Taupo
Viewing Points

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Our most recommended Taupo Viewing Points

Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Maori Rock Carvings 5:00 PM Cruise

1. Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Maori Rock Carvings 5:00 PM Cruise

Enjoy a summer evening cruising on Lake Taupo. Chris Jolly has been entertaining guests for 40 years, and his tour to the Maori Rock Carvings is known worldwide. Recently restored, these rock carvings were created in the 1980s and still tower above the water, truly a sight to behold.  With family friendly activities on board and split level comfort, this tour is a must for those visiting the region. Enjoy the full bar as you cruise around the Lake Taupo bays, learning onboard from the live commentary. With views of Tongariro National Park and spectacular scenery, this is one evening to be enjoyed by all.

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Lake Taupo: Maori Rock Carvings 1.5-Hour Scenic Cruise

2. Lake Taupo: Maori Rock Carvings 1.5-Hour Scenic Cruise

Cruise through the crystal-clear, turquoise waters of Lake Taupo, taking in the vibrancy of Maori culture all the while. After boarding your cruise, explore the stunning surroundings of the lake, surrounded by rugged mountains and lush trees on the banks. As you glide through the lake on your deluxe Catamaran, you’ll come to a massive carving depicting the traditional facial tattooing of the Maori people. Inspired by centuries of rich Maori tradition, artist Matahi Brightwell carved the elaborate relief into the side of a cliff directly above the lake’s pristine waters in 1980. Depicting one of his grandmother’s ancestors, the carving represent a triumph of Maori artistry, and the continued preservation of indigenous culture. Perfect for the whole family, after taking in the carving, you can feed the ducks, and maybe even catch a fish. After 1.5 hours, you’ll head back to the dock to disembark.

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Lake Taupo Maori Rock Carving 2.5-Hour Sailing Cruise

3. Lake Taupo Maori Rock Carving 2.5-Hour Sailing Cruise

Discover Taupo's Maori Rock Carvings, possibly the largest of their type in the world and only accessible by boat. Enjoy sailing Lake Taupo at its best (and quietest) with New Zealand's only commercially operated fleet of electric yachts. Set off with a friendly and experienced crew who have been sailing to these carvings since 1983. Make yourself at home on a lovingly restored classic white sailing yacht, which set the scene for a wonderful experience on stunning Taupo Moana (Lake Taupo). Sit back and relax as your fun and experienced guides explain the 800-year-old cultural significance of the 14-metre high Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings.  Soak up the sun or roll up your sleeves; you can take the wheel, help hoist the sails or just sit back and enjoy the view. Equipped for all conditions - if the wind dies down, the eco-friendly electric engine will kick in, moving you noiselessly through the water. When the wind is up, you can enjoy sailing without salty sea-spray and noisy outboard motors. Snuggly warm ponchos are supplied for cooler days.

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Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Māori Rock Carvings Scenic Boat Cruise

4. Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Māori Rock Carvings Scenic Boat Cruise

Admire beautiful Māori rock carvings set against a stunning mountainous backdrop on a 1.5-hour journey around Lake Taupo's waters aboard a boat that features live audio commentary. Relax and enjoy coffee or tea and a homemade muffin as you admire panoramic views of New Zealand, picturesque mountain tops, and historic rock carvings inspired by centuries of rich Māori tradition and art. Explore the open decks that allow you to feel the cool outdoor breeze or cozily snuggle into one of the indoor booths, and enjoy a trout fishing demonstration by the crew — you may even get a "taste of Taupo" if all goes well.

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Taupo: 18,500-foot Skydive Experience

5. Taupo: 18,500-foot Skydive Experience

Feel on top of the world with an epic 18,500-foot skydive. This skydive is the highest altitude in Taupo, and a must-do if you want to skydive in New Zealand. From up to 18,500 feet (that's nearly 20,000 feet above sea level), you will receive approximately 75 seconds of free fall. Your skydive will begin with a scenic plane ride, where you’ll see incredible views of Lake Taupo, Mount Ruapehu and on a clear sunny day, you’ll be able to see from coast-to-coast of the Central North Island. Once you’ve reached altitude, the doors will open, you’ll sit on the edge of the plane with your tandem master seated behind you. As you plunge from the plane into the fresh air, you’ll experience the best adrenaline rush of your life.   Reaching speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour, the thrill of the free fall is something you will never forget. After an insane 75 seconds of free fall, you will then float back to earth with a relaxing parachute ride with your tandem master, arriving safe and sound back at the drop zone.  

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Taupo: Mt Ruapehu Volcanic Vista Flight

6. Taupo: Mt Ruapehu Volcanic Vista Flight

Set off on a thrilling journey through the natural wonders of New Zealand with a 1-hour seaplane flight. Departing from a jetty in Taupo bay, you’ll take off and head south, beginning your volcanic sightseeing with Mount Pihanga, before soaring over the Blue and Emerald Lakes towards the massive summit of Mount Ruapehu, towering nearly 10,000 feet above sea level.  Circling the summit, you’ll view the Crater Lake, tapering down to the volcano’s broad ski slopes. Turning northward, you’ll fly towards Mount Ngauruhoe, with the opportunity to gaze down into its immense center. Continuing onward, soar over Mount Tongariro, viewing the Red Crater, the Blue Lake, and ancient lava flows, before beginning your descent over Lake Taupo to land along the lakefront.

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From Rotorua: Lake Taupo & Orakei Korako Geothermal Park

7. From Rotorua: Lake Taupo & Orakei Korako Geothermal Park

Get a fantastic geothermal experience without the thronging crowds with this day trip to Orakei Korako from Rotorua. Discover a geothermal park boasting the most active geysers in New Zealand. After exploring Orakei Korako, visit Huka Falls and the Taupo area. Depart Rotorua after pickup from your hotel between 9 AM-9:15 AM and travel to Orakei Korako. Somewhat off the beaten track, Orakei Korako, also known as the Hidden Valley, is nestled in the Taupo Volcanic Zone between Taupo and Rotorua. After a 45-minute drive to get there, take a short boat ride across the lake then enjoy 2 hours to explore the thermal area featuring up to 23 natural geysers in a constantly changing landscape. Marvel at the number of boiling hot springs and the vibrant colors all around you, or take a native bushwalk through this untouched geothermal paradise. Next, move on to Huka Falls and the Taupo area. Lunch is at your own expense but there are multiple places for you to choose to eat. In Taupo, be guided by your driver and visit the lake front and other interesting sights. Your driver will find out what interests you and, if possible, tailor the day to maximize the stops to suit your interests. Return to Rotorua after Taupo for drop-off at your accommodation between 3:30 PM-4:30 PM.

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Rotorua: Full-Day Hiking Tour in Whirinaki Forest

8. Rotorua: Full-Day Hiking Tour in Whirinaki Forest

Explore the majestic Whirinaki Forest on a guided 4-hour hike amongst the awe-inspiring trees for which the lush rainforest is best known. This impressive forest is unlike any other and if you are lucky you might spot some of New Zealand's rarest birds which have made the dense woods their habitat.  On your hike around this unspoiled, old rainforest surrounded by towering five-hundred-year-old trees and rushing rivers you will discover what a biodiversity hotspot these woods are. Hear rare birds calling overhead as you make your way to a beautiful waterfall, by which you will eat your lunch. Learn about the conservation efforts being made in the park from your knowledgeable guide as well as the flora and fauna you see as you move around the forest. Expect to see trees such as rimu, kahikatea, miro, and matai. Additionally, if you are lucky you may spot some rare birds as well such as kaka (North Island parrot), yellow-crowned kakariki (parakeet), and toutouwai (North Island robin).

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Other Sightseeing Options in Taupo

Want to discover all there is to do in Taupo? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Taupo

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 30 reviews

Genuine kiwi welcome guidance and hospitality on arrival. Correct local history on both tribal boundaries both Maori and pakeha influences. Great geothermal information in regards to changes within the landscape. Excellent pronunciation of Maori words in regards to forecasting history. Staff well equipped for delivering a top of the range experience. Felt safe on board and understood evacuation and health and safety procedures delivered by skipper over loud speaker. Awsome work team

It was really amazing experience. We enjoyed a lot and cruise crews explained all the beautiful places and there history clearly. They are very helpful all the time. Thank you for giving opportunity to express my feelings.

Had a great trip. Calm, loved the fishing experience. Fun for kids. Nice food and drink provided. Great, funny tour guide

The skipper was awesome, fresh blueberry muffin was a treat. Good information during the tour.

Great relaxing cruise. Very informative commentary. Carvings were great.