Park vehicle in front of the Thrifty building. There is a key return drop on the counter if unattended.
Where is the branch located?
Located directly next to the airport terminal.
Freshen up your holiday plans with a trip to Taupo, a thrilling tourism hotspot on the north-eastern rim of one of the largest and most beautiful lakes in Oceania. The scale of Lake Taupo itself is impressive – its clear, deep expanse is like a mini-inland sea filling the caldera of the ancient and awesome Taupo Volcano. Now a lively town of 26,000 locals, this fiery super volcano sparked the genesis of Taupo nearly two millennia ago. A massive eruption sent plumes 50-kilometres into the air, darkening the skies all the way across to Europe, creating red sunsets recorded by both the Romans and Chinese.
In the 1950s, the Craters of the Moon emerged a few kilometres north of Taupo: a bubbling geothermal valley of hissing vents and sulphurous clouds of steam. This eerie, otherworldly landscape can be safely enjoyed from several viewing platforms at the craters’ edge; with its winding boardwalks shifted regularly to protect visitors from the relentless arrival of new vents. Another marvel is the Orakei Korako hidden valley and cave, 25-minutes north of Taupo towards Rotorua – a little off the beaten path, but unmissable for lovers of geothermal phenomena including geysers, hot springs and mud pools.
Fed by a cauldron of volcanic springs nearby, swimming, sailing, scenic cruising, kayaking and water-skiing on Lake Taupo’s mild, pristine waters provide a true tonic. Stroll the shores between Acacia Bay and Rangatira; enjoy a lakeside picnic around the eastern bays; or venture out on the all-season Great Lake Trail by mountain bike or foot. Take the epic 71-kilometre track towards the Waihaha Valley through lush native forests skirting the lake, with wetlands and dynamic waterfalls adding to the spectacular scenery. If you prefer paddling to pedalling, one of Taupo’s most unforgettable sights is the Mine Bay Māori rock carvings – an iconic Kiwi attraction only accessible by boat or kayak. Created in the late 1970s by master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell, these cultural treasures are a spectacular 10-metres in height and have become one of the most famous artworks in the country. Discover more about authentic Māori culture through Kai Waho, a unique culinary and wilderness experience that promises to nourish your body and spirit; or see the Haka Shop for a dinner, artmaking, story and performance event like no other.
Taupo offers a warm, friendly welcome despite heavy winter frosts, with a perfectly temperate disposition at other times of the year. Summertime is especially popular, attracting a flood of beachgoers to Five Mile Bay, just west of Taupo Airport. Positioned in the middle of the North Island, Taupo is central to both Wellington and Auckland with three flights scheduled daily to the capital. While you’re at the airport, book a scenic flight over the area; and if you’re made of more adventurous stuff, why not try skydiving. One of the highlights of your visit will be jumping 15,000 feet into the skies above the heritage-listed Tongariro National Park, with magnificent views of its trio of volcanoes. If you prefer to get your bearings on the ground, grabbing a car when you land is a great idea. There’s no better way to get familiar with every corner of this picturesque town and visit all the mind-blowing attractions in the area.
Taupo lies in the Waikato region, with its mighty namesake river (the longest in New Zealand) flowing into Taupo Lake and dividing the town between its centre and suburbs. From its broad peaceful banks, the pure Waikato waters are funnelled at thunderous speeds through a narrow ravine, roaring over the gorge cliff-face to become the 11-metre-high Huka Falls. Just north of Taupo, this magnificent ear-tingling spectacle is the most visited tourist attraction in New Zealand. The flawless waters rocket down to a stunning white-water pool at the base, perfect for an exhilarating burst of rafting. The perfect vantage point to witness this powerful display of unharnessed nature is from the footbridge at the top of the falls; or get closer to the sound and the fury on a jet boat ride.
Bungy jumpers will also be wowed by leaping from New Zealand’s highest cliff-top to the immaculate waters of the Waikato below. But if walking is more your style, we recommend the easy one-hour trail from Spa Park to Huka Falls that begins where the river is calm and wide and can be seen between stands of exotic and native forests, weaving out again alongside the river, growing louder as the path progresses.
Taupo is every angler’s dream. Lake Taupo boasts some of the finest trout fishing in the world, while Tongariro River is regarded as a great spot for fly fishing. On the lake’s opposite shore, the town of Turangi is home to the largest natural trout fishery in the world. With its proximity to New Zealand’s oldest national park (from 1887), Turangi is also a perfect place to start your next great hiking adventure: the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This trek may be a bit more challenging, but when you encounter the staggering panoramic views of a remarkable volcanic landscape, you’ll know it’s worth the sweat. Regarded as one of the world’s top day walks, you’ll cover a terrain that offers dramatic contrasts. From the extraordinary Emerald Lakes to age-old lava flows and an actual active crater, experience nature at its dramatic best.
An enjoyable way to wind down is to play a round of golf in Kinloch at the award-winning green designed by Jack Nicklaus. Settle into the tranquil surrounds and crystal waters of Whangamata Bay and relax on its sandy beaches anytime. You’ll be glad you stayed to explore more around Taupo.