Here are just a few of the many things to do in the Great Lake Taupo district

Natural Attractions

Lake Taupo is the showpiece of this region. According to Māori legend, Lake Taupo is the North Island’s heart. It is the largest freshwater lake in Australasia, and was created by a volcanic eruption that occurred approximately 26,500 years ago. The land around it is full of natural thermal springs, bubbling mud and steam vents. Enjoy a picnic by the lakeside, make use of one of the barbecues provided on the shoreline (small charge), or enjoy the scenery from one of the many cafes and restaurants along Lake Terrace. You will be mesmerized by the pure beauty! 

Taupo Township is located on the lake’s edge, 3 km from The Retreat Luxury Accommodation, a five minute drive away. Along the way, stop at the Lookout along Huka Falls Road, for a panoramic view  of the Taupo township, Lake Taupo, and the dramatic mountains of Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe.

Huka Falls, New Zealand's most-visited natural attraction, is just 2.7 km from The Retreat Luxury Accommodation.

For the adventurous

There are many attractions catering for the adventurous in Taupo. These include sky diving, bungy jumping, jet boating, parasailing, and kayaking, along the mighty Waikato River, or to the Maori Rock Carvings on Lake Taupo, to name a few. 

For those who like to walk

There are plenty of options for walking around Taupo. Here are just a few:

  • The Lions Walk - a scenic, relatively flat, walk along a footpath, along the lakefront. Walk as far as you wish, but we do recommend stopping for a lakeside refreshment at Manuel’s. The scenery is stunning from here.
  • Walk to Huka Falls – about 2.7 km each way along Huka Falls Road, to view the beautiful Huka Falls. Pass Huka Lodge along the way (accommodation of the British Royals when visiting), and buy an ice-cream at the car park kiosk. 
  • Walk the Huka Falls Track- a scenic track about 3 km each way. Start at either Spa Park or Huka Falls, spot Huka Lodge along the way, and stop to marvel at the hot pools, frequented by locals and visitors each day. You may be tempted to hop in. If so, take togs and a towel with you.
  • Walk up Mount Tauhara – take in panoramic views of Taupo, walk through native bush, and enjoy the spectacular view of the surrounding area from the top. You need to be relatively fit for this one. It is a fair climb, but well worth it, especially on a clear day.
  • Walk to Kawakawa Bay – this walk takes you along Kinloch beach and into the bush. The walk is about 10 km each way, with some hilly sections, so it is for the keen walker. Mountain bikers use this track as well. If you are up for the challenge, take a picnic and enjoy a well-earned rest stop at the bay.

For those who like to Golf

New Zealand is blessed with many beautiful golf courses. In Taupo, we are fortunate to have five options, catering for all standards.

  • For the serious golfer, why not treat yourself to a round at Wairakei International Resort. This is a beautiful course, with a lovely club house.
  • Wairakei nine hole located at Wairakei Resort, just a short drive from The Retreat, offers casual golf, but don’t be fooled, there are some tricky holes here.
  • Taupo Golf Club located on Centennial Drive, has two 18-hole courses to choose from. Both are more challenging than Wairakei nine hole.
  • Kinloch has two golf clubs. One is a ten-hole course, offering casual golf. The private links course is an award winning option for the serious golfer.

For those who like to fish

Lake Taupo and the rivers in the Great Lake Taupo region are a trout fishing mecca. The town of Turangi is known as the 'Trout Fishing Capital of New Zealand' and is a great place to experience the best that New Zealand trout and fly fishing has to offer.

The Tongariro River runs through Turangi and is the largest and most important spawning river in the Great Lake Taupo fishing region. The Tongariro River has gained a reputation as a world-class river to fish for prime rainbow and brown trout.  There are many ways to explore this wonderful area including hiring a fishing charter or fly fishing guide. Appropriate fishing gear can be hired or purchased at local fishing or outdoor shops in the area. Don’t forget to purchase fishing licence! You can buy your licence from the Taupo and Turangi Visitor Information Centres, local licence agents or online from the Department of Conservation website.

For those who like to bike

The Taupo region has some of the best bike tours and mountain biking trails in New Zealand. The free draining soil conditions in this region make the biking trails rideable all year-round. The mountain biking trails are graded according to fitness levels and difficulty to help you decide if it is the right trail for you. There are several operators in the Great Lake Taupo region providing excellent bike hire equipment for exploring the region's trails by bike. Bike hire companies will also be able to provide you with trail maps, local information and advice for a wonderful self-guided or guided bike tour of the area.

For those who like to ski

Mount Ruapehu is home to three ski fields - Whakapapa, Turoa and Tukino, all within an hour’s drive of each other. The closest to Taupo is Whakapapa Ski Area. This sits on the north-western slopes of Mount Ruapehu. It is New Zealand’s largest ski area with over 65 trails to discover, ranging from beginner and intermediate, to extreme.

Whakapapa in summer

On a clear day in summer, take a drive to Mount Ruapehu and travel on the Sky Waka gondola to take in the views and to try out New Zealand’s highest dining experience, Knoll Ridge Chalet. The multi-storey eatery features something for everyone, from a quick grab and go snack to a brand new menu of contemporary cuisine, all overlooking the wonder that is Tongariro National Park. There are some good walks around here too, and a visit to The Chateau for afternoon tea is a decadent way to end the day.

Something else?

Let us know if there is something you would particularly like to do. We are happy to assist you and make bookings on your behalf.


Do you need help planning your itinerary? Just let us know to us and we will happily help you!

For obligation free suggestions, simply Contact Us and we'll be in touch fast.

We Love Happy Customers!

We've got loads of happy customers. We'd love for you to be one. To see what we can do for you, Contact Us. We look forward to hearing from you.

The mighty Waikato River


The Stunning Mountains of the Central Plateaulake-taupo-during-winter-mt-ruapehu-is-in-the-distance-picture-id176012480.jpg

Pristine Lake Taupoevening-at-lake-taupo-picture-id170616189.jpg

Mount Ruapehu and The Chateaumount-ruapehu-and-chateau-picture-id91369008.jpg

Beautiful Lake Terracelake-taupo-picture-id848929880.jpg

Taupo is a Golfer's Paradise!

Trout Fishing on Lake Taupotrout-picture-id147705034.jpg

Whakapapa Ski Fields


Taupo is the bike capital of New Zealand!