What to do in Taupo with kids? 9 sights in a row!
Taupo is one of the destination on the North Island visited by most families. It is known for the large lake which is near the place itself. We ourselves and our daughter spent a week here and had a great time. Still, you can visit most of the sights in about three days. We have listed the best activities in Taupo with kids for you.
Table of contents
Taupo with kids #1 Go rafting with the family
In Taupo, you have two organizations where you can go rafting with the whole family. You can do this with kids as young as three. The excursion lasts three hours, of which you spend just under two hours on the water.
We found it a very fun activity with our four-year-old daughter. You get to wear a very thick suit (our daughter didn’t like that at first), so you won’t be cold on the water. You also go on a quieter part of the river, making it exciting but not scary for young kids.
You can book this excursion at Rafting Newzealand and Tongariro River Rafting.
Taupo with kids#2 skydiving
Taupo is the skydiving capital of the world and there is basically no age restriction to do this activity. Yet it is only recommended for kids 10 and older. So for older kids it can be a very cool experience, if they dare.
You jump from a plane with an instructor and make a free fall until the parachute is pulled open. How long this free fall lasts depends on what height you jump at.
In Taupo, you can choose between 9,000 feet (30-second freefall), 12,000 feet (45-second freefall), 15,000 feet (60-second freefall) or 18,000 feet (75-second freefall).
For detailed information about skydiving in Taupo and my (Joep) experiences check out the blog
skydiving in Taupo
Taupo with kids #3 Visiting the Huka waterfall
The most visited attraction in New Zealand is the Huka waterfall. You can visit and view this waterfall in three ways:
- With a spectacular jet boat. For most of the action, this is the best option and you get very close to the waterfall. This is a fairly expensive option, though.
- With the quiet cruise boat. The website indicates that he will go out three times a day and that the trip will take about 1.5 hours. We wanted to book this tour, but when we arrived at the airline we were the only tourists and the tour did not go ahead. We were in the post-season in May, though.
- On foot. This is what we finally opted for when the cruise boat did not go through. The path to the waterfall is easy to walk (even with baby carriage) and from above you can see the waterfall. You can get to the waterfall in a few minutes from the parking lot. Of course, this is also the cheapest option, since you can do this for free.
Taupo with kids #4 Visiting the Crater of the Moon park
If you and your kids can’t get enough of volcanic nature parks, the Crater of the Moon park is a great outing to walk around for an hour (or two).
This park is close to the Huka waterfall and park entrance is only a few euros. They have huge baby carriages for kids to borrow that you can easily walk through the entire park with. Count on spending an hour to two hours walking around here with your kids.
Taupo with kids #5 Touring Lake Taupo
On Lake Taupo, there are three ways to take a trip:
- With a sailboat. What could be more wonderful than sailing on a lake with your kids on a sailboat in good weather? In Taupo, it can be done! You can take a sailing trip of about 2.5 hours with your kids while looking at the ancient petroglyphs made by the Maori people.
- With a motorboat. If you do want to see the petroglyphs on Lake Taupo with kids, but don’t need to do so by sailboat you can go for a motorboat tour. This tour is a lot cheaper than the sailing ship.
- With a kayak. For active parents, it is also possible to cross Lake Taupo by kayak with kids. The tour lasts a total of four hours, three of which you will be on the water and also go to see the petroglyphs.
Bonus activity for parents in Taupo with kids
Just under an hour’s drive from Taupo, you have the
Tongariro Alpine Track
lie. This is a very tough 19.4-kilometer hike with lots of elevation change that will take you between five and eight hours. It has also been called the most beautiful day hike in New Zealand.
I myself (Joep) walked this trek and found it to be one of the highlights of our trip through New Zealand. Curious about my experiences and want more information about this hike check out the travel blog
Tongariro Crossing hike
Unfortunately, this hike is too tough to walk with kids. However, it is possible to hike in this nature park with your kids as well. On the park’s website you will find several hikes that start as early as 20 minutes.
In addition, this park offers opportunities for skiing in winter and mountain biking in summer.
Other activities in taupo with kids
Of course, there are other activities to do in the Taupo area with kids. Here, unfortunately, we did not get around to it ourselves, but had on our list:
- Huka Prawn park. This shrimp park has two playgrounds and all kinds of equipment on the water. Furthermore, you can fish for shrimp here. It also includes a restaurant, where you can eat by the water with your family.
- Maori experience. At the Wairakei Terraces you can tour a Maori village and here you can also watch a performance. It also includes a spa, but is only open to kids 14 and older. The Maori village is for all ages, though.
- Eating your Happy Meal on an airplane. Taupo is home to perhaps the most extraordinary McDonald’s in the world. After all, you can eat your meal on a plane there. Just keep in mind that the plane does not smell very fresh inside. So we ate our meal in the restaurant itself anyway.
So if you’re asking yourself what to do in Taupo with kids, there are plenty of options to keep you entertained for a week!
Where to sleep in taupo with kids?
In Taupo you have two vacation parks, where there is a lot of entertainment. For example, we ourselves had rented a cottage with the family at the
Taupo Spa Resort
and we were able to use the resort’s hot water baths for a small fee. There was also a playground with bouncy castle here, which allowed us to play outside in the afternoon with our daughter.
There is also a top 10 campground in Taupo (
Taupo Top 10 Holiday Park
) present, where you can also rent a cottage with your family and which also includes a playground, trampoline and hot water bath.