Stay in Great Lake Taupo to get up close and personal with Mount Doom (Mount Ngauruhoe) before taking a day trip to the shire! A trip to the Hobbiton movie set, just 1hr and 20 mins from Taupo, is a must for any Hobbit or Lord of the Rings movie fans.
Find out more at www.hobbitontours.com.
Just 1.5 hours from Taupo is Napier, the biggest city in Hawkes Bay and the art deco capital of New Zealand. In 1931, most of Napier and nearby Hastings were levelled by an earthquake. The centre of Napier was destroyed and later rebuilt in the Art Deco style popular at that time. The city now attracts visitors interested in architecture and hosts an Art Deco Festival every year. The Hawkes Bay wineries are also one of the biggest attractions in this area and are well worth visiting as they produce some of New Zealand's finest wines.
Find out more at www.hawkesbaynz.com.
Discover magical glow worms by boat in the world-famous Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. These limestone cave formations stand as one of New Zealand's most inspiring natural wonders and are a must-see destination. Waitomo Caves is an easy two-hour drive from Taupo.
Find out more at www.waitomo.com.
Bay of Plenty
Visit the sunny beaches of the Bay of Plenty - just two hours drive from Taupo. Famous for surfing, you can embrace the chilled-out vibe in Mount Maunganui, Tauranga and Ohope.
Find out more at www.bayofplentynz.com.
Learn about Maori culture in Rotorua - less than an hour's drive from Taupo. Visit the geothermal areas and take in a Maori cultural performance.
Find out more at www.rotoruanz.com/visit.