All reasons listed why you should visit Taupo or hop off there for a few days!

Taupo, one of the North Island’s most beautiful townships and also home to New Zealand’s largest lake. It might not be one of our designated Stray overnight stops, but we have built in a visit on our North Island tours.

See why Taupo is a great stop on your Stray tour. Not only is it a fantastic destination with incredible natural wonders, but we squeeze it in between a cultural Maori experience at Lake Aniwhenua and a stay at the 7,200 acre high country farm, our unique stay at Blue Duck Station.

Huka Falls: must-see in Taupo

Get amongst the masses and witness Huka Falls, New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction. With crystal blue waters and plenty of platforms for selfie opportunities, we have no doubt that you’ll get that perfect Instagram shot!

The Stray bus will stop at Huka Falls on your way into Taupo from Lake Aniwhenua. It’s no wonder that this is so popular. The sheer power of Huka Falls is a truly awesome experience. You cannot imagine what 220,000 litres of water per second crashing down an 11m drop is like until you are there.

Craters of the Moon

Were you too busy Zorbing and White Water Rafting to visit the geothermal wonderlands in Rotorua? Or did you just love them so much that you want to see more? Either way, you should check out Taupo’s Craters of the Moon. Witness the bubbling craters and steaming vents as you wander along the 45-minute walkway.

To skydive or to bungy that’s the question

Adrenaline seekers, look no further! With skydives, a bungy and a swing, Taupo gives Queenstown a run for its money. Throw yourself out of a pink plane from 15,000 ft with Skydive Taupo or plummet 47m from a ledge and take a dip in the Waikato river with Taupo Bungy.

If you’re feeling too nervous, you can always team up with a friend and do a tandem bungy jump! Either way, you’ll be able to cross those ‘bucket list’ activities off with ease.

White water rafting

Fancy more than just a dip in the river? Why not try your hand at white water rafting? Navigate your way through the crystal clear waters of the Tongariro River, tackling some grade 2-4 rapids along the way.

Wet 'n' Wild
Wet ‘n’ Wild

Mount Tauhara

Craving exercise after sitting still on the bus? Taupo is home to Mount Tauhara. Gear up (hiking boots and warm layers are a must) and conquer the steep, muddy bush walk to the summit. It might not sound very appealing, but trust us, it’s worth it! You’ll be able to see views of Lake Taupo, Mt Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and even White Island on a clear day.

Stray sales wizard, Ally,  rocking the orange on top of Tauhara!
Stray sales wizard, Ally,  rocking the orange on top of Tauhara!

Fun on or around Lake Taupo

Of course, we can’t write a whole post about Taupo and not mention the lake! At sunrise, sunset or on a bluebird afternoon – you’ll find yourself permanently in awe of the scenery. Amble along Lion’s walkway, sunbathe, stand-up paddleboard, parasail or try your hand at the hole-in-one challenge. The choices are endless.

One of our favourite things to do is head out on a kayak or sailboat to see the Maori rock carvings – there are plenty of backpacker-friendly tour options starting at just $20!

Taupo Museum

Get cultured! Head to the Taupo Museum and learn more about Taupo’s Maori culture and history. There’s also an art gallery, a Marae and an Ora Garden of Wellbeing at the venue, so this activity could easily fill a whole morning or afternoon.

Get clued up on Taupo!
Get clued up on Taupo!

Cool street art scene

If you’re running low on cash and looking for free activities then you’re in luck! Taupo has a really cool street art scene – why not go on a ‘treasure hunt’ in search of every mural? If you happen to be in Taupo during October then try and catch the Graffiato Street Art festival where you will be able to see new masterpieces created right before your very eyes!

Such colourful streets
Such colourful streets

World’s coolest McDonald’s

Just in case all of the above fails to convince you then you should know: Taupo is home to the world’s coolest McDonalds! (Fact. Not just our opinion!) If you want to find out why then we suppose you’ll just have to visit…

Proof that this is the world's coolest McDonald's
Proof that this is the world’s coolest McDonald’s

Will you hop off in Taupo?

So there you have it; all the reasons why we think Taupo is worth a visit, and maybe a place that you will go back to.

Check out our current tours to see which take in Taupo, it’s lake and the mighty Huka Falls.

PLEASE NOTE: You’ll need to book your own accommodation (check out BASE or Urban Retreat) but your Stray driver will help you book a skydive or bungy if you’re feeling up to the challenge…

Tara profile picture


Originally from Birmingham, UK. Favourite Stray stop: Tongariro National Park. Fun fact: she has done every Bungy Jump in New Zealand.

Recently we launched heaps new Stray New Zealand Tours. Our new Adventure Tours are the best thing since Hop-On/Hop-Off, we've cranked up the excitement dial to max. And our new Select Tours are perfect for travellers that want to explore without compromising on comfort.

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Adventure Tours in New Zealand

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Our Adventure Tours are here to supercharge your wanderlust and quench your thirst for the extraordinary. It'll be a journey that's cranked up to eleven - the launchpad for your epic adventure and lifelong friendships.

Select Tours in New Zealand

The road less travelled - without compromising on comfort

Buckle up for our Select Tours, the trip of a lifetime. Picture this: kicking back in 3-4 star twin/double accommodation after a day of unique, must-do activities. This isn't your average tourist experience; it's an amazing experience to the heart and soul of New Zealand.

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