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Fun Family Activities in Taupo
Huka Prawn Park
We stumbled across this on a trip through a couple of years ago and it soon became the highlight of the kid’s weekend. While there is an actual prawn farm here – complete with guided tour – the real winner here is the fishing ponds. Yes, you can actually fish for your own prawns!! Be warned though – your success may be dependent on the age of your kids and how good they are at sitting still. We were travelling with 1-6 year olds so we only managed about 10 minutes and one prawn before they wanted to be off exploring.
As well as the fishing, there is an interactive water park full of cool science-type activities which the kids had a blast playing on. They shouldn’t get TOO wet, but it doesn’t hurt to have a change of clothes handy just in case…
You’ll find Huka Prawn Park 5 minutes’ drive North of Taupo on State Highway 1. It’s open 9am-4pm during the summer, with slightly reduced hours in winter. The family pass is fantastic value and caters for larger families with up to 5 kids. For more info click here.
Huka Falls lookout
While you’re in the area make sure you check out the mighty Huka Falls. Just off the main road, this force of nature is easily seen from one of the many viewing platforms. There’s a few walking tracks to enjoy if you have the time, and you can even catch a boat to the base of the falls. For more info click here.
Or if you’re looking for more action, check out the Huka Falls jetboat! BOOK IT HERE
At 6 & 8 years our older two boys have just discovered the wonder of museums (the geek in me is so proud!). Right in the middle of town, the Taupo Museum is the perfect place to head with the kids on a rainy day or after a play in the neighbouring playground. They’ll love hanging out in the retro Kiwiana caravan and checking out the traditional Maori carvings in the Wharenui (meeting house), plus the volunteers always have a cool activity or two up their sleeve to keep them busy.
VITAL INFORMATION: The museum is open from 10am to 4.30pm every day, and entry is free for kids. You’ll find it tucked away just off the main street by the Rose Gardens and the Superloo. There’s plenty of free parking right out front. For more info click here.
Tongariro St Playground
Right beside the Taupo Museum is a fantastic playground suitable for all ages. With plenty of shady trees and space it’s the perfect spot to stop for a picnicand to let the kids run off some steam – or grab your choice of takeout from just across the road. There are toilets on site (the famous “Superloo”) but be warned – they’re not free! If you get caught out there are a few other options close by – save this map for a handy reference.
Hole in One Challenge
An oldie but a goodie, Taupo’s infamous Hole in One challenge has been around so long it’s now multi-generational. It’s a pretty simple concept really – for $1 you get to smash a golfball into the lake. Or at least, that’s what I do. I think you’re actually supposed to aim for the small patch of golf green floating in the lake, but where’s the fun in that?! If you have some level of skills (luck) and manage to sink the ball you can win $10k. Find it here.
Taupo may not be as renowned for its geothermal activity as nearby Rotorua is, but there’s plenty going on here all the same. A good percentage of New Zealand’s geothermal power is generated within a few kms of the township and there are plenty of publicly accessible natural hot springs just waiting for you to jump into. Otumuheke Stream in the Spa Park reserve area is a good place to start – and free! If you want something more structured, Taupo DeBrett’s has collection of pools, playgrounds and waterslides to cater to all ages – and accommodation if you want to stay on. Find out more here.
This is one of those places we always drive past saying we’ll stop next time. After doing the research for this post it’s now high on my list – we definitely won’t be bypassing it again! With simulators, a lego cave, maze and mini golf Mind Junction will keep my kids entertained for hours. There’s even a puzzle shop so you can take home some of the fun!
Mind Junction is 10 minutes North of Taupo on State Highway 1. You can either pay per activity or buy a VIP pass which will give you unlimited access to the main attractions, and kids under 4 are free with a paying adult. For more information click here.
There really is so much to do here, this list has barely scratched the surface! There’s also some good shopping, spectacular scenery and of course it’s only a short drive to Rotorua (check out some great free activities to do here), or the ski fields. If you’re heading that way I’d recommend checking out Great Lake Taupo’s tourism site, or just call into the i-Site information centre when you get there.
GRABONE.CO.NZ (just double check the location you’re buying for, they tend to group areas together)
Anita | Burgess Travellers
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