo
Enjoy a 1 or 2 hour ride through the forest around the Craters of the Moon. All gear supplied, suitable from age 4 upwards.

Afternoon allow up to 2 hours

Mind Junction - State Highway 5, Taupo-Rotorua Highwa
A great place to spend a few hours – try the maze, the flight, golf and target shooting simulators, mini golf, model trains and more. With an on-site café and puzzle shop. Entry is free, just pay per activity.


AC Baths - AC Bath Avenue, Taupo
With two indoor hydroslides, and indoor and outdoor water play areas, plus training pools, there are plenty of options for the whole family. Located only four minutes from town. 

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