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Family-friendly things to do in Taupō

Family-friendly things to do in Taupō

Planning a campervan road trip to Taupō with the family? Great choice! Taupō's not just about its stunning lake; it's a playground for all ages. From cool outdoor fun to neat cultural finds, there's heaps to do. And of course, exploring in a motorhome makes it all the more adventurous.


What is Taupō known for? 

So, what's the big deal about Taupō? First off, it's right by Lake Taupō – think big, beautiful, and super inviting. It's a hotspot for anyone who loves a good outdoor adventure. Fancy a bit of skydiving or bungee jumping? Taupō's got you covered. And you can’t miss the Taupō Māori rock carvings at Mine Bay – reachable by boat or kayak, and totally worth the trip.

Then there's the Huka Falls – imagine a massive amount of water squeezing through a narrow gorge. It's nature's own drama and it's awesome. For a chill day, the Sky Waka gondola at Mount Ruapehu is a must-do. The views? Absolutely stunning and a real hit with families.


When to visit Taupō

Taupō is a great spot to explore by camper at any time of the year. Summers (December to February) are all about lake life – swimming, boating, you name it. It's sunny and lively, perfect for making the most of those long days.

Autumn (March to May) is a bit cooler and quieter. The changing colours of the trees and the fresh crisp mornings make those road trips and walks extra special.

Winter (June to August) is snow time! Close to Mount Ruapehu, Taupō is a base for skiing and snowboarding. And don’t forget those soothing hot pools – they’re magic in the cold.

Spring (September to November) is when Taupō really shows off. It's all fresh and green, with flowers popping up everywhere. The weather's mild, just right for biking or hiking and seeing nature do its thing.

Image: Tourism New Zealand


The best things to do in Taupō for families

Taupō offers endless awesome activities perfect for families travelling by campervan hire. There's no shortage of fun, educational, and exciting experiences for all ages. 


1. Play at Mind Junction

Located just a short drive from the heart of Taupō, Mind Junction is a fantastic spot for families looking for a day filled with fun and learning. This activity park is a wonderland for both kids and adults, featuring a range of attractions that cater to curious minds. Challenge each other in New Zealand's trickiest 9-hole mini-golf course or navigate through the two-metre-high Giant Maze. 

For LEGO enthusiasts, the LEGO Display is a must-see, showcasing hundreds of sets that will inspire and amaze. If you're into technology, the life-sized Flight Simulator and the 15-game Shooting Simulator offer an immersive experience that's hard to find anywhere else. The newly added Discovery Centre is a hub of interactive learning, perfect for sparking young imaginations.


2. Visit Huka Honey Hive

Sitting just next door to the famous Huka Falls, Huka Honey Hive is a must-do on your travel itinerary, offering a sweet experience for families. This unique Taupō attraction is all about celebrating New Zealand's boutique beekeeping industry and the wonders of honey.

Dive into the world of bees and honey through interactive displays and live beehive viewings. It's a fantastic way to educate kids (and adults!) about the importance of bees in our ecosystem. The free honey, mead, and liqueur tastings are a delightful treat, giving you a taste of the finest 100% pure New Zealand and mānuka honey.

With a range of natural health and wellbeing products, as well as unique gift ideas, it's a perfect stop for families looking to add a sweet, educational twist to their Taupō road trip. Plus, it's one of the exciting free things to do in Taupō, making it a must-visit for any family exploring the area.


3. Take a ride on the Huka Falls Jet

For an adrenaline-pumping family adventure, the Huka Falls Jet is one of the most popular Taupō activities. Located in the Wairakei Tourist Park, just a short drive from the town centre, this thrilling jet boat experience brings you up close to the base of the mighty Huka Falls, New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction.

Zoom along the Waikato River at 80 km an hour in a state-of-the-art jet boat, with native bush and sheer rock cliff faces whizzing by. The Huka Falls Jet is all about thrills and excitement, complete with the boat's trademark 360-degree spins that are sure to leave everyone with big grins. 

The highlight, of course, is reaching the spectacular Huka Falls, where you get the best water-level view of the cascading waters. It's a half-hour ride that's not just fun but also incredibly scenic, making it a top pick on the list of Taupō activities for families. 


4. See the animals at Lilliput Farm

A short 10-minute drive from Taupō, Lilliput Farm is a delightful destination for families who love animals and the outdoors. This charming farm park is home to a variety of animals, including donkeys, ponies, emus, goats, sheep, deer, llamas, alpacas, pigs, and more. It's a hands-on experience where kids can get up close and personal with these friendly creatures.

Children can learn about and interact with animals in a safe, fun environment. The park even has 'cuddle times' with bunnies and guinea pigs, plus there's a chance to meet some more exotic animals like Blue Tongue and Bearded Dragon Lizards. The farm also features playground equipment, including slides, swings, and ride-on toys, making it a perfect spot for a family day out. 

With its focus on providing an engaging, educational experience, Lilliput Farm stands out as one of the best things to do in Taupō for families. 


5. Take a boat cruise on the Ernest Kemp

A visit to Taupō isn't complete without a scenic cruise on Lake Taupō, and the Ernest Kemp offers just that. This delightful cruise takes you to the famous Taupō Māori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay, accessible only by water. 

The Ernest Kemp, a replica steamboat, provides a relaxing and informative journey, perfect for families looking to soak in the natural beauty and cultural significance of Lake Taupō. During the cruise, you'll enjoy comfortable seating, both inside and out, ensuring a pleasant trip regardless of the weather. The boat is equipped with free Wi-Fi, and complimentary tea and coffee are provided, making it a cosy experience for all. 


6. Ride the Sky Waka

For an unforgettable family experience, take a ride on the Sky Waka gondola at Mt Ruapehu. This gondola journey is a spectacular adventure, taking you 1.8 km up to a height of 2020 metres above sea level. The ride offers panoramic views across the Central Plateau, making it a breathtaking experience for all ages.

Each cabin seats up to 10 people, and the journey takes about 12 minutes, giving you ample time to marvel at the passing waterfalls and ancient lava flows. Once you reach the top at Knoll Ridge Chalet, you can indulge in 'Tea at 2020m' – a unique high tea experience. 

The Sky Waka gondola is a fantastic way to witness the beauty of New Zealand's North Island from above, making it a top choice for Taupō activities for families.


7. Treat the family to dinner at Two Mile Bay Sailing Club

After a day of exploring, the Two Mile Bay Sailing Club is the perfect spot to unwind and treat the family to a delicious meal. 

Located right by the lake, this laid-back venue is known for its woodfire pizzas and a great selection of drinks, including Peroni on tap. 

The club's menu features a variety of delicious pizzas. Gluten- and dairy-free options are available, ensuring everyone in the family can enjoy a meal together. 

Besides pizzas, they also offer bagels, toasties, brunch options, and Havana coffee. The casual, friendly atmosphere of the Two Mile Bay Sailing Club, combined with its tasty food and stunning lakeside location, makes it a fantastic dining choice for families visiting Taupō.

Image: Tourism New Zealand


Where to stay in Taupo

Taupō offers a variety of fantastic accommodation options for families travelling by campervan, each with its unique charm and amenities.


Lake Taupo Holiday Resort

For a family-friendly stay that combines comfort with fun, the Lake Taupō Holiday Resort is a top choice. Located at 41 Centennial Drive, Tauhara, Taupō, this resort is renowned for its thermally heated lagoon-style pool, a hit with both kids and adults. The resort offers powered and non-powered sites perfect for campervans, allowing you to enjoy the great outdoors with the comforts of resort facilities.

The resort's highlight is undoubtedly the pool area, where families can relax and play in warm waters regardless of the season. The location also makes it a convenient base for exploring Taupō's attractions, ensuring a memorable stay for families on a road trip.


Taupo Top 10 Holiday Park

Another excellent option for campervan travellers is the Taupō Top 10 Holiday Park. Located close to the town centre, it's an ideal spot for families looking to explore Taupō and its surroundings.

The holiday park is equipped with excellent facilities, including communal kitchens and bathrooms, ensuring a hassle-free stay. The park's friendly atmosphere and top-notch amenities make it a great choice for families seeking a mix of adventure and relaxation on their campervan holiday.


Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort

Located at 76 Napier-Taupo Road, Taupō DeBretts Spa Resort is another great option. This fantastic holiday park is well-known for its hot pools and luxurious spa facilities, providing a unique relaxation experience. The thermal mineral pools are a highlight, offering a soothing and rejuvenating experience perfect after a day of Taupō activities.


Plan your next family adventure with Apollo

As you can see, Taupō is a treasure trove of family-friendly activities and experiences, perfect for exploring in a campervan.  From the thrilling Huka Falls Jet to the tranquil boat cruise on the Ernest Kemp, there's something for everyone in this stunning region. 

Ready to experience the best of Taupō with your family? Book your Apollo campervan hire online today and start planning an unforgettable road trip adventure!

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