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The Central North Island region is an absolute must for anyone keen on hunting, fishing, canoeing, tramping, or just about any other outdoor activity. Travel with an expert to get the most out of classic New Zealand wilderness.
Taupo Bungy. Jump from a cantilevered platform that projects out from a cliff 150 feet above the Waikato River. You can go for the "water touch" or dry versions. Even if you have no intention of "walking the plank," go and watch the jumpers from the nearby lookout point. The jumps cost from NZ$149 a shot and are available daily from 9 to 5. 202 Spa Rd., off Tongariro St., 1 km (½ mi) north of town, Taupo. 07/377–1135 or 0800/888–408. www.taupobungy.com.
There is some great fishing in the Taupo area and an attendant number of guides with local expertise. Guides work the Tongariro River and the lake. The high season runs from October to April. Costs are usually around NZ$250 for a half day and include all equipment plus a fishing license (note that you need a special license to fish here and in Rotorua). Book at least a day in advance.
Chris Jolly Outdoors. This company is staffed by people with a love of the outdoors, be it on Lake Taupo fishing and cruising, mountain biking, or hiking and hunting. You can take a trip on Lake Taupo on a luxury cruiser for about NZ$150 or ask for something made to measure. The owner Chris Jolly also organizes hunting trips. 16 Rauhoto St., Taupo. 07/378–0623. www.chrisjolly.co.nz.
Fishy Steve. Steve Sprague runs Fishy Steve and undertakes a number of trips ranging from a half-day flyfishing for beginners, to 4x4 bush excursions and helicopter trips into the wilderness. Costs can range from NZ$250 to NZ$3600 not including the license. 07/378–2192. fishysteve.com.
Mark Aspinall. Fly-fish for rainbow and brown trout with Mark Aspinall. He will organise a custom trip to meet your needs, and equipment is included if needed. He will collect you from wherever you are staying. 64 7/378–4453. www.markaspinall.com/.
Huka Falls Jet. For high-speed thrills on the Waikato River take a trip on the Huka Falls Jet, which spins and skips its way between the Aratiatia Dam and Huka Falls. Departures are every 30 minutes from Karetoto Road throughout the day; cost is from around NZ$109 and NZ$65 for adult and child under 15 and at least 1 meter tall. 200 Karetoto Rd., Taupo. 647/374–8572. www.hukafallsjet.com.
Rapid Sensations. The Grade 5 Wairoa and Mohaka rivers are accessible from Taupo, as are the Rangitaiki and more family-friendly Tongariro. Different rivers are open at different times of year, and operators run similarly priced trips, starting around NZ$120 per person. Call Rapid Sensations, which provides transportation, wet suits, equipment, and much-needed hot showers at the end. 413 Huka Falls Road, Taupo. 64 7/374 8117 or 0800/353–435. www.rapids.co.nz.
Call at least one day in advance to arrange your jump—weather permitting—and expect to pay around NZ$249–NZ$339 per jump.
Skydive Taupo. On a tandem skydive you're attached to a professional skydiver for a breathtaking leap. Depending on altitude, free fall can last from a few seconds to close to a minute. Choose the entry level 'fall' for $239 or go for a video of your jump with a tee shirt and other goodies for $538 Anzac Memorial Dr., Taupo. 07/378–4662 or 0800/373–335. www.skydivetaupo.co.nz.
Taupo Tandem Skydiving. Taupo Tandem Skydiving will give you a thrill along with a bird's eye view of Taupo. Anzac Memorial Drive, Taupo. 07/377–0428 or 0800/826-336. www.tts.net.nz.