Taupō's varied natural landscape presents boundless opportunities for walking and hiking, either on a guided or self-guided basis. At Huka Lodge, guests can explore the tree-lined pathways that lead through the verdant gardens, follow the Spa Park walk to Huka Falls or take on the Kawakawa Bay to Kinloch hike and cruise or the full-day hike to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Kawakawa Bay to Kinloch
This five-hour round trip includes a luxury cruise and hike. Ideal for travellers with medium to high fitness, the personally guided hike starts with a pickup at Huka Lodge for transfer to the small lakeside village of Kinloch.
A two-hour guided hike leads through lush green wilderness to a lookout offering panoramic views over the Western Bays of Lake Taupō. From here, the trail leads down towards the remote and secluded Kawakawa Bay, accessible only by boat or on foot.
Here, a vessel awaits for a cruise around Lake Taupō with a delicious lunch served onboard. Fishing, lunch, fishing licences and four-wheel drive transfer to Kinloch are all included.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Regarded as one of New Zealand’s best day hikes, the Tongarino Alpine Crossing offers an unforgettable encounter with native flora and fauna and may be taken on a guided or self-guided basis.
Taking between seven and nine hours – and around 18.5km (11.5 miles) each way, the hike traverses the World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park, New Zealand’s oldest and home to some of the most scenic and volcanically active places in the country.
The track winds up the Mangatepopo Valley to the saddle between Mt. Tongariro and Mt. Ngāuruhoe. It then climbs to the Red Crater before dropping down to the vivid Emerald Lakes. After passing the Blue Lake, the track cuts around the northern slope of Mt. Tongariro and descends in a zigzag to the Ketetahi hut.
Hiking in Taupō requires good walking boots, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, camera, waterproof jacket and weather-appropriate clothing. Note, from June 1 – October 15, winter conditions descend on the Tongariro Crossing and ice axes and crampons are required.