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Taupo township lies at the northern end of Lake Taupo, New Zealands largest lake at 622 square km. Taupo, and Turangi at the southern end of the lake are the centres for many of the walks and activities around the central North Island.

Place overview


  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Mountain biking
  • Walking and tramping
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      About this place

      Nature and conservation

      The Taupo area owes its spectacular scenery to its location in an active volcanic zone. Violent eruptions have occurred over millions of years creating the caldera (collapsed volcano) filled by the waters of Lake Taupo, extensive lava plateaux and other volcanic landforms such as Mt Tauhara.

      Ash layers, ignimbrite cliffs, pumice and carbonised wood fragments provide constant reminders of a history of volcanic upheaval.

      Lake Taupo facts

      • The lake is 622 km² in size
      • Reaches 160m in depth
      • Occupies a series of old volcanic craters 
      • The most recent eruption occured about 1800 years ago when 60 km³ of debris was blasted out of a single vent
      • Its full name is Taupo-nui-a-Tia (the great cloak of Tia). Tia was a chief and explorer from the waka Arawa

      History and culture

      Attracted by the lake and thermal resources, the area was settled by Maori in the late 14th century, becoming a stronghold for the Ngati Tuwharetoa people. European visitors came to the scenic heart of the North Island in the middle of the 19th century and settled here from about 1860.

      Know before you go

      For information on accommodation, events and activities in the Taupo area visit the Great Lake Taupo website.


      Taupo Office
      Phone:      +64 7 376 0072
      Full office details
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