Whether you are looking to spend time on the beach, by the pool or in the mountains, there is something for everyone. Some of the properties that made the list are located in cities, giving you access to shopping, restaurants and nightlife. Others are private and secluded, letting you relax and rejuvenate surrounded by spectacular views. Perfect for couples and honeymooners, these luxury hideaways in New Zealand offer stunning views, five star service and a unique selection of activities. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
© Eagles Nest
A secluded luxury retreat, complete with private villas, pools, beaches and spectacular views of New Zealand's Bay of Islands, Eagles Nest is a unique vacation destination for honeymooners and anyone looking for a relaxing escape.
This upscale resort consists of four luxury honeymoon villas, 20-meter drop edge pool, a spa, sauna and private beaches a short walk from the villas. Each villa is decorated in elegant, simple style which complements spectacular views from their large windows.
The Eyrie and Eagle Spirit, situated on three private acres, feature their own horizon edge swimming pools, three bedrooms, open plan living/dining rooms with fire places and designer kitchens. Large decks overlook the beautiful Bay of Islands. The villas, surrounded by palm trees and stone statues, can each accommodate three couples or a family. The third villa, Sacred Space, features three uniquely appointed suites with original artwork and antique furnishings. The center of the house is a large two-storey glass-roofed living area. Sacred Space has an open plan gourmet kitchen, outdoor decks, a pool, spa, outdoor shower and a sauna.
First Light Temple is a romantic villa, perfect for a luxury honeymoon vacation. Set in the hillside overlooking the pool and the sea, the villa features unique art, comfortable furnishings, a floor-to-ceiling glass shower, skylight over the bed, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, a gourmet kitchen and an outdoor shower. The hotel serves gourmet Spa Cuisine and features a wine cellar with a selections of New Zealand and Australian wines.
The Bay of Islands is known for fishing, whale watching, scenic kayaking, scuba diving and other watersports. Nearby attractions include historic Russell, the first capital of New Zealand.
The best time to go is during the warmer months in New Zealand, from November through March. Rates start from 1,300 New Zealand Dollars per night. Eagle's Nest is about 60 minutes by helicopter from Auckland, or 3.5 hours by car. Alternatively, you can fly from Auckland to Kerikeri Regional Airport, 45 minutes from the resort. For details and help with transfers, contact the resort directly (+64-09-403-8333).
© Kauri Cliffs
Kauri Cliffs is a luxury getaway set on 6,000 acres on New Zealand's North Island. The resort has a spa, a scenic golf course, two tennis courts, an infinity swimming pool and just 24 suites with panoramic views. The three secluded beaches on the property are ideal for romantic picnics and swimming during summer (November through March). The main lodge overlooks the golf course and the Pacific Ocean.
Water-based activities in the area include boat trips, sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling and deep sea fishing.
Twenty-two guest suites, located in eleven guest cottages, each have a private porch, bedroom with a sitting area and open fireplace, walk-in wardrobes and a bathroom with a shower, bathtub and two vanities. The cottages overlook the ocean and the golf course. If you are traveling with the family and need more space, book the owner's cottage. The two-suite house has a private infinity swimming pool, hot tub, a small office, outdoor barbecue, two bathrooms, a powder room and open fireplaces in the bedrooms and the main lounge.
Gourmet meals are served in the main dining room, the verandas or in the privacy of your guest suite.
The par-72 championship course has four sets of tees. Fifteen holes have views of the Pacific Ocean and six are right along the cliffs that drop down to the sea.
There is a practice range, putting and chipping greens, a golf shop, and ladies' and mens' locker rooms. Guests can rent Callaway clubs at the pro shop. The weather is the warmest during the summer, from November through March.
High season rates start at 400 NZD. Guests staying at the lodge receive a 10% discount on green fees for their first round of golf.
If you want to play golf, plan your trip during the summer season, from November through March.
Fly to Auckland, New Zealand, from where you can take a scheduled daily flight to Kerikeri/Bay of Islands airport, or hire a helicopter. By car, the property is about 4 hours from Auckland. Rates start at 500 New Zealand dollars per person per night (plus tax), including hors d'oeuvres, dinner, breakfast and use of all lodge facilities except golf (+64 9 407 0010).
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3.Walking Vacation on New Zealand's South Island
© Country Walkers
Get to know the beauty of New Zealand by taking a walking vacation on the South Island with Country Walkers, a luxury tour company known for its excellent guides and unique itineraries to some of the best destinations around the world. The 9-day, 8-night trip will take you past scenic mountain lakes, spectacular beaches and pristine rainforests. You'll enjoy romantic picnics, kayaking, wildlife watching, and comfortable accommodations in inns and eco-lodges. The island is home to rare birds, seals and other wildlife. The itinerary includes stays at Awaroa Lodge in Abel Tasman National Park, the beachfront Punakaiki Resort, Te Weheka Inn near Fox Glacier, and Edgewater Resort on Lake Wanaka. Rates start at $5,998 per person (800-234-690).
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4.Azur Villas: Stunning Views of Lake Wakatipu
© Azur Villas
Enjoy total privacy on your romantic vacation at Azur, set on a hill overlooking a scenic lake. The lodge has just nine guest villas decorated in contemporary style. Watch the sunset from you deck, and fall asleep in a bed with 300 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and a goose down duvet.
Each of the nine private villas are approximately 75 square meters in size and have a private deck, gas fireplace, LCD television, and DVD/CD stereo system. Bathrooms have dual vanities and spa tubs positioned in the window. The linens are all 300 thread count Egyptian cotton made in Germany by the luxury bedding specialist, Ploh.
The hotel offers breakfast right in your villa which is ideal on a romantic vacation. Have evening drinks and canapes at the bar, sample a selection of some of the finest wines the region has to offer, and various refreshments served throughout the day. With complimentary transfers to/from Queenstown restaurants you will have your choice of fine dining every night. Azur's Les Clefs d'Or Concierge can arrange for almost any craving you might have during your stay.
Queenstown offers a wide selection of outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, mountain biking, wine trails, heli touring, jet boat tours, and bungy jumping. If you are looking for an active romantic vacation or honeymoon, Queenstown is a great vacation spot.
The hotel is located just five minutes from Queenstown village. Getting there could not be easier. All guests are met at the airport and taken to the lodge in luxury Land Cruisers. Browse more romantic vacation ideas. Rates at Azur are around 1,000 NZD per villa per night (+64 3 409 0588).
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5.Treetops Lodge & Estate
© Treetops Lodge & Estate
Treetops Lodge & Estate is a luxury getaway surrounded by 2,500 acres of native forest, waterfalls and clear streams. Located on the North Island, this is an Eco tourist retreat, perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers. If you are looking for unique honeymoon destinations, you can't go wrong with this elegant hideaway. There are only four suites and eight private villas that blend into the natural surroundings, a perfect luxury adventure. A stream rich with Rainbow trout flows under the Great Room from which you can enjoy sweeping views of the valley. Natural wood fire, historic artwork along with stone and timber finishes complement the natural outdoors beautifully. The property has a comfortable library and a games room complete with an antique billiard table.
The estate has 70 kilometers of hiking, horseback or mountain bike riding trails from which you can admire 800-year-old giant trees, birds and plants. The fly fishing season runs from December through March. Complimentary activities include access to the trails, nature walks, fishing and mountain bike riding. Other activities at the resort include archery, abseiling, 4WD tours, clay target shooting, wilderness fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, photographic safaris and wildlife watching.
The four suites and eight villas are private and secluded. Decorated with rich fabrics and furnishings, each room is unique and luxurious, complete with a relaxing spa bath. And best of all, in the morning you'll wake up to the song of native birds and fresh natural air.
The lodge serves delicious healthy dishes created using game, locally grown produce and a great selection of fine local wines. You can enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner for two in the library or swap stories with fellow guests in the main Dining room.
A five-night stay was included in the Oscar gift baskets for celebrity presenters and performers at the 76th Annual Academy Awards. The property is located 30 minutes from the city of Rotura on North Island. Rates start at NZ $840 per person per night September through May; and from NZ $590 June through August (in winter). Rates are inclusive of accommodation, breakfast, pre dinner cocktails, dinner and selected lodge activities (+64-7-333-2066).
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6.Peppers Carrington Resort on Karikari Peninsula
© Peppers Carrington Resort
Peppers Carrington Resort is a beach vacation idea with a golf club, a vineyard and a 3,000-acre farm, located on the Karikari Peninsula in Northland on the North Island. Guests can choose from a variety of vacation activities, including tournament-quality golf, a shooting range with clay targets, tennis and sunbathing on 2.5 miles of secluded white sand beach. The resort has a heated swimming pool and spa looking out over the Pacific Ocean where you can unwind after a tour of the Winery, complete with wine tasting.
The hotel has 10 luxury lodge rooms and 14 self contained villas. The rooms are air-conditioned and have California King Beds. The duplex villas have views of the 15th fairway and can accommodate a maximum of five guests per villa. If you are planning a family trip to New Zealand, children are not allowed to stay in the lodge rooms but are welcome in the villas.
The dining room is open to guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves foods prepared with farm-fresh ingredients grown on the property.
The hotel is a scenic four-hour car ride from Auckland. Alternatively, there are flights from Auckland Airport to Kaitaia Airport which is a 25-minute drive from the hotel; you can arrange to have someone from the hotel meet you at the airport on your beach vacation. Room rates start at NZD $250 per night in low season; from NZD $395 from December to March. Luxury getaway packages that include breakfast and dinner are available. Golf rates start at NZD $75 for Carrington guestsl from NZD $125 for non-guests (+64-9-408-7222).
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7.Wharekauhau Lodge on Palliser Bay
© Wharekauhau Lodge
Wharekauhau Lodge offers stylish cottages built using natural materials. You will be surrounded by thousands of scenic acres with Palliser Bay views, and a working sheep farm. Enjoy romantic king-sized four-poster beds and floor heating which is great during the colder season. If you are unable to leave the outside world behind, the staff can equip guest suites with televisions and daily newspaper delivery on request.
Dining resembles a private dinner party, with guests seated at grand tables. However, guests who prefer a more intimate setting can request a private dining room. There is an award winning selection of local wines.
Ten minutes by air from Wellington (90 minutes by road), this country hideaway is framed by the Rimutaka Ranges to the west and Palliser Bay to the east. Rates at Wharekauhau start at NZ$965 per person per night in high season; from NZ$610 per person per night in low season. The rate includes daily breakfast and dinner (+64 6 307 7581).
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, From LA
8.The George in Christchurch
© The George
Located in Christchurch, New Zealand, the George is a luxury boutique hotel featuring stylish decor, award-winning cuisine and a one-to-one staff-to-guest ratio. The hotel overlooks Hagley Park and the River Avon, and is within walking distance of many shops, historic and cultural attractions. You can rent a mountain bike at and explore the city on two wheels, or go jogging. There is tennis, croquet and a private garden - you can be as active or relaxed as you like. Play golf on the nine hole course adjacent to the hotel or work out at an off-site health club. You can stay connected with friends and family by using free internet at the hotel.
In Christchurch and in the surrounding areas, you'll find an array of exciting activities, including hot air ballooning, bungy jumping, whale watching and vineyard tours. Go on a high-speed jet boat ride if you want a scenic adventure. Ask the hotel concierge for help with arranging your activities.
The hotel has 55 luxury rooms and suites with calm decor and views of the park. The bathrooms have a separate bath and shower with plush robes. Each Executive Room has a 42-inch LED television and elegant furnishings.
Junior Suite are located on the 4th floor of the hotel and have a 46 inch LED television, and a separate bath and shower. Residence Suites are located in a separate building and easily accessible via an enclosed walkway. The suites measure 59 square meters and have a separate lounge private dining room and a large bedroom with a king size bed. The adjoining lounge with French-doors opens into an English garden. Park Suites over scenic view of Hagley Park and Avon River. Ask for a layout with a balcony to enjoy the best of outdoor living. If you like a fireplace, some of the suites have a gas fireplace, so be sure to ask when reserving your stay. There is a Bose Home entertainment system and other luxuries.
The hotel has two excellent restaurants: Pescatore and 50 on Park Restaurant. Pescatore serves innovative dishes using locally caught seafood. 50 on Park Restaurant offers more casual ambiance and offers a menu of beef, lamb and seafood. Christchurch International Airport is 15 minutes from the hotel. Rooms start at $519 NZD per night (+64-3-379-4560).
9.Aoturoa: Four Bedroom Lodge in Wanaka
Aoturoa is a four bedroom luxury getaway located just outside the town of Wanaka. Surrounded by mountains, river flats, and meadows, the lodge is the perfect place to relax on vacation and enjoy the quiet world around you. Travelers get to choose from four spacious luxury vacation suites, each with mountain views, plush bathrooms, and deep French bath tubs. Soak and relax with an infusion of aromathic bath salts. Guests have access to two lounges with open fireplaces, libraries, and free internet. Stroll through the beautiful garden which grows a mixture of exotic and native plants, as well as organically grown fruit and vegetables. In January and February, you can pick your own fruit from the fruit & berry orchard. The olive grove produced delicious olive oil.
Breakfast, included in the room rate, consists of a selection of teas & coffee, muesli, freshly-made breads and seasonal produce. An informal dinner is available as well, featuring fresh vegetables and fruit from Aoturoa's gardens and a diverse selction of regional wines from New Zealand. If you require a vegetarian meal, the restaurant will accommodate your wishes. Moreover, there are many excellent restaurants a short drive away in Wanaka. If you are interested in fly fishing, your hosts can arrange for an introductory course on fly fishing right on the lawn outside the house, with practice and fishing on the nearby river. For more advanced fishermen, a helicopter can pick you up for a day of backcountry fishing. Fly into Queenstown and then drive North to Wanaka. Aoturoa is an 18-kilometer drive from Wanaka on Highway 6, and 4 kilometres from Luggate Village. Rates are $490 NZD for a Deluxe Suite. Rates are per suite per night (twin or double share) and include breakfast and government tax (+64-3-443-5000).
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10.Mollies: 10 Charming Suites in Auckland
A small hideaway in Auckland city, Mollies offers its guests stylish accommodations, five-star service and gourmet dining. Auckland is a fun destination for honeymooners who enjoy a combination of luxury, fine dining and activities. Head to the relaxing day spa for a few hours of pampering. The spa offers massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. It overlooks a private courtyard and garden from its location on the top floor of the hotel. The spa utilizes exclusive Sothys products in its treatments. One of the treatment suites can be booked by couples.
Have a gourmet breakfast in the morning featuring free range eggs and herbs from the hotel gardens. Fair trade coffee is freshly brewed in the morning served with a gourmet breakfast from 7 am to 10 am. In the evening, enjoy a seasonal dinner menu which incorporates fresh local ingredients and showcases fresh New Zealand flavors and modern international cuisine. You can have a romantic dinner at the restaurant or have it delivered to your private lounge or balcony during the warmer season. Dining at the restaurant is exclusively for hotel guests and their visitors, by request. The lounge and cocktail bar are great for meeting fellow guests before and after dinner. The concierge can make your dinner reservations at nearby restaurants as well.
The hotel has just 10 romantic suites with private balconies, harbor or garden views. High-tech suite amenities include complimentary WiFi and flat screen LCD HD television with satellite. Ask for a Mollies or Premier suite with a fireplace if you are going on a romantic getaway. The property has a concierge, masseuse services, library and guest lounge. There are several comfortable areas in the garden for relaxing. For additional luxury, Villa Suites and Premier Suites feature a spacious lounge and separate bedroom with a spa bath. Junior Suites start at NZD $545 per night (+64 9 376 3489).
11.The Langham, Auckland
© The Langham, Auckland
The Langham, Auckland is a luxury hotel with 410 stylish guest rooms, located in downtown Auckland. The hotel provides a central base for exploring major city attractions, shops and restaurants. You will be just a short drive away from local sandy beaches.
Chuan Spa at the hotel offers innovative spa treatments and marine-based therapies from Thalgo, France. Relax in the steam rooms and detox in the saunas. There is a fitness studio and an outdoor swimming pool so that you can stay in shape while you travel.
The hotel restaurant serves fine Italian cuisine inspired by the Piedmont region, using the freshest local ingredients including home grown truffles. The lobby bar serves light meals, cocktails and fine wine. If you have time, take part of the Tiffin Afternoon Tea experience, offered daily. Live music is available on weekends. Rooms start at 180 NZD per night.
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12.Greenhill the Lodge
© Greenhill the Lodge
Greenhill the Lodge is a relaxing wine country getaway in Hawkes Bay. This luxury lodge is set on 30 scenic acres and features a swimming pool, spa pool, a gym and croquet lawn. Guest can choose from a variety of activities in Hawkes Bay, including wine tours, fly fishing, heli-fishing, ballooning and wildlife watching. The lodge has a total of five rooms, including two King suites with a private sitting room, open fires and twin bathrooms, and three King rooms each with private ensuite bathroom. Dining commences with pre dinner drinks and canapes, followed by a table d'hote meal of three courses. Guests usually dine together in the grand dining room. Breakfast is served in the formal dining room or, on sunny mornings, under an umbrella on the outdoor terrace.
The luxury lodge is a one hour flight from either Auckland or Wellington. Rates at Greenhill the Lodge range from NZD $470 for a King room (+64 6 879 9944).
© Westbury Estate
Set on 92 private acres in Karaka near Auckland, Westbury Estate is an exclusive getaway for those who crave privacy and luxury. The 5-bedroom retreat can be rented by honeymooning couples and families for a night or for several days. Guests who like to stay active on vacation can hire personal trainers, tennis
coaches and riding instructors. There is kayaking on the private lake,
mountain biking and a gymnasium. After a day filled with outdoor adventures,
relax in the whirlpool and sauna.
The estate has five bedrooms and five bathrooms. Rent it as a luxury honeymoon hideaway for two, or plan a family reunion. The house has a a home theater, billiard room and wine cellar.
This exclusive getaway offers different dining options. You can request full catering, or grill by yourself in the outdoor BBQ area with a fireplace. The best time to go is between November and April so that you can golf on the estate's 9-hole golf course, swim in the outdoor pool, and play tennis.
Visit Auckland's shops and restaurants, sunbathe on black-sand West Coast beaches, or
tour Waiheke Island wineries. Low season (May to October) rates start at NZ$2,250 for a couple, and from NZ$4,000 for a larger group. High season rates start at NZ$2,250 for a couple and from NZ$6,000 for a larger group. The rate includes breakfast, evening meals and daily maid service (+64 9 963 2256).
14.Lake Okareka Lodge
© Lake Okareka Lodge
Located on the beautiful Okareka Lake, the lodge is a luxury retreat for nature enthusiasts and a unique honeymoon destination. The lodge has just three luxury suites, offering its guests privacy and attentive service. Each stylish suite has lake views and private balconies.
A personal chef is available to prepare delicious five star meals during your stay at the lodge. Breakfast, pre-dinner drinks and canapes, and 5 course dinner are included so that you can have a romantic dinner on your honeymoon. Guests of the lodge also receive 24-hour butler service, internationally trained personal chef, complimentary transfers to and from Rotorua Airport, access to hi speed internet, and use of the lodge's recreational and exercise facilities.
Nightly rates start at $1,600 NZD per couple.
© Huka Lodge
Huka Lodge is a luxury romantic New Zealand getaway offering its guests the ultimate in privacy and five star service. If the hotel's celebrity guests like H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and Robin Williams are any indication, you can expect your stay to be a memorable one. This luxury retreat has just 25 guest rooms situated on 17 scenic acres, complete with a river and beautiful trees. Choose from 18 Junior Lodge Suites, one Lodge Suite and the two exclusive Cottages.
New Zealand is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and at this hotel you can choose from a variety of adventures. There is fishing, hunting, hiking, golf, adrenalin-pumping adventures and many different tours. If you are planning an anniversary or a honeymoon, ask about the Gourmet package which includes a visit to the Hawke's Bay, a cooking school and guests are accompanied by a prominent food and wine host during their stay. Room rates start at NZ$505 per person per night. Room rates start at NZ$505 per person per night (+ 64 7 378 5791).
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15 Perfect Luxury New Zealand Vacations
- Eagles Nest, Photo: Eagles Nest
- Kauri Cliffs, Photo: Kauri Cliffs
- Walking Vacation on New Zealand's South Island, Photo: Country Walkers
- Azur Villas: Stunning Views of Lake Wakatipu, Photo: Azur Villas
- Treetops Lodge & Estate, Photo: Treetops Lodge & Estate
- Peppers Carrington Resort on Karikari Peninsula, Photo: Peppers Carrington Resort
- Wharekauhau Lodge on Palliser Bay, Photo: Wharekauhau Lodge
- The George in Christchurch, Photo: The George
- Aoturoa: Four Bedroom Lodge in Wanaka, Photo: Aoturoa
- Mollies: 10 Charming Suites in Auckland, Photo: Mollies
- The Langham, Auckland, Photo: The Langham, Auckland
- Greenhill the Lodge, Photo: Greenhill the Lodge
- Westbury Estate, Photo: Westbury Estate
- Lake Okareka Lodge, Photo: Lake Okareka Lodge
- Huka Lodge, Photo: Huka Lodge
- Cover Photo: Eagles Nest
Quick New Zealand Vacation Planning Tips
This amazing destination offers an array of activities year round. Summer activities include rafting, kayaking, hiking, camping, diving, and snorkeling. There is excellent skiing and heli-skiing in the winter. If you want to go fishing or to the beach, visit during the warmer months in December, January and February. The coldest months are June, July and August. Remember the seasons are the reverse of the Northern Hemisphere. As you would expect, rooms and airfare are more expensive during the summer season (December, January, February).
Even in summer, you should bring at least a light jacket and sweater, especially if you plan on visiting areas of higher altitude. Comfortable hiking shoes that are already broken in will help you on any long hikes in the countryside. A rental car will allow you to get out and explore the great outdoors. Rental cars are available at the airport, but remember to reserve one ahead of time.
Air New Zealand, Qantas, United Airlines, American Airlines all fly to there from the United States. Japan Airlines and British Airways also offer flights.
Airfares can increase by more than $500 dollars during their summer season (December, January, February). Some of the best deals can be found on airline websites; Air New Zealand and Qantas have good deals on their sites. From Eastern Australia, the flight to New Zealand takes about 3 and a half hours; from Tokyo about 10 hours and from the west coast of the United States about 12 hours.
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More Ideas: Great Lake Taupo Region
The Great Lake Taupo Region is found in the heart of North Island, New Zealand. Surrounded by mountains, forests, and home Australasia’s largest freshwater lake. The Great Taupo Lake Region is billed as “Nature’s Ultimate Playground” and offers many opportunities for outdoor adventure.
About Great lake Taupo Region
The Great Lake Taupo Region has many diverse ecosystems from volcanic landscapes, geothermal springs, mountains, crater lake, coastline, and World Heritage National Park which is home to Tongariro National Park.
The region was formed in 186AD after a series of volcanic eruptions, the most violent the world has ever seen, spewed lave, ash, rock and pumice that spanned 30,000 square kilometers and sank tens of meters deep in many areas. The dense forests that covered New Zealand in this area were decimated and a crater formed by the eruption turned into Lake Taupo.
The volcano under Lake Taupo is still active and swimmers can feel the rise and fall of temperatures in pockets of water. Lake Taupo currently sits 359m above sea level and span 616 square km. The deepest parts of the lake are 159m.
The Maori were the first people to populate North Island and the Lake Taupo area. Early Maori settlers came to New Zealand in during The Great Migration, sailing from an Island in the Polynesian Islands called Hawaiki to the North Island. The Ngati Tuwharetoa were the first tribe to dominate the area.
The town of Taupo was established in 1869 and used as an Armed Constabulary post during the New Zealand Wars. The town began to flourish in the 1950’s when electric services were brought to the area and farming began to flourish. Geothermal power stations and hydroelectric schemes have now been added to the island.
This North Island region of New Zealand is popular all year for tourism and adventure. Great Lake Taupo Region is home to the most top New Zealand tourist attractions including the most visited natural attraction in New Zealand—Huka falls. There are also townships such as Taupo, Mangakino, and Turangi which also offer many activities and accommodations for visitors and families.
Towns of Great Lake Taupo Region
There are three major towns that make up North Island Great Lake Taupo Region.
Taupo- Taupo is a resort town and the central hub of North Island. Commuting from any major center in North Island to Taupo is easy and common. This metropolitan city has dozens of options for accommodations, dining, galleries, shopping, spas, and adventure activities.
Turangi-For a more intimate and relaxing visit to the Great Lake Taupo Region, Turangi is a smaller town known for trout fishing. Anglers come to Turangi to stay in the renowned fishing lodges and the drive from Taupo to Turangi is especially scenic.
Mangakino- Comprised of country villages and tranquil Lake Maraetai, Mangakino offer quiet trout fishing in a pastoral setting surrounded by ancient forest.
Attractions in Great Lake Taupo
Great Lake Taupo region is defined by its access to many different outdoor adventures. Nature lovers flock to Great Lake Taupo from all over the world for its resorts, fishing, and outdoor adventures for families and independent visitors. No matter what time of year you visit, there are many activities to keep visitors busy.
Lava Glass Sculpture Garden- One of the newest attractions at Lake Taupo is the Lava Glass Sculpture Garden featuring 500 sculptures all made from lava glass, spread out over an acre. Boardwalks are available to guide visitors around the ponds and fields made of glass flowers.
Adrift Tongariro Guiding- You do not have to be afraid to hike the ancient forests of Tongariro alone. Guides are available to help hikers navigate the National Park while educating on the history of the area and local legend.
Orakei Korako Cave and Thermal Park- Heralded as the best thermal park left in New Zealand by Lonely Planet, this park is found between Taupo and Rotorua along the Waikato River. The caves are reachable by ferry and the thermal park is open every day of the year.
Canoe and Kayak Taupo- Guided canoe and kayaking tours of Lake Taupo are available that allow an up close and personal view of the Maori Rock Carvings.
Rafting New Zealand- Spend half of a day rafting on the best adventure in New Zealand on Lake Taupo. Explore hidden waterfall with optional jumping, raft through a volcanic gorge and enjoy snacks and hot chocolate.
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Real Kiwi Tours Limited- Small group tours for 2-6 people that are guided by local Kiwis. Tours are 3-8 hours long and can go as far as The Hobbit Movie Set, cave explorations and river cruises.
Sail Barbary to the Carvings- Take a relaxing sailboat ride to the Maori Rock Carvings on classic white sailing yachts.
Huka Falls River Cruise- Huka Falls is the most visited natural attraction in New Zealand and Huka Falls River Cruise is the only way to visit by chartered boat. The thundering waterfalls plummet 11 meters turning more than 220,000 liters per second.
Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings- One of the most extraordinary art works in New Zealand is found in Mine Bay, lake Taupo. The Maori Rock Carvings tower 14 meters above the lake water and are one of the most popular attractions in all of New Zealand. The carvings were completed in 1980 and took four years to complete.
New Zealand’s Highest Café- Visit the Knoll Ridge Café to eat at the highest café in New Zealand. Located at Whakapapa Ski Area, the café is only accessible by ski lift and sits 2020m above sea level.
Great Lake Walkway- Also called Lions Walk, The Great Lake Walkway is the most popular trail at Lake Taupo and spans 10km. Suitable for walking for cycling, the track is paved and family friendly. The trail begins at Five Mile Bay with views of Tongariro National Park, Lake Taupo, and passes many options for dining and hotels.
Taupo Tandem Skydiving- Fly 15,000 feet above Lake Taupo and New Zealand’s mountains and jump from a plane to tandem skydive. There’s no better views of Tongariro National Park than from the air.
Trout Fishing- Trout fishing brings anglers from all over the world to New Zealand. Lake Taupo and the tributary rivers are known for their impressive fishing and offer boat tours and private fishing. Thousands of rainbow trout leave Lake Taupo annually and spawn in the Tongariro River. The Tongariro National Trout Centre is located in Turangi.
Orakei Korako Cave and Thermal Park
Hot Pools- mineral hot pools warmed through geothermal heating can be found throughout The Great Lake Taupo area. Most hot pools are in conjunction with a spa or theme park. One public pool is open in Mangakino during summer months.
Accommodations at Great Lake Taupo
There are many different options for accommodations at Great Lake Taupo. Hotels, motels, timeshare, apartments, Bed and Breakfasts, boutique hotels, Inns, hostels, holiday parks, and campgrounds are all available. Popular choices include:
- Huka Falls Resort
- Tongariro Lodge
- Suncourt Hotel and Conference Centre
- Poronui New Zealand
- Millennium Hotel and Resorts Manuels Taupo
- Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort
- Great Lake Holiday Park
- Rainbow Lodge Backpackers Retreat (hostel)
- Haka Lodge Taupo (hostel)
Shopping and Dining
Great Lake Taupo is known for it’s unique blend of culture and innovation. Boutique shops, art galleries, locally made crafts, and gourmet dining, dot the streets of towns in the Great Lake Taupo Region.
Taupo Markets- Every Saturday local vendor set up their booths for a market celebrating the local produce, arts, and crafts. Occasional markets are also known to pop up with locals and visitors alike flocking to The North Domain. Art in the Park is also set up during this time as a local artist exhibition.
Great Lake Taupo is known as the events capital of New Zealand, which also helps tourism. There is always something going on for vacationers and locals to enjoy. There are dozens of events that are held here annually from arts to sports, theater, concerts, and community expos. Some of the events that occur every year are:
- Taupo Winter Festival
- Graffiato Taupo Street Art Festival
- Cycle Challenge
- Taupo Summer Concert
- Across the Lake Swim
- Great Lake Relay
- Ironman NZ
Other popular festivals in lake Taupo include food showcases that generally last for a day or weekend and celebrate food from all over the world including China, New Orleans Louisiana, Portugal and more. There are also often carnivals, family events, free concerts, movies in the park, plays and musicals, and motorsports.
More Places to Visit in New Zealand
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