Taupo is a cute lakeside town in the middle of New Zealand's North Island and also the location to some of the most amazing sights in New Zealand. No matter if you are after food, hiking or sightseeing, there's something for everyone and every budget.
1. Lake Taupo and Maori Rock Carvings
Lake Taupo is the biggest lake in New Zealand. It is of the approximate size of Singapore!
Besides many water sport activities you can do on or around the lake, visiting Maori Rock Carvings is a must.
This extraordinary New Zealand's art work is located on the middle of the lake and can be accessed either by boat, sailing boat or with a kayak tour.
It took a team of 4 artist and 4 years of work before the 14-metre sculpture was finally completed in 1980.
I was supposed to do a sailing trip to this carving but due to the bad weather I was 'upgraded' to the boat trip instead. I would most definitely recommend doing this trip even in bad weather as the artwork is simply stunning and you get to see it from really up close!
2. Huka Falls
Approximately an hour walk or a short shuttle ride from the town of Taupo you can go and see the most visited and photographed natural attraction in New Zealand - 11-metre high waterfall Huka Falls.
Usually up to 100-metres wide Waikato River suddenly narrows to 15 metres and creates the water power so strong it could fill up an Olympic swimming pool in 11 seconds!
Tip: If you are walking to the falls bring your swimsuits as there are small hot pools on the way there.
3. World's Coolest McDonald's
Ever wanted to have McDonald's on a plane? Part of Taupo's McDonald's in an actual decommissioned DC3 plane!
Grab your food, take a seat and get ready for a take off!
Tip: Entry to the inside plane seating is located across the McDonald's kids playground.
4. Baked With Love Bakery
Anyone who knows me knows that I love cakes! So when I have accidentally stumbled across this boutique cakery it was like discovering a small piece of heaven on earth! They have a wide variety of cakes, cupcakes and other baked goods. They also do gluten free stuff.
You can find them in their shop during the week or at The Taupo Market on Saturdays and at The Rotorua Night Market on Thursdays.
+1 Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Tongariro National Park is New Zealand's oldest national park and also a World Heritage Site. The park is a home of Mount Ngauruhoe (actually an active volcano) which also known in pop culture as Mount Doom from Lord Of The Rings franchise.
Tip: Do keep in mind that the weather here changes really quickly especially out of the high season. Allow yourself enough time in the area in case weather will not be on your side.
When I was visiting Taupo for two days in late April no shuttles were operating for almost a week due to the bad weather conditions.
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