Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand and formed from the depression of Taupo Volcano. The town of Taupo located on the lake shore, is well worth a visit. With plenty to do and see for adrenaline junkies, nature lovers, fishermen (or women) and water lovers. Located on the north island, along the famous Thermal Highway. You will see traces of geothermal activity at 'the craters of the moon' or further north as you head towards Rotorua.
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New Zealand is often nicknamed the adrenaline capital of the world. And rightly so, there is an abundance of adventure experiences all over the country. The town of Taupo is no different. I was lucky enough to visit Taupo twice and also passed through a few more times just stopping for rest or food. I had hoped to do the jet boating through Huka Falls, but the weather on the week I had booked had been too bad (following weather bombs all over the North Island. I also had to alter a few of my other North Island day trips and an overnight hike and camp). But the weather was good enough for me to go bungee jumping. Quick Fact:
Bungee was the original spelling for this mad and exciting activity, but it was since popularised and spelt Bungy by kiwi's... So both spellings are now accepted.
Believe it or not i'm actually terrified of heights. My phobia used to be so bad that I wouldn't even go on a top bunk. However, when working in outdoor education teaching kayaking and canoeing, I was soon placed out of my comfort zone by my colleagues as I was needed to support rock climbing, abseiling and ziplining. They encouraged me and forced me to face my fears so I could support visitors to overcome or face their own fears. I'm still scared but I also get somewhat of a thrill and sense of achievement whenever I do face my fears and complete an activity at height.
Taupo Bungy Jump
AJ Hackett is the leading provider for adrenaline activities in New Zealand. The Taupo Bungy Jump is 47m so not huge in comparison to some but still enough to get your heart racing.
You can do single or tandem jump
There is an option for a water touch jump.
There is also an alternative bungy Swing option
I booked my jump weeks ahead of my coach and road trip. I would definitely recommend this, as New Zealand thrives on tourism and big adrenaline activities tend to be unavailable to just drop in (believe me I tried).
Above I have included a short video clip of my jump and yes that is me with the scream that eventually turns into a laugh. Hopefully this video and my next details can give you an idea of what to expect from the jump itself. When I did mine it was a rainy day in summer with unpredictable changes in the conditions but they were still able to go ahead with it. My jump took me three attempts and when I eventually did I just kinda leaned forward and got pushed, as my fear was keeping me in a state of panic. I kept backing out and even had a panic attack on my second attempt to set up. I was about to leave and not do the jump but luckily, my wonderful kiwi friend Diane (who also worked with me at the outdoor centre in the U.K years before) calmed me down. She is such an encouraging and supportive friend that I know I would have backed out without her pep talks.
Whilst trying to calm down and relax a little (following my second attempt) next to the main centre, we ended up talking to one of the staff. She was from Ireland on a working holiday and was also nervous about the jump. She let on that she hadn't yet taken the plunge. So cutting a long story short, I took my friends advice but bargained to do a bungy jump only if she faced her fears with...
So tandem jump it was and I am sure she is still cursing me to this day.
My Final Thoughts
Firstly, this didn't feel anything like I expected it too. Not only was I nervous about the height in general, but I was also worried about how it would feel on my back. For some reason I expected a bit of a jolt. I have chronic back pain from an old skiing injury and I was also suffering from two health conditions that were undiagnosed at the time, which I expected it may be aggravated. It honestly felt really smooth and I can't wait to do it again (hopefully I'll have the nerve to jump with more enthusiasm or creativity).
The team at Taupo Bungy were all really professional. They clearly operated with high safety standards as well as great attitudes. As someone who was very fearful and watching their rope-work like mad, this helped to put me at ease.
Other AJ Hackett Experiences in New Zealand
Sky Walk, Sky Jump (both at the Auckland Sky Tower).
The Bridge Climb or The Bridge Bungy Jump (at the Auckland Bridge).
The Nevis Bungy, the Nevis Swing or the Nevis Catapult (the worlds biggest catapult that launches you 150m with 3G's of force being felt).
The Ledge Bungy Jump Including freestyle bungy option (Aka 3-style ledge) or the Ledge Swing.
Kawarua Bridge Bungy (including freestyle option) or Kawarua Zip line (travelling at 60kmph and 130m with a tandem option).
They also have combo packages available for groups or more than one experience to save you money on their website.
Around Lake Taupo
You will find the town of Taupo which offers a laid back atmosphere, restaurants overlooking the water and a range of accommodation options. No matter which way you view the lake it is stunning and there are stunning views in every direction.
I should point out there is a 70km great lake trail perfect for walking, running and biking along the western shores of the lake. There is also lots of view points and trails all the way round but this is great for everyone. The water is so clear and on a sunny day you can see the reflection of the clouds mixed with the stony bed rock creating lovely colours.
I would definitely recommend at least 48 hours in this area to explore the area, enjoy good food and then get to chose from one or two adventure experiences. Here are a few more activities we have planned for our next NZ trip in 2023:
White water rafting to the south of Lake Taupo and along Tongariro River - Click Here.
Huka Falls jet boating trip which is at the north of Lake Taupo - Click Here.
Sky diving over Lake Taupo, just south of Taupo town in the north west shores of the lake. This experiences allows you to get amazing views over the lake and Mount Ruapehu - Click Here.
You can take a boat across the lake and see the amazing Maori Rock Carvings - Click Here
You can also Kayak to Maori Rock if you prefer to be more active and have freedom with your group to stop at certain points and explore the shoreline a little more - Click Here.
Places to Stay
There are heaps of options for accommodation in Taupo, my recommendations would be either:
Haka Lodge (budget friendly, ideal location and options for private or shared rooms) - Click Here.
Wairekei (still budget friendly but a offers more facilities, and does an awesome breakfast) - Click Here.