Taupo is an incredible town on New Zealand's North Island where you'll find urban fun and outdoor adventure in equal measure. It's set on Lake Taupo’s northern shore, meaning aquatic adventure and watersports are never too far away. When you bring your family here, you can embark on adrenaline-pumping adventures as well as immerse yourself in the more serene countryside of the region. That means your family can find fun whether they're looking for thrills or relaxation. Take a look at all the best family activities in Taupo, and discover the kinds of accommodations on offer.
Top family activities in Taupo
Visiting Taupo with your family means taking part in some of the best attractions and activities available in the region. Its diverse landscape and urban splendour offer the best of both worlds with plenty to do whether you're looking for something active or are more interested in relaxation. Given how easy everything is to access, you can even opt for a bit of both all in a central location. Explore the top family activities in Taupo, and discover which ones you want to include in your family holiday itinerary.
See the splendour of Huka Falls
Taupo is known for its iconic natural features, and Huka Falls is among the most prominent. Here, you and your little ones can see the massive rush of thousands of litres of water falling 11 metres through a narrow gap at the falls. To reach this impressive site, you'll only need to walk about a minute or so from the car park to the viewing point on the bridge. If you're looking for a bit more adventure, Spa Park offers a trail to the falls that takes about 90 minutes to traverse.
Explore history at Taupo Museum
If you're interested in learning more about the local area, the Taupo Museum has everything you need. You and your family can explore a plethora of exhibits and artefacts showcasing the local history here as well as artistic cultural expressions. Some of the exhibits on display include a Maori meeting house and a Kiwiana Caravan. Additionally, this museum is home to the Ora Garden of Wellbeing outside, where you'll find relaxing walkways through a well-maintained area designed to resemble the geothermal landscape that's so common throughout the North Island. Nearly 1,000 native plants are on display here as well.
Explore the iconic Lake Taupo
No trip to Taupo with the family would be complete without a trip to the eponymous lake. Lake Taupo is particularly enjoyable for families with young kids as the calm and clear waters are perfect for swimming for all ages. The beachfront around the lake meets notably shallow waters, so you can venture out into the lake with peace of mind knowing that it'll be easy for even beginner swimmers to handle. This is also where you'll find the #Lovetaupo sign, so be sure to head along the foreshore and snap a photo of your family in front of it.
Discover the historic Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings
One of the most memorable sights in Taupo are the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings. You can charter a kayak or boat tour to take you to these stunning sights where you'll be met with massive carvings crafted more than 1,000 years ago. The primary carving here is more than 10 metres high and took ancient artists more than 4 years to complete. Keep in mind that this carving is only visible by boat as it's located on a rock face that's directly on the water. If you have small children with you, a boat tour is your best bet, but you'll need a kayak to get as close as possible.
See artworks and live demonstrations at Lava Glass
If you and your little ones are interested in the art of glass blowing, Lava Glass is a must-visit destination. Here, you'll find a massive gallery and studio showcasing some of the most impressive glasswork art you've ever seen. The gallery here even features a sculpture garden with more than 600 impressive pieces on display taking various shapes including flowers, rainbows, mushrooms and a full waterfall. Of course, your kids will especially enjoy the live demonstrations where artists show off each step of the glass blowing process.
Foster creativity at Mind Junction Activity Park
At Mind Junction Activity Park, you'll find fun specifically designed for kids to enjoy. Not only will toddlers and young kids have plenty to do, but you'll find activities for older kids as well. You'll find 6 separate activities available here, and they all have something special to offer. The Discovery Centre is like a hands-on museum with interactive exhibits, but your kids can also venture through the Giant Maze and its numerous puzzles. The Flight Simulator lets your little ones play pilot while the Lego display allows them to flex their creativity. You'll also find a shooting simulator and a 9-hole mini-golf course that the whole family can participate in.
Options for a family accommodation in Taupo
Even with the perfect itinerary in mind, you'll still need to make sure that your family has the best accommodation when visiting Taupo. Fortunately, you'll find no shortage of options available in this fun town that all have the space necessary to have everyone sleeping comfortably with convenient amenities. Amenities like integrated WiFi and a full kitchen are fairly standard no matter what kind of accommodation you opt for. Discover the different kinds of available rentals, and find out which family accommodation in Taupo best suits your needs.
Relax in one of the rental Houses
One of the best accommodation options available in the Taupo area is a house rental, and these are also the most prominent. When you book a house rental, you can enjoy a home away from home that offers all the comforts that you're used to along with a few extras in many cases. Some of the local house rentals put you in a prime position to explore some of the best attractions in Taupo, but you'll also find more isolated options if you're looking for a bit of peace and quiet. Additionally, these are the rentals you'll want to look at if you're interested in properties with a private pool you can enjoy.
Book Condos/Apartments in the middle of the action
The closer you get to the centre of town, the more common it is to find condos and apartments. These rentals can be surprisingly spacious as well with multiple bedrooms and space enough for even extended family to come along for the trip. A lot of the local apartments are close to public transportation as well, so it's easy to get around to the most popular attractions in the area. While you'll still find some high-end amenities available like access to a pool, they're generally shared by the entire community that the apartment or condo is a part of.
Find a tranquil Cottage
Booking a cottage can create a unique experience for your family holiday that emphasizes relaxation and Taupo's natural features. Cottages tend to offer a refuge away from the hustle and bustle of the city with scenic surroundings. You can find quite a few options located next to natural features like lakes and hiking trails, so if you're looking for a waterfront stay in the area, cottages are your best bet. Additionally, cottages are more likely to be pet-friendly, so consider booking your stay at one if you don't want to leave any member of your family behind on your next trip.