There is sooo much to do in Taupo, obviously one can watch jet boats (which we did in Queenstow) or bungy jumps, the “normal extreme stuff” that looks pretty cool. There is a cafe next to the bungy jumping platform but as it seemed to rain the whole day, we didn’t expect anyone to jump and went to McDonalds because of the airplane instead. We had our rainy day in Taupo planned but were not disappointed when the weather changed to the better.
I think the Huka falls are a must see in Taupo. Funny though, our kids weren’t impressed as they had seen this in Helsinki and didn’t think there was any difference… Really?!!
There are plenty of lovely lookouts to Lake Taupo. A walk or drive around it would be scenic, we’ve done parts of it before and our daughter still remembers her skinny dipping days in the lake when she was 2.
Taupo is a geothermal area but I didn’t think the Craters of the Moon, maybe the most known ones in this area, were that awesome even though they are very easy to go to (eg in Hell’s Gate near Roturua one could see much more). We would have loved to go to the free Spa Park Hot Pools but had to miss them due to our daughters bad ear infection.
Instead we decided to try Wairakei Thermal Valley this time, that offers a 30 minute thermal walk. We chose that mainly to get out from the car and walk a bit.
The walk was muddy after the rains but at the starting point they gave us a fair warning. And it wasn’t that muddy. The walk is on private land, so you pay a few dollars for it and get a map (even though the track is easy enough to follow) and a thermometer.
Our daughter liked trying the temperatures in various areas, and one could quite well see the steam rise and the water boil in a few spots. Our son wasn’t too interested of the thermal dimension but happily jumped up and down the narrow path.
The service was good and people were friendly but in my opinion the kiosk, the walk and the overall grounds seemed a bit ran down. Still a good stop for restless legs on a long drive!
Please find here more tips for free things to do around Taupo.