Things to do in Taupo with kids View accommodation
Activities and Adventures
Swimming pools in Taupo
Excellent hydroslides for the children can be found at DeBretts Spa Resort. There are also a range of more tranquil pools of varying temperatures for those less adventurous. Another excellent family-friendly pool complex is the AC Baths on Spa Road. These fantastic facilities are brilliant for kids offering several indoor and outdoor heated pools plus hydroslides - they are also great value for money. For their location and more info check out their website. It's a short drive from the apartment and remember that we provide swimming pool towels in the apartment for your convenience.
Kayaking the Waikato River and Lake Taupo
Both Riverside One and Riverside Two apartments have two kayaks, paddles and life jackets available free of charge for our guests. Burn the kids out with a big day on the water and you can be sure they will sleep well! Head upstream and you'll see some amazing sights, the crystal-clear river water provides amazing views into the depths of the river. Paddle past the marina and the great expanse of New Zealand's largest lake awaits. Or, take the kayaks over the main road and launch them down-stream of the flow-control gates at Gates Park. An ideal place to get out is Reid's Park Farm - just make sure you've got roof-racks and can get the kayaks back... and don't go too much further downstream as a close encounter with Huka Falls is deadly. An easier way could be to try the Waikato River float tour.
Huka Falls and Aratiatia Rapids
Long walks for kids are often just plain old boring - but rest assured that both the Huka Falls and Aratiatia rapids can be seen after just a short stroll. Even the most reluctant tyke will be amazed by the sheer volume of water that hurtles over the Huka Falls - and when the flow control gates open at Aratiatia the gorge is quickly flooded by the waters of the Waikato River. Great ways to fill in a few spare hours!
If your kids are pretty active and a longer walk is ok, then consider the walk from Riverside Apartment to the Huka Falls. It is 6.8km (one way) and a lovely walk along the beautiful Waikato River. It's not too demanding as long as your kids (and you) are moderately fit. Read more about it on our 'great walks' page - it's the walk we rate as the second best in Taupo.
If that isn't enough to raise the heart rate of your nippers then take them for a thrilling ride on NZ's only white-water jet boat experience with Rapids Jet.
Huka Prawn Park
Make a day of it, pack a picnic and take the kids prawn fishing! After an educational tour of the hatchery, grab your rod and bait and try to hook one of these elusive (but very tasty) crustaceans. Don't worry too much if you don't catch lunch - you can purchase the cooked versions from the onsite restaurant that overlooks the beautiful Waikato River. The Huka Jet will provide much entertainment and there is a playground that the kids will love. For more information check out the Huka Prawn Park website. It's only a ten minute drive from Riverside Apartment to the Huka Prawn Park, but please note the following driving directions. Head north on the main road out of Taupo. Keep an eye out for the "1.5 km to go" sign on the left of the road because the actual turn-off (to your right) is not well marked. Look for the helicopters and you're in the right spot!
Hot tip: go early while the prawns are still hungry!
Climb Mount Tauhara
Mount Tauhara offers spectacular views over the great lake of Taupo and sits just a few kilometres east of the township. The maunga, or mountain, is privately owned by the people of Tauhara and it is through their generous kaitiakitanga (guardianship) that they allow access to the public. The track is 2.5km long to the top but the views are absolutely worth the climb of just over 500m in gain of elevation to its peak of 1088m above sea level. The track is well-marked over the first few hundred metres of farm land and then easy to follow to the top. The 3 to 3.5 hour indicated return time is quite conservative and even young children will manage this hike if they are reasonably fit and active. Definitely not a trail for the strollers through, so strap the little ones into the back or front-pack and head up the mountain!
There are many challenging off-road and MTB tracks around Taupo, but for the little ones (or just a more relaxing and safer ride) try the family-friendly Grade 1 path from the Two-Mile Bay boat ramp that follows the lakefront on the eastern side of the lake for several kilometres.
The only Doughboats in New Zealand, a unique experience to Taupo. Taking up to six people on each donut-shaped boat there is no age restriction for children, as long as life-jackets can be worn. Cruise the lakefront (as far around as Acacia Bay in fine/calm conditions) in your eco-friendly, electric-powered boat that will create an amazing, fun memory for the whole family. For bookings, or more information check out the Doughboats website.
Just ten minutes drive from the apartment (head north and at the Wairakei roundabout take the road towards Rotorua for about 4km) Mind Junction is a brilliant way to spend a few hours or the whole day, especially if the weather isn't so great outside. Specifically designed for kids, there are many absorbing activities that will capture their imagination. Mini-golf, a maze (seriously, they will spend hours in there - giving you plenty of time to relax in the cafe) - flight and shooting simulators, lego displays, models, puzzles and so much more. All at pretty good prices too.
Trout fishing and the Tongariro National Trout Centre
The trout fishing in Taupo is world-class and a famous destination for serious fishermen (and women). However, it doesn't need to be difficult and Riverside Aparment is perfect for the more relaxed style of simply wandering down to the river at first or last light. Within minutes you can be casting into the river for beautiful rainbow trout. Check out our guide on how to teach your kid to fish for trout. Or if a more guided operation is preferable , located near Turangi, about half an hour drive to the south of Taupo is the National Trout Centre. A fantastic day out for the whole family, there is an onsite museum where you can learn all about these crafty fish and visit the acquarium. Feeding the fish is a highlight and on certain days of the year (mainly during the school holidays) the public can even fish for trout in the pool (bookings essential). The hours of operation are 10am to 4pm during summer months (December through April) and 10am to 3pm in winter (May through November).