Wheelchair Accessible Road Trip around Taupo

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Explore Taupo and Beyond: Your Guide to Wheelchair Accessible Adventures in Waikato

Nestled along the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake, Taupo is the ultimate lakeside getaway.    With amazing natural scenery it has a range of accessible experiences on offer, from thrilling adventures like jet boats to tranquil pursuits such as lakeside stroll, and exploring it’s geothermal wonders.

For a stress free road trip experience, consider choosing  a base and doing day road trips from there.   It can be just as enjoyable  and less tiring, with no constant loading and unloading of luggage. Rotorua, Tauranga or Taupo all offer great bases to explore the Waikato region.

Accessible activities in Taupo

Taupo offers its own lakeside experience.

If you’re up to it there are some great adventures to be had, while other attractions are universally accessible.

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  1. Fancy an adrenaline rush? Then Hukafalls Jet gets you up close to the famous waterfall. Accessible via a riverside ramp with the help of the crew, it needs hand and arm function to hold on or a friend to assist, and weight restrictions apply. Talk it all through when bookin
  2.  Just as thrilling is taking a scenic flight in Taupo’s float plane and the views are breathtaking. Accessed via a floating jetty, the lip of the plane can be a bit tricky. So bring a friend to assist and the pilot, Neil, will help.
  3. For something a bit more chilled, try the Lava Glass Gallery and Sculpture Garden
  4. To explore the areas Geothermal wonders, try the readily accessible Craters of the Moon geothermal walk.
  5. The Great Lake Taupo Walkway is Wheelchair accessible to Wharekawa point, there’s you get the opportunity for a photo by the I Love Taupo sign.
  6. Huka Falls walkway provides both mobility parks in the Huka Fall car park, and a short 167m walk to the lookout otherwise the 3km/1.5-hour Spa Park track is also reasonably accessible.
  7. If your keen for a swim AC Baths in Taupo has lots of accessible features, and as an added bonus is thermally heated.    It has ramped access in the leisure pools, an aquatic wheelchair available, and accessible changing facilities.

Check out our accessible play and stay directory for more things to see and do in Taupo

Accessible Accommodation in Taupo

We’ve listed below some accommodation options in and around Taupo, based on accessible travellers’ feedback, however as always a bit of homework is essential. Be sure to call providers in advance and do the usual talk-through on your requirements. Don’t shy away from asking for photographs and measurements to ensure what you need is there, from flooring and grab handles to worktop and basin heights. While you’re at it, cover parking and what’s accessible nearby, like cafés, shops and supermarkets. It all helps ensure a hassle-free holiday!

As well as our suggestions here, check out the Accessible Travel Forum for NZ Facebook group for some great tips on finding accessible holiday homes.

Acacia Lake View Motel – have a twin studio accessible room on the ground floor.

Asure Prince Motor Lodge – has an accessible one bedroom unit on the ground floor with a roll in shower shower. The kitchen is not accessible.

Day trip to Waitomo

Just a two-hour drive will get you to the Ruakuri Cave at Waitomo, the only wheelchair-accessible cave in the southern hemisphere. Call in advance, though, to see if it will work for you. Some paths are steep (and dark), and they recommend wheelchairs aren’t wider than 65cm. A great 1.5-hour experience with plenty of glowworms.

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Photo Credit: Miles Holden

Day trip to Matamata

Or should that be Hobbiton? Just over an hour and half drive  from Taupo lies Matamata, home to the Hobbiton Movie Set experience. The attraction offers accessible options that include travel via a golf cart or a shorter, discounted wheelchair route. Advance booking on 07 888 1505 is essential.

Check out our accessible play and stay directory for Hobbiton tours and accessible places to stay in Matamata.

Accessible Transportation

Haven’t got your own modified vehicle, or need to fly in? Then renting from Freedom Mobility will get you mobile. Our fleet of vehicles ranges from Hand-Controlled vehicles to Wheelchair Accessible Vans, with delivery available throughout New Zealand, including to your home or the airport. Our friendly team will help you find the best solution, including roadside assistance 24/7. Just be sure to book in advance as demand is high, especially over holiday season.