Things to Do In The Tongariro Region (Turangi and Taupo)
We love going the extra mile for our visitors and we want them all to fall in love with the Tongariro Region like we have. So, after they come for a whitewater rafting adventure with Rafting New Zealand on the mighty Tongariro River here in Turangi, we are happy to recommend some other awesome local activities for them to do next.
We are fortunate enough to live in an amazing region like the Tongariro that is blessed not only with an incredible natural beauty but also some awesome tourism activities too.
Some of our favourites include:
Jet Boating with Rapids Jet: Based on the Waikato River just outside of Taupo township! We think it’s another pretty special part of the country and the perfect place for fun.
A few kilometres downstream of the stunning Huka Falls, the Waikato River naturally falls 28 metres in the space of just one kilometre. As the river is also at its narrowest, the water is forced to flow faster here than on any other part of the river, forming the Aratiatia or Nga Awa Purua rapids.
This site was of great significance to early Māori settlers, and since 1964 the power of the water has been harnessed by the Aratiatia Dam to sustainably create hydroelectric power for the region. The dam is opened three times a day in winter and four times a day in summer, allowing the rapids to flow naturally once more. You can watch this remarkable event from the bridge beside the dam or by walking along the short track down to the rocks and up to the ridge line.
When the dam opens, you’ll be met with the sights and sounds of 80,000 litres of water per second rushing through the dam gates and turning the river into a rolling mass of waves, whirlpools and whitewater.
These are the Aratiatia rapids and this is where we play!
- Rapids Jet jet boats are New Zealand made.
Rapids Jet boats are made right here in New Zealand, the home of the jet boat. More specifically, they’re built by KwikKraft Marine, a company based in Christchurch. With over 30 years’ experience, these guys really know what they’re doing and we love the boats they’ve designed for us. And we know you will too.
- They’re custom-built.
Rapids Jet boats are specially designed and built for us to make sure we can safely navigate you around the fast-flowing, ever-changing waters of the Waikato River. Made out of heavy gauge marine aluminium with a deep ‘V’-shaped design, the boats are extremely strong and your ride wonderfully smooth.
- They’re powerful.
Fitted with a 500-horsepower 496 Chevy V8 engine and connected to a Hamilton 212 jet unit, the jet boats are impressively powerful and exceptionally fast. Which is pretty important, since we want to take you shooting off down the river at speeds of up to 80 km/h!
- They’re highly manoeuvrable.
The design of the boats means that they’re highly manoeuvrable, so that we can safely drive you around rocks in the river, steer you through narrow canyons and thrill you by performing incredible spins!
- They’re extremely safe.
Rapids Jet boats are designed to our specifications and to fulfil our specific needs. They comply with all the relevant safety standards and are completely safe and suitable for our white-water adventures. We wouldn’t take you out on them if they weren’t.
Skydiving: Why not throw yourself out of a plane from up to 18,500ft (that’s high!) with our friends at SkyDive Taupo?
If you want the ULTIMATE skydiving experience then this jump is for you! Their 18,500 ft skydive is the highest altitude in Taupo and a must-do if you want to skydive in New Zealand. From 18,500 ft (that’s nearly 20,000 ft above sea level!) you’ll get over 75 seconds of free fall.
Your adventure will begin as soon as the plane takes off. Trust us, climbing up to 18,500 ft soaking in the magnificent views of Lake Taupo and Mount Ruapehu is an experience in itself. But it gets better – if the weather allows and the skies are clear, you’ll be able to see from coast-to-coast of the Central North Island – all the way from Mount Maunganui to Taranaki! You can even see views from Lord of The Rings!
Tongariro Alpine Crossing: Tongariro maunga (mountain) is held in high esteem and has cultural significance to our people. We live here and our Māori ancestry ties us to this land.
Our ancestor, Ngatoro-i-rangi, first climbed Tongariro and claimed this land for his people who live here today, Ngati Tuwharetoa.
Tongariro National Park is a dual world heritage site for its natural landscape and cultural heritage. On your transport shuttle journey we share our stories so you are enlightened with our values of guardianship, care and the respect we hold for our maunga, Tongariro, and the spiritual connection that we hope will enrich your experience while safely hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
When doing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing we recommend using the Tongariro Transport Hub to park and shuttle you to the start of the crossing.
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