'''Taupo''' [http://www.laketauponz.com] is a town in the [[Central North Island|central]] [[North Island (New Zealand)|North Island]] of [[New Zealand]]. It lies at the northern end of [[Lake Taupo]], at its outlet into the [[Waikato]] river.
'''Taupo''' [http://www.laketauponz.com] is a town in the [[Central North Island|central]] [[North Island (New Zealand)|North Island]] of [[New Zealand]]. It lies at the northern end of [[Lake Taupo]], at its outlet into the Waikato .
Taupo has a small airport which is served by Air New Zealand. There are daily flights from Auckland and Wellington.
Taupo is served by Air New Zealand. There are daily flights from Auckland and Wellington. also provides for private jets and other aircraft and is the busiest parachute drop zone in New Zealand. Scenic flights and skydiving are a popular attraction for the region.
Taupo Airport [http://www.taupoairport.co.nz/] also provides for private jets and other aircraft and is the busiest parachute drop zone in New Zealand. Scenic flights and skydiving are a popular attraction for the region.
Intercity [http://www.intercitycoach.co.nz], Newmans [http://www.newmanscoach.co.nz] and Nakedbus [http://www.nakedbus.com] offer coach services to/from Taupo several times a day to most destinations throughout the North Island. Adventure travel networks in the form of Kiwi Experience, Magic Bus, Stray [http://straytravel.com] and Contiki also visit Taupo (daily in summer).
Intercity [http://www.intercitycoach.co.nz], Newmans [http://www.newmanscoach.co.nz] and Nakedbus [http://www.nakedbus.com] offer coach services to Taupo several times a day throughout the North Island. Adventure travel networks in the form of Kiwi Experience, Magic Bus, Stray [http://straytravel.com] and Contiki also visit Taupo (daily in summer).
Taupo's central location makes for easy access by car and driving time to Taupo is seldom excessive. Approximate drive times from main centres are:
Approximate drive times are:
* Auckland - 4hrs
* Auckland - 4hrs
* Hamilton - 1hr 45min
* Hamilton -
* Rotorua - 45min
* Rotorua -
* Napier - 2hrs
* Napier - 2hrs
* Wellington - 5hrs
* Wellington - 5hrs
It does pay to allow additional time over the Christmas/New Year period and on public holidays as highway congestion can add greatly to travel times.
additional time over the Christmas/New Year period and on public holidays as highway congestion can add greatly to travel times.
* <listing name="Shuttle 2U" alt="The best way to see Taupo" address="" directions="" phone="+64 7 376 7636" url="http://www.shuttle2u.co.nz" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="Shuttle2u@xtra.co.nz" fax="+6473784296" url="http://www.shuttle2u.co.nz/">FREEPHONE: 0800 546 638</listing>
Taupo Airport  is served by Air New Zealand. There are daily flights from Auckland and Wellington. It also provides for private jets and other aircraft and is the busiest parachute drop zone in New Zealand. Scenic flights and skydiving are a popular attraction for the region.
Intercity , Newmans  and Nakedbus  offer coach services to Taupo several times a day from throughout the North Island. Adventure travel networks in the form of Kiwi Experience, Magic Bus, Stray  and Contiki also visit Taupo (daily in summer).
Approximate drive times are:
Auckland - 4hrs
Hamilton - 2hrs
Rotorua - 1hr
Napier - 2hrs
Wellington - 5hrs
Allow additional time over the Christmas/New Year period and on public holidays as highway congestion can add greatly to travel times.
Taupo's urban centre is very compact and it is within easy walking distance of most Hotels, Motels and Hostels as are a number of the more popular activities. If you wish to explore further or perhaps feel tired there are several car rental companies and the popular "Hot Bus" shuttle which has regular trips to the most popular tourist sites. In addition most activity operators offer a free pick up, drop off service. It is also possible to hire push bikes and motor scooters. Accommodation providers will be able to assist with all transport arrangements.
First Choice Rental Cars / Rent A Dent - +64 7 378 2740
Hertz Rental Cars - +64 7 378 8056
Pegasus Rental Cars - +64 7 377 0666
There are many sights of interest in the Taupo region, most of which are free of charge, and you should set a day aside to check out some of the sights. To get around the sights transport is a must - a mountain bike at the very least for people with some fitness or perhaps a rental car or shuttle for those who prefer to relax while on holiday.
Aratiatia Dam – The first dam in the Waikato Hydro power scheme. The gates are opened daily at 10AM, 12PM, 2PM and 4PM (10, 12 & 2 during winter) which causes the spectacular recreation of the Aratiatia Rapids.
Huka Falls – New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction located just to the north of town on the Waikato river. New Zealand’s largest river is forced between a narrow split in the bedrock. Quite impressive with flows often exceeding 220,000 litres per second.
Kinloch – A pretty lakeside village 15 minutes drive west of Taupo.
Lake Taupo Museum and Art Gallery - A small museum located near the centre of town behind the Great Lake Centre on Story Place. Contains exhibits on the Maori, Volcanic and early European history of Taupo. A Maori meeting house is also recreated within the building and exhibitions of art by local and New Zealand artists are ongoing. The "Ora" garden which won the 2004 Chelsea Flower Show has recently been added in a specially created outside area.
Lake Taupo Museum, Story Place, +64 7 376 0413 
Lions Walk – A walkway starting in town and heading south for about 5 miles following the lake edge. Paved in places through the efforts of local service clubs.
Mount Tauhara – The mountain sitting on the eastern edge of town can be climbed fairly easily (get directions from your accommodation) and the views from the top on a clear day are remarkable, take your camera.
Waipahihi Botanical Reserve – Located in the suburbs has both vehicle and walking tracks through forest and gardens. Also boasts one of the best vantage points of the lake and mountains of the Tongariro National Park.
Craters of the Moon – An easy 45min/2.75km walk through an active and ever changing geothermal wonderland.
Volcanic Activity Centre, Karetoto Road, +64 7 374 8375 . Just north of town in the Wairakei Tourist Park is the Volcanic Activity Centre which provides an insight into the Taupo Volcanic Zone. There are many intercative displays and educational tours through to university level can be arranged.
There is no shortage of activities on offer in Taupo, be it an adrenaline rush or the more sedate - there is something for everyone! From the ever popular Bungy to Taupo being internationally known as a mecca for Skydiving, to Jet Boating and even fishing for the father who loves the catch even Scenic Flights to the even places as simple to Taupo's AC Baths and our one and only Starlight Cinema!
Taupo Bungy operates not far from the town centre at what is known as the Hell's Gate section of the Waikato River. The location is quite scenic and utilises a custom-built cantilever platform protruding from a cliff face over the river. There is a cafe and several good vantage points. They are open 7 days a week and are endorsed by the New Zealand Safety Standards Authority.
With New Zealand's largest river, the Waikato, flowing from Lake Taupo there is little wonder that jet boating is available and there are three operators providing trips on various sections of the river. Jet boating is a very New Zealand activity and well worth the effort.
Taupo's natural scenery with its lake, forests and volcanic backdrop make for an excellent skydive location. Taupo can safely be described as New Zealand's skydive Mecca as people flock here to do a jump at the cheapest prices in the country with a saftey record unbeaten by any other skydive company in the world. There are three companies operating from Taupo Airport: Freefall, Skydive Taupo and Taupo Tandem Skydiving. Each company offers tandem skydives from both 12,000 and 15,000 feet above the ground and also provide various DVD and photo options to capture the moment. Freefall and Taupo Tandem can also cater for experienced solo jumpers and a skydive school also operates over the summer months which offers training to beginners.
With a surface area of approximately 616 square kilometers, Lake Taupo is the focal point for the town and its people and to truly appreciate it you really need to head out on it. There are many hidden bays and some spectacular views to be had from on the water. Well worth a look are the large Maori rock carvings which can only be accessed by water.
The options available range from large, powered charter boats to kayaks. The Barbary, a 1926 racing yacht with an interesting history, is quite popular and a good option for a sunny day.
Two Mile Bay Sailing Centre, ☎ +64 274 967 350, .
Chartered & Fly Fishing
Lake Taupo itself is widely considered to be the Rainbow Trout capitol of the world and the lake's tributaries also contain some fine Brown Trout. As a result, there are numerous charter and guiding companies which offer both lake and river fishing expeditions. The easiest way to find and book such trips is via local fishing stores and booking centres.
With the natural beauty of Taupo and its surrounds a scenic flight is well worth considering. There are a number of companies offering flights ranging from 15 minutes to several hours over the town, lake, mountains and volcanic areas. Both helicopter and fixed wing flights are available.
Lilliput Farm (Fun & Animal Park), 136 Link Rd (10m from Taupo - SH1 to Hamilton, Link Rd is first on the left, 4km from the Waireki turn off.), ☎ +64 7 378 2114 (email@example.com, fax: +64 7 378 2216), . Weekdays 10AM-2PM, Weekends & Public Holidays 10AM-4PM. Adults $8, Children 2-15yrs $5, Family Pass (2Adults + 2Child) $22..
Taupo Horse Treks, . Open 7days!. Bookings Essential!
Experience Taupo, 57 Tongariro Street, ☎ +64 7 377 0704. Bookings for all Taupo based Adventure Tourism
I-Site Taupo, Tongariro Street, ☎ +64 7 376 0027.
Being in the heart of the Taupo Volcanic Zone you don't have to travel far to encounter geothermal activity and there are several examples of this around Taupo, though not as heavily marketed or developed as those in nearby Rotorua they still provide a fascinating insight into the fragility of our planet.
Craters of the Moon is located only a few minutes drive north of town on highway 1 and only costs $5 to visit. It provides an other worldly atmosphere and is easy to walk around.
Ten minutes north of town also on highway 1 the Wairakei steam field can be accessed by car and provides an insight into the tapping of the earths heat for power generation with this field feeding the 2nd largest geothermal power station in the world.
25 minutes north you can find "The Hidden Valley" of Orakei Korako which contains geysers, boiling mud pools, hot springs and large silica terraces and also the majestic Ruatapu Caves. Entry charges apply.
Join an Eco-Cultural Tour. Your guide will take you through the magnificent Pureora Forest Park and explain how the Maori people utilised the forest resources in their daily lives. You will learn to weave/carve a Taonga (special gift) and to "Hongi" (traditional Maori greeting/farewell)
Over recent years the event industry in Taupo has been thriving. A combination of attractive venues and a supportive community have been key to this growth. Taupo now hosts a number of major international and national events, including:
Taupo Events (EventFinder.co.nz), . Taupo has a lot more events than just these, although these are main events - they aren't the only ones. This is a list of all of the current events happening right now, tomorrow and next week!
A1 Grand Prix, . The world cup of motor sport. The largest international motor event to be held in New Zealand. The New Zealand round of the series is held at the Taupo Motor Sport Park.  The 2008 round is being held over January 18-20.
Great Lake Cycle Challenge, . Started in 1977 with just 30 riders this 160km road cycle around Lake Taupo now attracts over 10,000 entrants every year. It is also a round of the prestigious UCI Golden Bike Series. The last Saturday in November is when the event takes place.
Ironman New Zealand, . Taupo has been home to this event since 1999. Ironman New Zealand is the oldest event outside of the world championships in Hawaii. It is held on the first Saturday in March each year.
Levene Half Marathon, . New Zealands largest half marathon and also the biggest in the southern hemisphere, follows the shore of Lake Taupo for most of the course. Held in early August every year.
Oxfam Trailwalker, . The world's greatest team challenge to overcome poverty and injustice offers you a rewarding physical endeavour, a fun experience to share with friends and colleagues and the chance to do something amazing for yourself and others.
Riverside Market (Taupos Local Marketplace), Riverside Park, ☎ Contact Sue, +64 21 930 020. Saturdays 10AM-1PM. Seasonal Fruits & Veges, Cakes & Biscuits, Apparel, Lavender Products, Free Range Eggs, Jewellery, Fresh Baked Bread, Curios & Collectables, Preserves, Arts & Craft, Books & Flowers. Also Car Boot Sale - First Saturday of every month.(-38.6836003,176.0694695)
BodyFuel Cafe (Licenced Cafe/Restaurant), 67 Tongariro St, Taupo (on SH1 opposite Information Centre), ☎ +64 7 378 9555 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +64 7 378 9550). Open 7:30AM-5:30PM 7days.
The Clubhouse (Bar/Restaurant), 10 Roberts St, ☎ +64 7 378 2534.
Quest Serviced Apartments, 9 Tui Street Taupo North Island 2730, ☎ +64 (0)7 378 7487, . Accommodation located fifty metres from the lake front, one kilometre south of the main shopping precinct. Comprises 16 Superior 4.5 Star rated 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, suitable for short and long term stays and 16 refurbished smaller studio studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments.
Accessing the Internet is simple and easy, with Internet Cafes and Wireless Hotspots available in the City Centre, Motels & Restaurants, Bars or Clubs!
Available Wireless Hotspots
Wireless Hotspots available within numerous area's or that cover a large area.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!