Lake Taupo is a spectacular lake, pretty much dead centre of New Zealand’s North Island. It’s a well established trout fishing, sailing and cycling destination, but Taupo, on its shores, is fast becoming a popular resort town for those who like their relaxation mixed in with a bit of adrenalin pumping adventuring. Some of the best places to stay on Lake Taupo are the quiet, old fishing lodges, but there are some newer hotels springing up too if you prefer things more modern.
Lake Taupo is actually a flooded volcanic caldera - for one of the world’s largest super-volcanoes. So it’s incredibly deep - and freezing cold, except for the few places where there are thermal springs coming up just by the shores.
Hot Water Beach, Acacia Bay and Whakaipo Bay are good spots for bathers, and you can actually swim right by Taupo. But if you’re boating then the vast expanse of the lake, and its numerous, beautiful bays, beaches and coves, are your oyster.
There are plenty of different ways to enjoy the lake’s beauty, ranging from relaxing strolls along the shoreline, taking in the spectacular views, which on a clear day reach all the way to the snowy peaks of the Tongariro National Park, to jet skiing on the lake or rafting on the rapid-y Waikato River.
Lake Taupo also has a number of hot springs and thermal health spas around its shores, and just outside of Taupo you’ll find the dramatic splash and swirl that is Huka Falls.
Taupo also has a motorsport park, which has staged the A1 Grand Prix, and which you can now have a go on, and a great little museum with an excellent Māori gallery.
Just beyond the lake, but still on its geothermal field, you’ll find the magical Craters of the Moon, a collection of steaming volcanic craters stained with sulphur and other colourful minerals, until they’re a sort of otherworldly experience. Every now and then the build up of steam, heat and pressure under the ground reaches a point where there's a huge explosion of mud, and another blowhole and mud pool is born – some are up to 20 metres deep.
Don't forget to plan ahead if you want to book one of the best places to stay in Lake Taupo during New Zealand's summer months - it's a popular spot.
Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay on Lake Taupo, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Or you can expand your search and look at all our North Island recommendations.
Boutique and intimate lodge with stunning location on Acacia cliffs ensuring great views over sparkling Lake Taupo. Four neutral-toned modern suites, with floor to ceiling glass windows, tiled bathrooms and private terraces. Two hectare garden with varied birdlife. Close to Mapara Native Bush Track.
Acacia Bay, Lake Taupo
Luxury B&B lodge set in three and a half acres of wild bush on South Island's Lake Taupo. Bright, spacious and elegant suites with king size comfy beds and spa baths, private patios and great lake views. Close to Taupo volcanic hot springs, great fly fishing and Waitomo Caves.
Charming and atmospheric 1920s fishing lodge-turned-luxury hotel with range of suites and self-catering cottages. Seventeen acre garden, open fireplaces, antique-filled rooms and private dining venues. Close to trout fishing. Perfect for the adventurous traveller seeking indulgence.