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Photo of Lake Taupo

About Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo is a spectacular destination in the heart of the North Island, known for its trout fishing, sailing and cycling. The little lakeside town is becoming an increasingly trendy hotspot, with a burgeoning array of charming lodges. We’re big fans of Taupo’s restored fishing lodges, as well as the area’s contemporary clifftop hotels, which feature stunning lake views. Well-suited to families, couples or groups travelling together, the best places to stay in Taupo fuse outdoorsy adventure with a warm, inviting atmosphere — and many offer delectable farm-to-table fare, to top it all off.

A flooded volcanic caldera, Lake Taupo is the largest freshwater lake in New Zealand. It’s generally deep and cold — save for the areas where thermal springs rise to the surface. Try swimming at Hot Water Beach, Acacia Bay and Whakaipo Bay. Go sailing, kayaking or fishing on the vast expanse of still water, or walk, ride and cycle along the 70-km Great Lake Trail. The dramatic Huka Falls are well worth visiting, as are the snowy-peaks of Tongariro National Park, the Aratiatia Rapids and the magical Craters of the Moon. If you’re looking to delve into Māori culture and history, admire the Māori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay, or visit the Taupo Museum, Opotaka Historic Reserve and Te Porere Redoubt.

Birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts will spot a multitude of species in the gardens and grounds of many of the best places to stay in Lake Taupo. All the more reason to kick back and relax!

The Best Places to Stay in Lake Taupo

For an Intimate B&B

  • Whakaipo Lodge is situated just outside Taupo in the Mapara Valley. With only two charming bedrooms, both with French windows onto a private terrace, it's perfect for a cosy getaway. Gourmet breakfasts are included, and the hosts can provide four-course dinners with accompanying NZ wines upon request.
  • Lake Taupo Lodge sits within 3.5 acres of bird-filled gardens close to the lake. The six rooms and suites are bright and elegant, inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Cooked breakfasts and pre-dinner drinks are on offer. Keen hikers, anglers and those eager to immerse themselves in nature will be delighted.

For Romance

  • Acacia Cliffs Lodge has special honeymoon packages for romantic couples eager to soak up striking sunsets from suites with expansive views and to savour three-course dinners. With just four suites, this is a restful couples' escape in two hectares of private garden close to Taupo.

For Active Families or Groups

  • Poronui Lodge promises a huge range of activities, including mountain biking, fly fishing, cooking classes and shooting. Families are welcome, there are multi-room villas and a programme of supervised kids' activities. Also a wonderful luxury sporting lodge for groups.
  • River Birches Lodge has a self-contained cottage for families or groups (as well as appealing rooms), and offers fly fishing, kayaking and hikes. A peaceful, private choice for an intimate trip. Book the whole place if travelling as a larger group.

For Absolute Luxury

  • Huka Lodge is a charming 1920s fishing lodge on the Waikato River, just downstream of Lake Taupo. The lodge itself has been converted into a luxurious hotel, and there are a range of suites and self-catering cottages in the 17 acres of garden. Expect indulgent decor, fabulous food and a refreshing sense of adventure.
  • Kinloch Manor is a luxurious retreat with impeccable spa facilities and delicious home-grown cuisine. Boasting a stunning 18-hole golf course and tennis court, as well as multi-bedroom cottages with epic views, this is a terrific holiday choice for sophisticated couples or groups of friends.

FOR AN APARTMENT OR HOLIDAY COTTAGE

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Taupo Airport from Auckland Airport, Christchurch or Wellington, and journey to your hotel by car or airport shuttle. Alternatively, catch the InterCity bus from Auckland, Hamilton or Wellington.
  • The North Island is wonderful for a road trip. Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Travel during the spring or summer (November to February) for the best weather, with temperatures peaking at around 20°C. If you're in Lake Taupo for the fishing, February & March are best for brown trout, and June to September for rainbow trout. Tongariro River is great year-round.

STILL NOT SURE?

Weather

Monthly Weather in Lake Taupo

Best Hotels in Lake Taupo

  • Whakaipo Lodge Taupo, Lake Taupo 2 rooms from £158

    Groups  -  With just two rooms this is a good option to book out in its entirety for small groups
    Eco break  -  A carbon neutral stay — this is the perfect choice for the eco-conscious
    Country Escape  -  A secluded and scenic spot set close to Taupo and the lake
    Sailing  -  Take a boat trip across Lake Taupo, the largest freshwater lake in Australasia
    Air conditioningGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    A charming two-bed boutique lodge set in a secluded spot in Mapara Valley. Managed by its ever-friendly owners, expect a homely stay. Ground floor rooms are bright and airy with french doors opening onto private terraces. With plenty of outdoor pursuits nearby, this is a lovely rural escape. See More

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  • Acacia Cliffs Lodge Lake Taupo 4 rooms from £241

    Honeymoons  -  A romantic hideaway for honeymooners, who will be treated to sunset drinks and a three-course dinner
    Back to Nature  -  A quiet, restful choice with panoramic lake views and verdant gardens
    Restaurant  -  Stephanie and Neil create delicious breakfasts as well as innovative evening meals on request
    Birdwatching  -  Species in the two-hectare garden include tuis, bellbirds, fantails
    RestaurantGardenViewsParking

    Intimate boutique 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. Owner-run and offering great cuisine. See More

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  • Lake Taupo Lodge Acacia Bay, Lake Taupo 6 rooms from £288

    Back to Nature  -  A relaxed lodge offering outdoorsy activities galore, and a restful sense of immersion in nature
    Architectural  -  Designed by NZ architect Garry Dennison, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright
    Views  -  Overlooking Lake Taupo and the mountains, just along the bay from town
    Fishing  -  Some of the world's best fly fishing in Lake Taupo and surrounding rivers
    GardenViewsNo pets

    Luxury lodge set in three and a half acres of wild bush on North 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. See More

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  • River Birches Lodge Turangi, Lake Taupo 4 rooms from £466

    Families  -  With a self-catering cottage available for exclusive hire, this hotel has great options for family accommodation
    Local exploring  -  Set on the Tongariro River, there is plenty to explore local to this hotel, from fishing to hiking
    Romantic Break  -  With a tranquil setting and charming guestrooms, book this hotel for a romantic riverside break
    Fishing  -  Go fly fishing on the river during your stay; staff at the hotel can organise everything you need, from equipment to guides
    Air conditioningGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    This boutique lodge offers accommodation on the southern edge of Lake Taupo. Contemporary, well-appointed guestrooms are cosy and relaxing, with understated, luxury interiors; the self-contained cottage is perfect for groups. Enjoy fly fishing on the lake during your stay. See More

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  • Poronui Lodge Taupo, Lake Taupo 11 rooms from £503

    Families  -  All the packages available at the hotel are child-friendly and can be offered without parent supervision, great for families
    Country Escape  -  Set in a beautiful natural setting on a plateau above the Taharua River, this hotel makes a unique escape to the country
    Active Holiday  -  This hotel has a huge range of activities on offer, from mountain biking to fly fishing and shooting
    Great walks  -  Explore the trails surrounding the hotel on a guided walk, learning about the indigenous flora and fauna
    SpaRestaurantGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    This luxury sporting lodge is located in Taharua Valley on New Zealand’s North Island. Guest accommodation is spread across the Lodge, Blake House private villa and the Safari Camp, offering spectacular river views. Take a fly fishing trip after walking the many country trails. See More

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  • Kinloch Manor Lake Taupo 20 rooms from £613

    Active Holiday  -  With a world-class golf course, tennis court and heaps of activities, this is a great choice for outdoorsy types
    Foodies  -  Delicious farm-to-table cuisine and admirable food philosphy makes this a foodie favourite
    Great walks  -  Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing for spectacular volcanic scenery, ice-cold mountain springs and jewel-toned lakes
    Fishing  -  Follow an expert fishing guide & learn how to fly cast – the chef can serve up anything you catch
    Air conditioningTennisSpaRestaurantGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    A luxurious retreat by Lake Taupo with impeccable spa facilities and delicious home-grown dishes. Charming contemporary rooms and cottages feature pastel hues, gorgeous bathrooms and wonderful views. With a stunning 18-hole golf course and tennis court, there's something for everyone! See More

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  • Huka Lodge Lake Taupo 25 rooms from £1102

    Country Escape  -  Set within 17 acres of grounds on the banks of the Waikato River, this is a brilliant luxury hideaway for nature lovers
    Groups  -  Book a multi-bedroom cottage for a special retreat with family and friends
    Tennis  -  Play tennis as a family or take a lesson with the lodge pro at the onsite court
    Fishing  -  The trout fishing is excellent, with 40 rivers and streams nearby
    Air conditioningTennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Fodors

    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. See More

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