Taumarunui is on the Adventure Highway (State Highway 4) at the start of the Forgotten World Highway in the King Country of the North Island.

Part of the Ruapehu District, Taumarunui is centrally located and is on a beautiful scenic route with views of Mt. Ruapehu and the Whanganui River. It provides access to the Whanganui National Park, the Pureora Timber Trail and dual-listed World Heritage site Tongariro National Park.

Along these highways of wide-open spaces are many recreational activities. Local outdoor pursuits include canoeing, jetboating, fishing, golfing, mountain biking, cycle trails, walks, tramps/hikes, and rail cart rides.