CHEAP CAR RENTAL TAUPO AIRPORT
The best deals from all these rental car operators and many more...
Why Book Your Hire Car Here?
Low price promise
No booking fees
No credit card fees*
Instantly confirmed options
Famous brands & local fleets
Free cancellation on most cars
Free amendments on most cars
24/7 customer service
* Some rental car suppliers may charge a credit card fee for amounts payable on arrival.
Cheap Car Hire Taupo Airport
Compare our incredibly cheap car rental rates. We bring together all the leading rental vehicle brands, as well as many of the independents - meaning you don't have waste time trawling the Internet for options or pay exorbitant prices at the rental counter.
Book now and save! Just put your travel details into the Quote box at the top of the page to instantly compare a huge choice of vehicles at the very best prices.
It's a good idea to book your car early, especially for travel during peak periods.
Booking your Taupo rental car with Discount Car Rental is quick and painless. And saves you money!
A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Taupo and surrounding areas. Here are a few of the many attractions around Taupo you might like to consider checking out. The letters on the map match those on the tabs below, where you'll find information about each attraction. For more ideas, check out the Great Lake Taupo website.
Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings
The Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay are a uniquely New Zealand sight. They can only be accessed by water but it’s well worth the effort.
While you might imagine that they are centuries old, these carvings were in fact made in the 1970s by local artists.
After master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell finished up his decade long training with Maori elders he voyaged to Lake Taupo, his maternal land, to mark the occasion. He decided to carve an image of Maori navigator Ngatoroirangi, as well as two smaller figures, one of which was a mermaid. The main carving towers over 10 metres high and took a total of four summers to finish.
These carvings were a gift to Taupo and have become a key cultural attraction, and a symbol of Maori traditions being passed down through the generations.
There are many different operators that offer trips to see the carvings at Mine Bay. The most popular way to see the carvings is on a gentle cruise or sail boat. Enjoy a drink or two amid the peaceful lake surroundings. You’ll venture up close to the carvings, for some great photo opportunities.
If you’re feeling active, kayaking to the carvings is another way to get there. Most trips begin in Acacia Bay, paddling past cliffs, inlets and bush. You will end up floating below the giant etched carvings, near enough to reach out and touch. Then you can jump into the sparkling water to cool off - bliss on a hot summer’s day.
Finally, there is the possibility of seeing the carvings from the air. Helicopter and float plane rides can swoop you above the carvings, and this can be a good option when pressed for time. Although you won’t get as close to the etchings, you will get an entirely different view of Taupo and the region as a whole.
Placed squarely in the middle of the North Island, Tongariro National Park houses a total of three active volcanoes – Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. The stunning volcanic landscapes here are shown off at their best along the world renowned Tongariro Crossing, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks and the best one day hike in the country.
The trek spans an incredible array of sights, from desert to meadows, craters to springs. It starts in the Mangatepopo Valley, skirting a stream and ancient lava flows. Then it’s upwards to Mangatepopo Saddle between Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro, where your efforts will be well rewarded by panoramic views.
Depending on your fitness, you might like to tackle climbing Ngauruhoe as a side trip. This will add approximately 3 hours to your total hike.
The Tongariro track then continues across the South Crater to an exposed ridge, then up to Red Crater. This is the highest point on the Tongariro Crossing. Another detour can be had here, climbing to the summit of Mount Tongariro, which takes a further 2 hours.
Next you descend to the brilliant Emerald Lakes. The vibrant colour of this trio of pools is due to minerals that have leached from the surrounding thermal area. The track continues over Central Crater to Blue Lake, then to North Crater. From here it’s downhill over tussocked volcanic slopes towards cool, lush forest for the remainder of the crossing to the end of the track.
Plan to allow 7 to 8 hours to complete the Tongariro Crossing (including time for breaks and photos!) and remember that the weather in this area is fickle and can change in an instant. Temperatures can be extreme and the winds strong. If considering hiking the Tongariro Crossing in winter, the best way to go about it is with a guide.
As the crossing is not a circuit it’s best to organise transfers ahead of time. It’s easy to arrange as many operators offer transport; a shuttle will pick you up at the end of the trail.
The magnificent Huka Falls are one of the most popular natural attractions in New Zealand. This is where the Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river, hits a volcanic ravine. It is normally as many as 100 metres wide but here they are compressed into just 15 metres from bank to bank. After being funneled through this narrow stretch, they thunder out into space over Huka Falls and form the rapids that you see, dropping 11 metres at a speed of over 220,000 litres per second.
A foot bridge right at the top of the waterfalls gives you a front row seat to this mighty display of nature. Huka is the Maori word for 'foam' and it will become apparent how these falls got their name! On a sunny day they have a true wow factor, with the water gleaming a crystal clear cerulean.
There are other viewing platforms and walking tracks around the riverside and falls as well so you can take them in from a variety of angles. A nice view of the falls can be had a loop road just off the main highway and a swing bridge traverses the river leading to other vantage point. Alternatively the Huka Falls Walkway, which starts by Otumuheke Stream at the Spa Thermal Park, has some lookout points.
For a different taste of the falls, take a boat to their base and feel the spray on your skin. Try a relaxed river cruise, or dial up the adrenaline on the Huka Falls jet, which spins you along the water at top speed for a real rush.
Getting there is easy. The Huka Falls car park is less than 2 km north of Taupo, an easy trip in your hired car.
Taupo is a popular gateway to Mt Ruapehu, where you’ll find the country’s biggest ski areas: Turoa and Whakapapa (as well as the small club field of Tukino). Hitting the slopes here will mean you can say that you’ve skiied on an active volcano! The season here is longer than elsewhere in New Zealand, usually stretching into late October.
Whakapapa is situated on Ruapehu’s northwestern slopes and its beginner’s area (cheerfully dubbed Happy Valley) is second to none. It has its own chairlift, rental shop and ski school.It’s a great place to learn or to bring children, and there’s also more exciting terrain for intermediate skiiers and snowboarders higher up the slopes with more than 30 trails to choose from, and for the experts there are black runs and back country areas.
On the southwestern side, Turoa has thrilling terrain parks for snowboarding and free skiing, along with drop offs, basins, and chutes. Its beginner area is called Alpine Meadow, complete with a long magic carpet lift. For intermediate snow bunnies there are a dozen smooth, wide runs and for those more advanced, black runs and back country areas to play in.
A Mt Ruapehu lift pass allows access to both areas. And the mountain is only about 100 km south of Taupo, very doable in your rental car. You may also recognise these distinctive jagged rocks, plateaus and summits from The Lord of The Rings films. Some of the Mordor scenes were shot around Mt Ruapehu, including Whakapapa and Turoa. There are tours that will take you to the scenes of the movie film locations if you so desire.
Wairakei Terraces combines relaxing hot pools with a dash of Maori culture. It’s less than 10 minutes north of Taupo, a quick trip in your rental car. The shining, mineral rich waters are drawn from the Wairakei geothermal steamfield, cascading over silica terraces into the pools, to a beautiful backdrop of native garden.
The man made terraces, resplendent in pink, white, and blue, are a tribute to the original Pink and White Terraces, which were lost in the Mt Tarawera eruption of 1886. The walkway also features a recreated Maori village, a carving house, and artificial geyser.
A new outdoor area with tranquil waterfalls and rockpools, restricted to ages 14 and over, is an ideal escape for rest and rejuvenation. Come for a thermal soak and a massage. There’s a range of treatments available that make use of indigenous herbal products (which you can buy to take home, along with arts and crafts). Don’t miss the red mud pools and the healing Honeymoon Pool
At night, the steamy terraces come alive for the nighttime cultural experience, offering an authentic insight into the rich heritage here. You’ll be greeted by a traditional welcome, Maori speeches, song and dance, and the chance to watch tattooists, weavers and carvers at work. Performance is a pillar of the hospitality and the concerts are always memorable. And of course it would not be complete without tucking into a tasty hangi meal. A guided tour of the premises is included.
Great value - thanks! Definitely will recommend you to my friends.
Jack Webber (Australia)
Was the best deal we could find and we looked hard. Very happy.
Matt Boser (USA)
Excellent value, We got what you promised. No hidden costs like the rip off we had in Cairns!
Mike Smith (UK)
Great for backpackers like us on a tight budget. Got to do more of the amazing things NZ offers with the money we saved. Awesome!
Sue White (UK)