All rates quoted include 12.5% GST and parking.
There are over 70 motels in Taupo alone, but they fill up fast on weekends and during summer holidays, so book ahead. In addition to the listings below, Bayview Wairakei Resort, State Highway 1, Wairakei (www.wairakei.co.nz; tel. 07/374-8021), is a good base; it’s just 7km (4 1/3 miles) out of town and in the heart of most of the attractions. The bulk of its 187 rooms go for NZ$150 to NZ$350, with some of the larger suites up to NZ$720. There are swimming pools, two restaurants, two bars, a gym, a 9-hole golf course, six Jacuzzis, and saunas at your disposal. It’s a terrific spot for families (with children’s programs), and an excellent value for longer stays. If you stay in the one of more than 500 rooms, you’ll be just across the lawn from the pool. Baycrest Lodge, 79 Mere Rd., Taupo (www.baycrest.co.nz; tel. 0800/229-273 in NZ, or 07/378-3838), has 16 units, which cost NZ$175 to NZ$225. Upstairs units all have spacious bathrooms with Jacuzzis, plus balconies overlooking the lake; downstairs units have their own private courtyard, each with a private thermal tub. Quest Taupo, 9 Tui St., Taupo (www.questtaupo.co.nz; tel. 0800/350-005 in NZ or 07/378-7487), has 32 very good value rooms priced from NZ$120 to NZ$400.
For something more modest, go for backpacker accommodations at the Rainbow Lodge, 99 Titiraupenga St. (tel. 07/378-5754; www.rainbowlodge.co.nz), where beds go for NZ$25 to NZ$75. Backpackers will find useful information on www.backpacklaketaupo.com. There are also plenty of reasonably priced camping grounds in the area, although you’ll need to book well ahead for a summer stay if you intend to beat New Zealanders on holiday.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.