Taupo, nestled in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, is known for its stunning Lake Taupo, impressive Huka Falls, and a plethora of outdoor adventures. However, if you’re looking to step off the beaten path and discover some truly unique experiences, you’re in the right place. In this blog post, we’ll uncover some of the most unusual and offbeat things to do in Taupo that will add an extra layer of excitement to your visit.

1. Orakei Korako Geothermal Wonderland:

While geothermal attractions are common in New Zealand, Orakei Korako stands out as a surreal wonderland. Explore this otherworldly landscape featuring bubbling mud pools, colorful terraces, and the iconic “Artist’s Palette.”

2. Take a Walk on the Waikato River Trails:

Waikato River Trails

Not your average stroll, the Waikato River Trails offer a network of walking and biking trails through native bush, exotic forests, and along the Waikato River. Discover hidden waterfalls, scenic lookouts, and ancient Maori rock carvings along the way.

3. Visit the Lava Glass Sculpture Garden:

Lava Glass Sculpture Garden

Indulge your artistic side at the Lava Glass Sculpture Garden. Witness the mesmerizing art of glassblowing and explore the lush gardens adorned with exquisite glass sculptures.

4. Marvel at the Hole in One Challenge:

Hole in One Challenge

Test your golfing skills at Taupo’s famous Hole in One Challenge. Try to hit a golf ball onto a floating pontoon anchored in Lake Taupo – a fun and quirky activity for all ages.

5. Explore the Maori Rock Carvings on Lake Taupo:

Maori Rock Carvings on Lake Taupo

While cruising on Lake Taupo is a popular activity, why not take a kayak or paddleboard to explore the Maori rock carvings at your own pace? These intricate carvings, only accessible by water, are a true hidden gem.

6. Take a Scenic Flight Over the Craters of the Moon:

Get a bird’s-eye view of the Craters of the Moon geothermal area by taking a scenic flight. Witness the steaming vents and surreal landscape from above for a unique perspective.

7. Experience the Taupo Totara Timber Trail:

For a different kind of adventure, embark on the Taupo Totara Timber Trail. This multi-day mountain biking and hiking trail takes you through ancient forests, over suspension bridges, and past historic logging relics.

8. Discover the Wairakei Terraces:

Wairakei Terraces

Soak in the tranquil Wairakei Terraces, a hot springs attraction with an unusual twist. The terraces are man-made replicas of the famous Pink and White Terraces, which were lost in the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera.

9. Hunt for Prismatic Rocks at the Waihi Scenic Reserve:

Head to the Waihi Scenic Reserve and hunt for prismatic rocks – unique iridescent minerals that shimmer in various colors when exposed to light. This geological wonder is a hidden treasure waiting to be found.

10. Take a Jet Boat Trip to the Aratiatia Rapids:

While jet boating is a popular activity in Taupo, combine it with a visit to the Aratiatia Rapids. Watch the dam gates open and witness the surging rapids transform before your eyes.

11. Explore the Honey Hive:

honey hive taupo

Get a taste of sweet adventure at the Honey Hive. This unusual attraction showcases the world of bees, offering honey tastings, a live bee display, and the opportunity to explore a giant beehive.

12. Try Your Hand at Gold Panning:

Experience the thrill of gold panning at the Goldfields Mining Centre in nearby Kawarau Gorge. Unearth your own piece of treasure while learning about the region’s gold rush history.


Taupo is undoubtedly a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, but its unusual and offbeat attractions add a layer of intrigue and excitement to any visit. Whether you’re exploring geothermal wonderlands, discovering hidden artworks, or trying your hand at unique activities like golfing onto a pontoon, Taupo’s quirky side will leave you with unforgettable memories and stories to share. So, venture off the well-trodden path and immerse yourself in the unexpected wonders of Taupo, New Zealand.