Backpacker Jobs in Taupō, NZ
Located in the centre of the north island, on the shores of the country’s largest lake, Taupō shows New Zealand’s natural beauty at its finest.
A small town of 25,000 surrounded by nature, Taupō offers up some seriously relaxed vibes. It attracts visitors both local and international with the promise of spectacular scenery and a distinct lack of worries. The lake is only part of the story; there are also geothermal pools, spectacular waterfalls, active volcanoes and some of the best biking and hiking trails in the world.
But is Taupō a must-see destination for a backpacker in New Zealand? And what exactly does the city offer working holiday visa holders?
Let’s take a look.
Where is Taupō, and how do I get there?
Taupō is almost in the dead centre of New Zealand’s north island, in the Waikato Region. It’s a three and a half hour drive southeast of Auckland, four and a half hours north of the capital Wellington, and an easy one hour drive south of Rotorua. There are semi-regular flights from Taupō to Auckland and Wellington.
What is Taupō famous for?
You don’t go to Taupō to enjoy the indoors. This is a place of stunning natural beauty, headlined by the city’s namesake lake that measures 40km long and almost 30km wide, making it the largest in New Zealand (and the second largest freshwater lake in the southern hemisphere). Another highlight is Huka Falls, which dumps more than 200,000 litres of water over its edge every second. Those who want to breathe in the fresh country air can do so on the The Tongariro Northern Circuit - a walk that features more than a few pieces of scenery from Lord of the Rings.
Adrenaline junkies are drawn to Taupō too. Here you can ski on the north island’s only ski field, which just happens to be home to an active volcano. Yes, you can ski down it. New Zealand’s highest water-touch bungy jump and largest commercial skydive zone are also found right here.
What are Taupō's must see attractions?
Huka Falls: A gushing torrent of water trying its very best to get to Lake Taupō finds itself thrown off a ledge at Huka Falls, arguably New Zealand’s most spectacular waterfall.
Mount Ruapehu: Three peaks, two ski fields and one active volcano. If you want to add some real bravado to the stories you tell about your New Zealand adventures, head to Mount Ruapehu in the Whakapapa ski fields.
Craters of the Moon: Taking you on an otherworldly walk through the active geothermal area north of Taupō, this place is unlike anything else you’ll see (on planet earth at least).
Taupō McDonalds: “Really?” you complain, “a McDonalds?” Yes. Because this McDonalds has been made out of a decommissioned aircraft, and it’s super cool. We’ll be happy to take your feedback after your visit.
Where should I stay in Taupō?
For a discount dorm bed: Berkenhoff Lodge is a tried and true hostel with helpful staff and a perfect location; ideal for anyone who wants a good, economical night’s sleep.
For something slightly fancier: Taupō Urban Retreat might sound like a super expensive option, but it’s actually a boutique hostel that offers a great stay at a great price. Expect a sociable yet chilled atmosphere.
To treat yourself (at a sensible rate): Treating yourself needn’t cost an arm and a leg, as demonstrated by the spectacular stay you can enjoy at Taupō eMotel.
Is there work for backpackers in Taupō?
With walks and watersports in the summer and skiing in the winter, the natural wonders of Taupō draw tourists all year round, which means that the local tourism and hospitality industries are always looking for help. This makes Taupō a terrific place to look for work, and perhaps even get paid to take in the sights of the area.
Jobs can also be found in the area’s other major industries, including agriculture, aquaculture, forestry and wood processing, and geothermal energy.
So, is Taupō worth a visit for a working holidaymaker? As one of the most stunning parts of a stunning country, it most certainly is. This is the sort of place that it’s hard to get sick of, even if you hang around for months on end.
Our advice? Visit Taupō - because you need to visit Taupō - and make your decision from there.