Where to Stay – Hotels in Taupo, New Zealand
Sprawled on the northeastern shore of a lake roughly the size of Singapore, Taupo (pronounced “toe-paw”), which is named after the same lake, also sits on the boundaries of Australasian and Pacific plates. In fact, it is this geological location that gave birth to the lake and the town, which today is famous for its hot springs, waterfalls and New Zealand’s largest playground for water sports of all imaginable kinds.
Attractions from accommodation in Taupo New Zealand
Lake Taupo came about 1,800 years ago when the super volcano created by the grinding action of the two plates erupted; leaving an enormous hole in the ground and draining all other rivers close by into the gaping hole. Waikato River, New Zealand’s longest, flows from New Zealand’s largest lake by surface area and shoulders its way through a narrow slit on the bedrock to become the 220,000-litres-per-second Huka Falls.
Skydive, jet-boat and bungee jump without being too far away from the best hotels in Taupo town centre. Huka Falls is a short distance north of the town, and close by is the Volcanic Activity Centre where you can learn more about the greater Taupo Volcanic Zone. You can even walk up into an active geothermal zone at the Craters of the Moon, an easy, three kilometre walk you can complete in under an hour.
A stone’s throw from your downtown Taupo accommodation is the Lake Taupo Museum and Art Gallery with significant holdings of Maori arts and artifact. But why stay inside when there is so much to do outdoors? Rent a quad bike and pedal all the way around Lake Taupo’s 160-kilometre circumference. Taupo hotels fill up fast during the Great Lake Cycle Challenge when tens of thousands of cycling pros flock here every last Saturday of November. For the triathlete, Ironman New Zealand is held in Taupo annually on the first Saturday of March, while a more manageable Levene Half Marathon is held in early August every year.
Book your accommodation in Taupo online early if you plan to come on any of these dates; so as to find where to stay in Taupo. If lakeside resorts, chalets, spas, luxury apartments and retreats are beyond your budget, there is a wide range of cheap Taupo accommodation to choose from: backpackers, bed and breakfasts, hostels and Taupo motel accommodation.
Hotels in Taupo New Zealand:
Mountains, Geysers and Lake Taupo
To get a sense of the size of the lake, climb Mount Tauhara and enjoy the magnificent views from there on a clear day. The walk up is manageable and photo opportunities are abundant, especially if you are a Lord of the Rings fan. Mount Doom, otherwise known as Mount Ngauruhoe of the Tongariro volcanic chain, can be seen from this lookout. Should you require climbing assistance or need details for directions, your hotel in Taupo should be able to help.
The greatest attraction still is Lake Taupo itself where you can cruise, fish, kayak or simply laze about in the balcony of your Taupo apartment accommodation, or in footprint-free beaches of the many secluded bays. Bring a kayak and a friend to paddle up to a larger-than-life Maori rock carving you can only see up close from the water.
Before you head home to your Taupo hotel accommodation, take a dip in one of the many hot springs scattered north of town. “The Hidden Valley” of mud pools, geysers and steaming thermal springs 25 minutes away is a popular hangout.