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Scottish world-traveler and photographer Ally Mcfarlane experienced the best Taupo has to offer. Here is what Ally wrote about these Taupo Must Do activities, what she describes as a perfect day in Taupo:


Arriving in Taupo, you would be amazed by the number of different activities to do here – the town is packed with options. On my trip I decided to check out Rapids Jet, Skydive Taupo and Sail Barbary to make the most of my time.

My day started at Rapids Jet and immediately I was overwhelmed with the team’s friendliness along with the atmosphere being fun and inviting. I was lucky enough to meet all three owners Rusty, Gazza and James – all top guys, with great banter!

Hopping on board the jet, I was completely mesmerized by the clear blue water of the Waikato river and was so excited to finally get to Jet boat on rapids as this was one of the activities in NZ I had never done before.


Safe to say, I was not disappointed. As soon as the jet stated the driver was so informative telling us interesting facts about the river and also all the movies that have been filmed here including the Hobbit. Upon arriving at the rapids this is when things heated up and the adrenaline was pumping. Over and over again we flew through these white-water rapids each time I enjoyed it more than the last.


Overall this Jet boat is by far one of my favorites in NZ, from the outgoing team to the exhilarating experience and incredible value for money I would recommend this to anyone with a sense of adventure looking to get out their comfort zone and find their sense of adventure.

I headed back into Taupo town and as I finished my coffee the limo pulls over. What a treat! I felt like a star. In only a few minutes I was at Skydive Taupo’s hangar. The guys were very polite and put me to ease straight away. Great vibe, but I was still a bit nervous.

My tandem instructor introduced himself to me – Kieran. He was polite and very professional, and interviewed me before we board the plane. I was still too nervous to know what to say… We jumped on the plane, and the while going up I tried to focus on the spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

The plane ride was much longer than I thought. Man, we were high! I noticed that time has come when the door opens. I’m at 15,000 feet above the ground and about to jump off a flying aircraft. That is the scariest moment. With my feet dangling off out of the door we swing. There’s only one way out now… and here we go!

What an incredible feeling: free fall at 200km/h for 60 seconds is awesome! Words will never be able to describe the adrenaline rush. I literally forgot that I was falling and just enjoyed the freedom. It felt like I was lying on this invisible air mattress – it doesn’t even feel you’re actually falling. And then the parachute opens, and I took a deep breath, and couldn’t stop smiling. Kieran gave me the steering cords, and I even maneuvered the parachute. The landing was smooth, and all I could think was “I want to do it again!”

I waited to watch my video – the funniest thing I’ve ever seen! I looked so scared and excited at the same time… I will never forget the feeling of happiness!


…well, the day wasn’t over. The Skydive Taupo limo dropped me at the harbor for the cherry on the cake, last activity of the day. I was about to go on Sail Barbary. My adrenaline was peaking by this point as the day had been so action packed so I was really looking forward to sitting back enjoying the beautiful lake and reminiscing about the days events.

The weather was beautiful so being aboard this beautiful sailboat allowed me to really experience what Lake Taupo has to offer as the beauty was just breath-taking.

As we sailed across the lake to the Maori carvings our skipper Jamie informed us of the history and culture behind the rock carvings. By this point I couldn’t wait to see them. When we arrived, I knew I would get some brilliant photo opportunities as the sun beat down on the lake the colors popped and the carvings themselves are quite spectacular.


When we were leaving the carvings to go back to shore Jamie offered us to take the wheel and steer the ship, which may have been one of the highlights for me as it was so much fun and after the full on day I had just experienced this really topped it off.

Arriving back on dry land I couldn’t be happier with the day’s events and activities I had just experienced. Each one completely unique and different, but each with an amazingly friendly team, and effectively run products. I was so impressed and the day really was incredible.

If you feel inspired by Ally, let your adventurous self out! You can do all 3 activities and get a great deal! Check out the Taupo Must Do Combo to book now!

Last Saturday, 16 June 2018, Skydive Taupo hosted with the New Zealand SPCA “Jump for the Rescue”, a very special initiative that started 2 years ago in Auckland, and became a huge success.


After the big merge that happened in 2017, making all small SPCA branches in the country into one organization, SPCA decided that “Jump for the Rescue” should be a nationwide campaign.

Skydive Taupo has always been a big animal lover, and everyone was very excited with the idea of hosting a fundraising event.

With the original target of $60,000 across North and South Islands, no one could ever expect the final amount. With 118 people signed up and making the effort to raise at least $880 each to get a free skydive, 80 of them managed to achieve the target, and combined they’ve raised over $102,000.


Skydive Taupo hosted 32 happy animal lovers over the weekend, and a few more will come to claim their jump.

Skydive Taupo’s very own rescued cat is our SPCA ambassador. Sky was the centre of attention – as if she hasn’t always been – and she played it cool.


Thank you so much SPCA for the initiative. We love and support the animals and the organization. Stay tuned, we’ll be back for more free skydives next year. Start saving your coins, asking the neighbours to donate, and be a hero! At Skydive Taupo, everyday heroes can also FLY!


If you can’t wait, go ahead and BOOK NOW! And if you have questions about camera packages or random skydiving enquiries, give us a call on 800 586 766, or e-mail us on

Posted by on in News & Media

Mount Tauhara is a TAUPO MUST DO! 

Taupo is one of the favourite tourist destinations for North Islanders. The beauty of the Great Lake, with the epic views of the Tongariro National Park, the mighty Huka Falls, adrenaline activities such as Skydive Taupo, and also incredible hikes are just some of the reasons!


The best hike in Taupo is by far Mount Tauhara. 

Mount Tauhara is a culturally significant landmark to the local Maoris. It is situated in a private land about 7 minutes drive out of Taupo and boasts fantastic views of the lake and surrounding areas.

Allow 3h to 3:30h for the return trip. Fit and fast people can get up in 1h. In a slower pace you may take up to 1:40h to the summit. 

From the carpark to the summit you’ll walk about 2.5km and find yourself at 1088m above sea level. Quite high, ay?! Due to the elevation, the wind is stronger in the summit and the temperature drops a few degrees, so make sure you bring extra layers – especially in winter months. During hot summer days, the breeze at the top is much needed and refreshing.


You’ll be exposed to the weather in the first 15-20 min, as you’ll be walking up hill through rolling fields. Keep walking, and just before you get into the dense forest look back, the view is already picturesque.

Once you start the ascend, you’ll be mainly hiking up in a narrow steep path enclosed by thick bush. Most of the path was made by the water flow, and the track is not well maintained, so expect high steps onto tree roots, and a few boulders on the way, which makes the hike challenging yet enjoyable.


After about 50-55 minutes you’ll come across a stream way to your left, and right after there’s a newly fallen tree asking to be climbed. If you’re an adventurer: recommended!


You’ll see when you get to the top: the metallic pyramid marks the spot. Don’t waste much time there. Look ahead towards the lake, and you’ll see a few fallen boulders right at the edge of this flat-ish summit. Follow the way to these rocks. It’ll feel a bit too narrow, as you walk through vegetation, but keep going, you’re close to some awesome photo opportunities!

You may even be able to see a Pink plane flying around dropping some people in the air. If you have a great view from the summit of Mount Tauhara, image the views from 15,000ft! Interested? Find out more here! 

Allow 1h to 1:20h for the downhill. Take your time; your knees will appreciate it.

Take at least 1 litre of water per person, snacks, sunscreen and warm layers. No need to carry a heavy bag.

This is what people say about this hike:

“A solid 90-minute walk up, but a huge view at the end. Make sure you walk along the track at the top towards the rocks. Opens up a better view of the lake”

“Fantastic place and a great day out”

Once you get back to your car, drive straight to the lakefront and launch yourself into the crip, refreshing water of the lake. From experience: it’s amazing! For the more adventurous, skydiving would be the cherry on the cake of this perfect day in Taupo.

10 reasons why Skydive Taupo is the most unique skydive company in the world:

Amongst the many reasons you chose to visit New Zealand, adrenaline sports should be in the list, together with the incredible scenery, the Maori culture, and the safety in all senses. Or you’re a LOTR fanatic…

Here is a list to prove Skydive Taupo is the most unique skydive company in the world! And checks all the must dos in New Zealand.

1. Jump over the crater of a massive volcano.

Lake Taupo is the biggest lake in New Zealand and the 2nd biggest fresh water lake in Oceania, with the area similar to Singapore. The lake is actually the crater created by a massive supervolcanic eruption 27,000 years ago. Taupo Volcano has erupted several times after that including the biggest eruption known in the last 5,000 years, arguably said to be seen in China, Antarctica and even Rome. Thermal activity can be found all around the lake, and there are many hot springs still bleeding into it.

2. Check out lots of volcanoes, lakes, and even the ocean.

New Zealand is a small country in the South Pacific covered with impressive volcanoes and majestic lakes.

Jumping from the middle of the North Island you’ll be able to spot a few of these beauties. On clear days, to the southwest you can see the mighty Mount Taranaki, and to the north in the Bay of Plenty you can spot NZ’s most active volcano, White Island. Not to mention Mount Tarawera, which eruption destroyed the magnificent Blue and Pink Terraces in 1886 and created several lakes around the Rotorua area.

In one of those clear days, with the bird’s eye view from 15,000ft above Lake Taupo you can see both east and west coast of the North Island. Impressive! Book your skydive now to see these awesome views for yourself!

3. See Mordor with a dragon’s eye view.

For the LOTR fans there’s no better place to jump than Taupo.

Mount Doom, where “the ring” was forged, was ‘played’ in the movies by Mount Ngauruhoe, in the Tongariro National Park. The only way to see Mount Doom with a dragon’s eye view is jumping out of a plane.

4. Jumping off the most unique plane in the world!

When people ask us why our plane is pink, we tend to answer with a question: “why not?”

We embrace the young spirit of travellers from all over the world, and created the most unique skydive aircraft ever seen.

We mixed the colour pink with the Maori culture of New Zealand and designed Korus – meaning change, new life, and rebirth; a fishhook to represent Te Ika A Maui (The Great Fish of Maui), the Maori name of the North Island of NZ. And the Kaitiakis, who are guardians or caretakers, who’ll always protect our home, the people and the visitors of this land. Find out how to jump from our pink planes here.

5. Best views even from the ground.

Bring your support crew to see you landing, the view from the ground is also EPIC! And if you chicken out, at least you can take a cool picture with the plane.

6. Take a ride in a limousine!

Skydive Taupo is not only an adrenaline-packed activity. We want to know our guests, make sure they feel right at home, and enjoy the journey from when we pick them up at their accommodation in Taupo in our fancy and unique limousine. We challenge you to find any other skydive company in the world who provides this service. ;)

7. Superman and Wonder Woman jumped out of our plane

Well, we guess the only way to prove that is with images…


8. You can choose the soundtrack for your video

The team at Skydive Taupo will look after you from start to end of your journey. We offer different options of camera packages, so you can re-live the thrill of a 200km/h freefall over and over again. Choosing the Handycam package, our tandem instructors will interview you 4 times throughout the whole journey, and our editing team will make sure your video has the unique sound track of your choice. It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

Well, if you wish, we can send an exclusive skydiver videographer to film you while you fly attached to your tandem instructor. We won’t miss a blink!

9. Get the coolest T-shirt to show off your achievement.

This is not us saying… but our customers wear our T-shirts all around the around with pride. If you choose to jump from 15,000ft with a camera package, you already got yourself one of these.

 10. Receive your footage online, ready to be shared.

At Skydive Taupo you won’t need to worry about carrying an USB around, finding a PC to download your pictures, and only then be able to show off your achievements. We will send you a permanent link to all your pictures and footage and you’ll be able to share it right away on any social media platform. If you’re old school, yes, we do have USBs too.

In a nutshell, Skydive Taupo combines adrenaline rush, the most incredible scenery views, the pride of the Maori culture, and the safety that New Zealand always requires. Apart from being the best LOTR skydive in New Zealand.

Skydive Taupo is undoubtedly the most unique skydive company in the world!

Save your spot on the plane now!

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13 tips to prepare you for your first skydive.

The full guide on how NOT to wet your pants on your first jump.

Skydiving is an adrenaline-filled sport. If you’re not scared on your first jump, there’s surely something wrong with you. Skydive Taupo has a highly trained team of tandem instructors who will help you overcome your fear.

At Skydive Taupo we say fear is temporary; achievement is permanent!

Find here a few tips on what to expect if you’ve never done a skydive:

 1. Decide on the spot.

To avoid anxiety, don’t worry about scheduling your jump too much in advance. We recommend 5 days max. Don’t check the weather forecast. It changes all the time. The call will be made on the hour you’re booked to jump. And if you need a ride, we'll get you in style! Too easy, get booking!


 2. Don’t over-think.

This is the worst thing you can do, and the most useless tip we can give. But if you can control it, enjoy every other activity you can in Taupo, and avoid thinking too much about the jump beforehand. Everything you need to know, we’ll tell you when you get here. And don’t ever think that you’ll do a skydive when you’re ready. You are ready today! Relax!


 3. Make an effort to commit to the jump.

If you can pay in advance, do that. With that commitment it will be less likely that you’ll run away. Better yet, tell all your mates, post it on FaceyBee that you’ll jump out of a plane before you do it. We guarantee you that you won’t chicken out if you do that!

 4. Grab a friend…

…or several! It will be awesome to exchange your experience with them afterwards. And it will add to your commitment.



Celebrating with a cold beer after your safe landing will be rewarding! You won’t be braver with alcohol in you. And we may not take you jumping if we think you are intoxicated.

Another great tip on the same matter is: skydiving hangover sucks! Unless you want to clear you guts – and that will not be beautiful if it happens during freefall – we don’t recommend heavy drinking the night before your jump. And make sure you brush your teeth before you jump. You’ll notice that you’ll be closer to your instructor if your breath is fresh. Believe me, that’s a good thing.

 6. Wear comfortable clothes.

Don’t worry about showing off your hot body, and save your make up for when you go out telling everyone about your skydive. Tie your hair back and wear what you would wear to go to gym, not to go the night club. In winter months, warm layers are recommended. Taupo can be quite chilly! And remember to wear your best and cleanest underwear – if you focus on that, you won’t get it dirty!

 7. Eat light.

Don’t starve yourself before skydiving. Have a light and healthy meal before your jump is always the best tip.

8. What do you want to tell the world?

This is your chance to shine! Think of something awesome to write on your hands. Your photos will be EPIC! And you’ll get hundreds of likes of Facegram and Instabook! Dive into our photo package options for more info.

 9. Trust your instructor.

Remember: when you go back to work after your holidays, these guys will still be taking thrill-seeker-travelers skydiving. And they have families waiting for them after work every night. All our tandem instructors are fully trained to keep you and themselves safe at all times. Listen to what they have to say, try to create a bond, and trust them fully.

 10. Look ahead.

No need to stare down. In fact, your instructor will ask you to look up and do the “banana shape”. That is the scariest moment, and when your thoughts will be all over the show. SURRENDER! There’s nothing you can do at this point. Keep your eyes open. This is the only chance to check the cool designs underneath the wings of our plane. Suddenly you’re freefalling. Have fun! This is what you paid for. Enjoy the ride.

 11. Fear is temporary.

Don’t give in to fear – it will only try to stop you. The scariest part of skydiving is the leading into the actual jump. Once you freefalling, it’s full joy. Because you’re too far off the ground, your brain doesn’t actually understand that you’re falling, it feels like you have this massive invisible cushion of air holding you up and making you fly. Breathe normally. You’ll be at 200km/h without noticing. It’s not hard to breathe, you’ll just be overwhelmed. Just breathe.

 12. Get yourself a face massage.

Be prepared to smile. You may not be able to control it. After you land you’ll feel very silly, but you won’t stop smiling for days.

 13. Achievement is permanent!

Avoid reading articles about skydiving. It will make you more anxious. Well, now that you’ve read it, might as well book your skydive and enjoy the view! See you at Skydive Taupo!

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