If you’re looking for a fun-filled family adventure, you simply can’t go past everything on offer at the Wairakei Tourist Park. Only 10 minutes drive from downtown Taupo, it’s got action aplenty – with some epic scenery thrown in for good measure. 

And if you’ve got a spare 48 hours to pack in a range of family-friendly activities, this is where you should set up camp. Literally. There’s nothing quite like the great outdoors here in NZ and 

Wairakei Thermal Valley has the perfect place to pitch your tent or park up your motorhome/caravan in beautiful peaceful, natural surroundings, before you get exploring. 

Stroll through the Valley’s historical thermal area passing by steaming cliffs, rare plant life, ancient sinter formations and fumaroles, then sit back and relax with a delicious traditional homemade Devonshire Tea before meeting the friendly animals and settling in for the night.

Just make sure you hit the hay early, the next two days are jam packed!

Day One

Morning

Tummies rumbling? Get yourself to Kefi Cafe at The Hub to enjoy your morning coffee and a tasty cooked breakfast for the family. Tourist helicopters come and go from a landing pad next door, and there’s also a retired chopper for the kids to explore.

Once the family is fueled up, it’s time for a walk at the spectacular Craters of the Moon where you’ll see some of the amazing thermal activity that this part of the country is well known for. Colourful soils to steaming vents and fumaroles, it’s a natural wonderland that is sure to delight!

The next stop is at the mighty Huka Falls where the whole family will be impressed watching more than 220,000 litres of water rush through a narrow, shallow ravine before it thunders down an 11 metre waterfall. It’s loud and rather breathtaking!

Afternoon

It’s afternoon already? Yup! And the kids are probably hungry again, so why not pack a picnic to devour at Huka Prawn Park – or pull up a pew at Taupo’s only riverside restaurant where there are lots of tasty treats to choose from (including a children’s menu). While there is currently no prawn fishing at the moment, there is so much to do at the park. You can go on a behind the scenes tour to see (and hand-feed) prawn hatchlings, jump in a peddle boat (or swan!) and race around the water, try to navigate an obstacle course without getting wet, feed hungry trout and bathe tired feet in a thermally-heated foot spa.

The park also has a riverside walk where you often get to watch the jet boats race past at high speed, so make sure you listen out for the roar of the engine.

Evening

The kids will be hungry and here’s where you can fill their boots! Wairakei Resort offers fantastic family dining, with a buffet to help you please even the pickiest of eaters. Once they have enjoyed a dessert (or two), it’ll be time for some much needed shut eye back at the campground.

Day Two

Morning

It’s time to get real up close and personal with the Huka Falls, by taking a Huka Falls River Cruise that leaves the dock at 10:30am. If you thought the falls were cool from above, wait till you’re face to face with that wall of water! The leisurely, scenic cruise is a lovely way to kick the day off, with a visit to Huka Honey Hive after checking out the live beehive display and tasting some bee-utiful honeys

Afternoon

A trip to Wairakei Tourist Park isn’t complete without a blat around on two wheels. You can hire bikes for the whole family from FourB at The Hub (yes, they have e-bikes too) and enjoy the world class Craters of the Moon Mountain Bike Park. The park has a range of trails for all levels of ability and it certainly is a great way to end your 48 hours of fun!

When the time comes to head home, the kids will complain about leaving, but they won’t have any energy left to put up much of a fight – so it should be a quiet car ride home. Perfect.