The votes are in. New Zealand’s most beautiful town has been revealed and no it’s not Queenstown…it’s Taupo!
The Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards winners were revealed during a ceremony held at Parliament House in Wellington on Thursday, November 9 2023. Taupo took out the top spot for the Beautiful Awards Supreme Towns and Cities Award and it was also granted the supreme title of Most Beautiful Large Town category.
The town is also being praised for its environmental initiatives. In particular, the Kai Rescue Programme which supports community members in need by collecting excess food from local cafes and supermarkets.
As someone who has had the pleasure of visiting Taupo multiple times due to my boyfriend’s mum living there, these results don’t surprise me as I can personally attest to the town’s charm and allure. In this article, I will delve into the top 5 reasons to visit Taupo this summer!
5 reasons to visit Taupo this summer
Taupo has quite a lot going for it – a pristine lake with mountains in the distance, and a lively town that’s neither too big nor too small. Picture yourself on a sunny Sunday morning, soaking in the gorgeous lake views, strolling through the markets then stopping at a nearby cafe for brunch, you can’t beat it!
So what are the top 5 reasons you should visit Taupo this summer?
1. Enjoy some relaxation and wellness
Taupo isn’t just for the adrenaline junkies; it also offers a sanctuary for those seeking a bit of relaxation. The town is dotted with thermal hot pools, where visitors can unwind amidst natural geothermal wonders.
Picture yourself soaking in warm, mineral-rich waters, surrounded by the tranquillity of nature. Additionally, Taupo boasts spa resorts that cater to individuals looking for rejuvenating treatments, massages, and wellness retreats, providing a holistic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
One standout is the Wairakei Terraces and Thermal Health Spa, where you can soak in the natural thermal waters surrounded by lush greenery, creating a truly serene experience. Another gem is the Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort, known for its mineral-rich hot pools and a range of spa treatments that promise to pamper and revitalize.
2. Take part in adventurous activities
If you’re up for some adventure, Taupo is the perfect place for a weekend escape. There’s a bunch of cool stuff you can do here, especially if you’re into nature and enjoy getting out and about.
Picture this: you can grab a kayak and cruise on Lake Taupo. Being the largest lake in the Southern Hemisphere there’s plenty to explore. Be sure to paddle by the Ngātoroirangi Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings.
If you’re more of a land explorer, there are awesome trails for hiking and nature walks that take you through some seriously stunning spots. You can also explore Taupo’s surroundings on two wheels with its extensive network of biking trails. There are trails suitable for all levels, providing a unique perspective of the region.
And for the real daredevils, how about skydiving? It’s a total rush, and the bonus is you get to soak in unbeatable views of Taupo’s natural wonders from way up high.
3. Soak up the beauty of Lake Taupo
If the idea of kayaking doesn’t quite float your boat but you still want to immerse yourself in the sheer beauty of Lake Taupo, there are alternative options that promise an equally enchanting experience. Why not consider booking a leisurely lake cruise?
You still get to see the Maori Rock carvings while relaxing in style and absorbing the panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. It’s a relaxed yet captivating way to appreciate the magnificence of Lake Taupo without breaking a sweat.
Alternatively, for those who crave a more elevated perspective, why not take to the skies with a scenic flight? Not only will you get incredible lake views but you can enjoy the dramatic landscapes of Mount Ruapehu.
4. Cultural experiences
Taupo isn’t just a feast for the eyes; it also enriches the soul through its cultural offerings. Immerse yourself in the rich Maori heritage with visits to historical sites and engaging cultural tours.
Gain insights into indigenous traditions and history, fostering a deeper connection with New Zealand’s roots. The Taupo Museum further enhances the cultural experience, showcasing local art exhibitions and historical artifacts that narrate the town’s story.
5. Thriving Culinary Scene
Taupo boasts a vibrant culinary scene with a variety of restaurants, cafes, and local markets. Nestled on the shores of Lake Taupo, the dining experiences here range from casual cafes to upscale restaurants, all showcasing the region’s fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
Whether you’re a food enthusiast or just looking for a satisfying meal, Taupo has something for every craving. Located by the lake, The Brantry is renowned for its fine dining experience. With a menu showcasing seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, it’s a perfect spot for a special occasion.
For something a little more casual, check out Victoria’s Cafe Kitchen Bar. This popular establishment combines a relaxed atmosphere with delicious food. Serving a mix of Kiwi and international dishes, Victoria’s is a great choice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Then you’ve also got the town’s markets, brimming with artisanal products and local produce, providing an excellent opportunity to sample regional specialties and connect with the community. From hearty Kiwi classics to international cuisine, Taupo’s culinary landscape is a culinary journey that promises to leave visitors with a memorable experience.
Is Taupo worth visiting?
So is Taupo worth visiting? Absolutely!
With its stunning natural beauty, the town offers a picturesque setting that captivates visitors. Whether you’re an adventure seeker looking for thrilling activities like kayaking and hiking, or someone seeking relaxation and wellness through hot pools and spa resorts, Taupo has something for everyone.
The town’s rich Maori heritage and cultural experiences further add depth to the visit. Moreover, Taupo’s commitment to environmental sustainability ensures that you can enjoy its beauty responsibly and that its natural wonders remain pristine for generations to come.
Efforts to preserve the ecosystem, reduce carbon footprints, and promote eco-friendly practices are integral to Taupo’s identity, making it a destination that not only captivates but also respects the environment.
Overall, Taupo is a versatile destination that combines natural wonders, adventure, relaxation, and cultural richness, making it well worth the visit. There are plenty of wonderful lakeside accommodation options too!
Conclusion: 5 reasons to visit Taupo this summer
So hopefully by now, I’ve convinced you to consider Taupo for your next summer getaway. Don’t just take my word for it, it has been voted as the most beautiful town in New Zealand after all!
Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a seeker of serenity, a culture connoisseur, or an eco-conscious traveller, Taupo’s diverse offerings cater to every type of traveller. Its landscapes, adorned with pristine lakes, rugged mountains, and lush greenery, provide a canvas for a myriad of experiences. Taupo not only beckons with adventure but also stands out for its cultural depth and unwavering commitment to sustainability.
So, as you’re thinking about your summer getaway plans, why not let Taupo set the stage for your unforgettable adventure? The beauty of nature mixing effortlessly with a rich cultural vibe, creates an experience that leaves you with travel memories you won’t forget.
Taupo’s got that magic touch, turning your trip into something truly special.