Car Rental Taupo

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Big savings on Taupo car hire

Compare the best Taupo Airport car rental deals from Avis, Budget, Hertz, Ezi & Thrifty.

  • Low prices
  • Choice of brands
  • No booking fees
  • Instant confirmations
  • Free cancellation on most cars
  • Unlimited mileage with most cars
4WD rental

Very easy to use. Really good specials for a run around car. Would recommend.

Ian M New Zealand

Easy to compare the different rental companies in one place. Lots of choice which is great. Prices seemed cheaper than other sites including when I looked at booking direct

Glen M New Zealand

Second time I’ve used MateRates. Always a good deal.

Trevor B New Zealand

Car Hire Options at Taupo Airport

Taupo Airport is a small regional airport with a limited number of car rental companies operating from it. You'll find them all here and can easily compare their best deals in one place. This means you don't have waste time trawling the Internet looking for options. Or have to pay exorbitant walk-up prices at the airport rental counter.

To maximise your savings it's a good idea to book your car early, especially for travel during peak periods. Just put your travel details into the Search box at the top of the page to instantly compare a huge choice of vehicles at the very best prices.

On-Airport Rental Brands

At Taupo Airport all these car rental companies have check-in counters in the airport terminal. 

Brands we offer:

Maximum Choice. Best Deals.

  • All the best deals in one place from different rental brands at Taupo Airport.
  • Instantly compare the best deals. No need to waste your time checking out multiple websites.
  • Easily filter results by price, brand, or type of vehicle.
  • And if you're finding it difficult to decide, check out the customer ratings to hear from those who've been there and done that.

Quick and easy

Chris W Australia

Second time I’ve used MateRates. Always a good deal.

Trevor B New Zealand

Best deal we could find after looking at all the rental car websites.

Lorenz G Australia

Taupo Airport Car Hire Tips

Why renting a car makes sense

One of the key reasons for renting a car when you’re visiting Taupo is the freedom and flexibility it offers. 

With a rental car you’re free to explore at your own pace and on your schedule — not someone else’s. 

Taupo Airport is located just eight kilometres from the centre of Taupo.  Apart from renting a car, you can get into town by a shuttle service which meets each scheduled flight. Taxis fares are $20-$40, depending on traffic and exclude a $5 airport fee.

Public transport to get around can be a real cost saver. BUT the problem is it severely constrains where you can go. And when. If you’ve got limited time, do you want to waste it standing around waiting for buses? We didn’t think so!

Taxis provide flexibility, but relying on them can quickly become painfully expensive as fares add up.  

Low daily rental rates plus unlimited kilometres means that hiring a rental car is usually your most cost effective option and allows you to make the most of your limited time.

We offer some suggestions at the bottom of the page about places around Taupo you might want to visit. Having a rental car makes getting to them easy.  

Driving from the airport

From Taupo Airport it's only a 10-15 minute drive into the centre of Taupo.

Once you've collected your rental car, follow the road out of the airport (Anzac Memorial Drive) for almost 1 km. At the roundabout cross the Taupo Bypass and take the second exit. Follow this for 3 km, after which the road becomes Lake Terrace. Follow this around the spectacular Lake Taupo waterfront for 4.5 km into the middle of town.

Return with a full tank

Stop at a nearby petrol station and top up the tank before returning your vehicle. The extra 5 or 10 minutes this takes will definitely save you money.

If you return the car with the tank not full then the rental company will charge a high price to top up the tank. These charges can be excessive, such as a $2.50 a litre surcharge on top of the fuel cost. Not a nice surprise to later find this charge on your credit card.

There are plenty of petrol stations around Taupo. The closest to the airport is Z Petrol at 138 Thermal Explorer Highway (open 24 hours) and a Mobil station near the waterfront at 208 Lake Terrace.

We left everything to the last minute and were having trouble finding a car. Then we found your site and got a car in Queenstown at a decent rate. Will tell our friends!

Fiona W New Zealand

Great value! I'll be telling my friends.

John W Australia

Glad I found your site – we left things to the last minute and couldn’t get a car at a price that made sense. Problem solved!

Greg H New Zealand

Attractions Near taupo

A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Taupo and surrounding areas. Here are a few of the many attractions you might like to consider checking out. For more ideas, check out the Great Lake Taupo website....

Mt Ruapehu

Taupo is a popular gateway to Mt Ruapehu, where you’ll find the country’s biggest ski areas: Turoa and Whakapapa (as well as the small club field of Tukino). Hitting the slopes here will mean you can say that you’ve skied on an active volcano! The season here is longer than elsewhere in New Zealand, usually stretching into late October.

Whakapapa is situated on Ruapehu’s northwestern slopes and its beginner’s area (cheerfully dubbed Happy Valley) is second to none. It has its own chairlift, rental shop and ski school. It’s a great place to learn or to bring children, and there’s also more exciting terrain for intermediate skiers and snowboarders higher up the slopes with more than 30 trails to choose from, and for the experts there are black runs and backcountry areas.

On the southwestern side, Turoa has thrilling terrain parks for snowboarding and free skiing, along with drop offs, basins, and chutes. Its beginner area is called Alpine Meadow, complete with a long magic carpet lift. For intermediate snow bunnies there are a dozen smooth, wide runs and for those more advanced, black runs and back country areas to play in.

A Mt Ruapehu lift pass allows access to both areas. And the mountain is only about 100 km south of Taupo, very doable in your rental car. You may also recognise these distinctive jagged rocks, plateaus and summits from The Lord of The Rings films. Some of the Mordor scenes were shot around Mt Ruapehu, including Whakapapa and Turoa. There are tours that will take you to the scenes of the movie film locations if you so desire.

Tongariro Crossing

Placed squarely in the middle of the North Island, Tongariro National Park houses a total of three active volcanoes — Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. The stunning volcanic landscapes here are shown off at their best along the world-renowned Tongariro Crossing, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks and the best one day hike in the country.

The trek spans an incredible array of sights, from desert to meadows, craters to springs. It starts in the Mangatepopo Valley, skirting a stream and ancient lava flows. Then it’s upwards to Mangatepopo Saddle between Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro, where your efforts will be well rewarded by panoramic views.

Depending on your fitness, you might like to tackle climbing Ngauruhoe as a side trip. This will add approximately 3 hours to your total hike.

The Tongariro track then continues across the South Crater to an exposed ridge, then up to Red Crater. This is the highest point on the Tongariro Crossing. Another detour can be had here, climbing to the summit of Mount Tongariro, which takes a further 2 hours.

Next, you descend to the brilliant Emerald Lakes. The vibrant colour of this trio of pools is due to minerals that have leached from the surrounding thermal area. The track continues over Central Crater to Blue Lake, then to North Crater. From here it’s downhill over tussocked volcanic slopes towards cool, lush forest for the remainder of the crossing to the end of the track.

Plan to allow 7 to 8 hours to complete the Tongariro Crossing (including time for breaks and photos!) and remember that the weather in this area is fickle and can change in an instant. Temperatures can be extreme and the winds strong. If considering hiking the Tongariro Crossing in winter, the best way to go about it is with a guide.

As the crossing is not a circuit it’s best to organise transfers ahead of time. It’s easy to arrange as many operators offer transport; a shuttle will pick you up at the end of the trail.

Huka Falls

The magnificent Huka Falls is one of the most popular natural attractions in New Zealand. This is where the Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river, hits a volcanic ravine. It is normally as many as 100 metres wide but here they are compressed into just 15 metres from bank to bank. After being funnelled through this narrow stretch, they thunder out into space over Huka Falls and form the rapids that you see, dropping 11 metres at a speed of over 220,000 litres per second.

A footbridge right at the top of the waterfalls gives you a front-row seat to this mighty display of nature. Huka is the Maori word for 'foam' and it will become apparent how these falls got their name! On a sunny day, they have a true wow factor, with the water gleaming a crystal clear cerulean.

There are other viewing platforms and walking tracks around the riverside and falls as well so you can take them in from a variety of angles. A nice view of the falls can be had on a loop road just off the main highway. A swing bridge traverses the river leading to other vantage points. Alternatively, the Huka Falls Walkway, which starts by Otumuheke Stream at the Spa Thermal Park, has some lookout points.

For a different taste of the falls, take a boat to their base and feel the spray on your skin. Try a relaxing river cruise, or dial up the adrenaline on the Huka Falls jet which spins you along the water at top speed for a real rush.

Getting there is easy. The Huka Falls car park is less than 2 km north of Taupo, an easy trip in your hired car.

Wairakei Terraces

Wairakei Terraces combines relaxing hot pools with a dash of Maori culture. It’s less than 10 minutes north of Taupo, a quick trip in your rental car. The shining, mineral-rich waters are drawn from the Wairakei geothermal steam field, cascading over silica terraces into the pools, to a beautiful backdrop of native garden.

The man-made terraces, resplendent in pink, white, and blue, are a tribute to the original Pink and White Terraces, which were lost in the Mt Tarawera eruption of 1886. The walkway also features a recreated Maori village, a carving house, and an artificial geyser.

An outdoor area with tranquil waterfalls and rockpools, restricted to ages 14 and over, is an ideal escape for rest and rejuvenation. Come for a thermal soak and a massage. There’s a range of treatments available that make use of indigenous herbal products (which you can buy to take home, along with arts and crafts). Don’t miss the red mud pools and the healing Honeymoon Pool.

At night, the steamy terraces come alive for the nighttime cultural experience, offering an authentic insight into the rich heritage here. You’ll be greeted by a traditional welcome, Maori speeches, song and dance, and the chance to watch tattooists, weavers and carvers at work. Of course, your evening would not be complete without tucking into a tasty hangi meal. A guided tour of the premises is included.