In our ‘Complete Guide’ series, we’re going to be visiting some of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations and getting the inside track from our GO Explore followers on the best places to stay, eat, drink, sunbathe and more. Instead of just finding out what the guidebooks tell you, find out what the locals and the travellers think when it comes to the best place to get an ice cream, the best fish and chips and the best cocktail you’ve ever had!

The next in our series of Complete Guides takes us to the central North Island and the hugely popular town of Taupo as well as the outdoor adventure destination, Tongariro. Taupo is one of New Zealand’s most popular stop-off points on a tour of the North Island. Located around 3.5 hours south of Auckland, the town is home to New Zealand’s biggest lake making it a great spot for watersport activities. It’s also one of the coolest places in the country to skydive, offering amazing views of the lakes and the nearby mountains and volcanoes. Tongariro is a walkers’ paradise. Home to arguably New Zealand’s best one day walk as well as numerous volcanoes including the world-famous Mt Doom, it’s a place just waiting to be explored…so let’s GO!

Best accommodation in Taupo and Tongariro

For most people heading to the central North Island, Taupo offers the best range of accommodation options. Those heading specifically to take on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing or perhaps heading down for some winter skiing may choose to stay up in the Tongariro National Park, however Tongariro is easily reachable from Taupo too. Here are some top tips from our GO Explorers when it comes to places to stay in Taupo and Tongariro:

Best places to eat out in Taupo and Tongariro

Taupo is not short on great places to eat out. Whether you’re on a budget or you want a slap-up meal, the town caters for all budgets. If you are staying up in Tongariro or Whakapapa, there are some good options for a hearty feed after a day on the slopes or tramping through the National Park. Here are some of our favourites:

Best sights in Taupo and Tongariro

As you would imagine, there are some pretty stunning sights to be seen in both Taupo and the Tongariro National Park. From the towering volcanoes to the country’s largest lake, there is plenty to see and do in this beautiful part of New Zealand. Here are some of the highlights:

Rent the perfect car for your adventure

Recommended vehicle for exploring Taupo and Tongariro


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The Mitsubishi ASX is the perfect car for exploring Taupo and Tongariro with keyless entry, an 8″ touchscreen entertainment and Apple CarPlay.

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5 Seats

1 large bag

2 small bags

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