Discover Taupō

Find our cheapest flights to Taupō from Auckland.

The centre of attraction in Taupō is the lake, an inland sea that's bigger than Singapore. It's an epic natural stage for trout fishing, boat trips, kayaking and swimming. Taupō also offers incredible landscapes for golf, geothermal sightseeing, mountain biking and nature walks. Right next door to the Taupō region is Tongariro National Park, famous for unforgettable volcanic skiing and hiking experiences.

About our flights to Taupō

Air New Zealand operates daily non-stop flights to Taupō from Auckland, with connections across the New Zealand domestic network. With all our New Zealand domestic airfares there's a choice of seat, seat+bag, flexichange or flexirefund fare types. Flexichange gives you the flexibility to change your flight with no change fees while flexirefund is fully refundable. Find out more about our New Zealand domestic seat options.

Things to do in Taupō, New Zealand

At any time of the year, a holiday in Taupō is always a good idea. Most of the main activities in Taupō - hot pools, golf, hiking, biking, fishing and geothermal sightseeing – are brilliant in any season. In summer months you get the added bonus of swimming in the lake; in winter you can look forward to skiing and snowboarding on Mount Ruapehu.

Geothermal energy is used by hotels, motels and lodges to heat water for hot spas - a delicious way to unwind at the end of the day.

Taupō geothermal parks

For geothermal phenomena of the hissing, bubbling and steaming kind, Taupō is fizzing with action. At Craters of the Moon you'll discover a walkable landscape of active craters, steam vents and bubbling mud pools. Wairakei Terraces offers a remarkable self-guided walk that includes a geyser, fumaroles and silica terraces – there are four hot pools too, for mineral-rich soaking. Only 30 minutes north from Taupō is Orakei Korako, loved for its colourful silica terraces, geysers and caves.

Ngātoroirangi Mine Bay Māori rock carvings

One of the coolest things to see in Taupō is the Ngātoroirangi Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings, a way to mix culture with a lake experience. Towering 14-metres above the water, these intricate carvings were created by Māori artist Matahi Brightwell and are only accessible by boat. There are several ways to get to the carvings – lake cruise, charter yacht, steamboat or kayak.

Taupō walks

Walking is a way to linger longer in Taupō's remarkable landscapes. Here are a few of the choices:

  • Huka Falls walkway: A short, easy walk to see the awesome water power of Huka Falls
  • Huka Falls to Aratiatia Dam: Follow the Waikato River and see the fury of the Aratiatia Rapids
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing: A world-famous one-day hike through stunning volcanic landscapes
  • Other hiking options in Tongariro National Park include Tama Lakes Track, Taranaki Falls walk and Silica Rapids walk
  • W2K Whakaipo to Kinloch: A meandering trail with beautiful views of the lake
  • K2K Trail: Kinloch to Kawakawa Bay for native forest and magical views
  • Opepe Scenic and Historic Reserve: Easy forest walks in a historic reserve

Taupō trout fishing

Trout fishing in the Taupō region is an angler's dream come true. This picturesque region is famous for its gin-clear waters and the chance to hook some hefty rainbow and brown trout. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a total newbie, Taupō's guides make it easy to discover the thrill of landing a trout dinner. Tūrangi, at the southern end of the lake, is a town absolutely obsessed with trout fishing.

Taupō DeBretts hot springs

Open every day of the year for waterslide fun and relaxation, Taupō DeBretts is one of the best hot pool complexes in New Zealand. The waterpark has outdoor pools, hydroslides, private pools and a kids' warm water playground. There's a day spa too, for body treatments, facials and massages.

Another option for water fun is the Taupō AC Baths, a family-friendly pool complex with waterslides, a tarzan swing, private mineral pools and a large outdoor heated pool.

Bike trails and parks in Taupō

Biking is big in Taupō. From waterside rides for family groups through to challenging technical mountain bike trails, it's easy to find a cycling adventure that pumps you up. You don't even need to pack your bike, because local hire operators have every kind of ride.

  • Waikato River Trails are a 100+km network of rides along New Zealand's longest river
  • Huka Trails connect Taupō town with Huka Falls, Aratiatia Dam, Wairakei Tourist Park and Craters Mountain Bike Park
  • K2K Trail takes you to natural wetlands, secluded beaches and fabulous views of the lake
  • Huka Falls to Aratiatia Dam Trail comes with geothermal highlights and amazing river views
  • Great Lake Pathway (Lion's Walk) is a family-friendly ride that starts at the Taupo Boat Harbour

Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge

Every year Taupō hosts events that lure thousands of recreational athletes. The Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge is the biggest of these. From humble beginnings in the 1970s, it's grown into New Zealand's biggest cycling event. People come from all over the world to circumnavigate the lake - a journey of 160km.

Tongariro National Park

On a clear day you can't help but notice the massive volcanoes that dominate Taupō's southern skyline. Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngāuruhoe are active, but sedate enough to provide visitors with unforgettable skiing and hiking experiences. If you're keen to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a world famous one-day hike, Whakapapa Village is the place to get organised. We recommend booking your crossing in advance at a Visitor Information Centre.

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Keep exploring Taupō

Essential information

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Best time to visit Taupō

Taupō is a true all-seasons destination, although if you're planning to do the Tongariro Crossing you'll need to choose spring, summer or autumn. Although it doesn't snow in Taupō, winter temperatures can drop to sub-zero (Celsius) at night. Lakeside trees put on a gorgeous colour show in autumn.

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How much does a Taupō holiday cost?

This will depend on your tastes, what you want to do and what kind of accommodation you prefer. It's possible to have a budget holiday in Taupō if you stick to free activities, like hiking, biking and hot swims at the lakeside. At the other end of the scale, you could have a luxury holiday that includes guided trout fishing, spa treatments, skydiving and golf.

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Do I need a visa when flying to Taupō?

You might need a visa to holiday in New Zealand, depending on where you're from and how long you're staying. See the visa-waiver list.

Cheap flights to Taupō

Auckland (AKL) to Taupō (TUO)

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*Flight times are based on the fastest route available.
**Indirect flights may also be available for this route.

Image of Ngatoroirangi Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings courtesy of Destination Great Lake Taupō; Image of Tongariro Alipine Crossing courtesy of Destination Great Lake Taupō; Image of fly fishing courtesy of Destination Great Lake Taupō; Image of jetboating courtesy of Destination Taupō