Lake Taupo area
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.
Just south of the lake is Tongariro National Park, New Zealand's first national park and a World Heritage Area. On the western side of the lake, the Pureora Conservation Park is home to such rare birds as the shy Kaka or bush parrot. To the east of the lake, The Kaimanawa Ranges (Kaimanawa Forest Park) contain vast ancient beech forests. And at the Lake's southern end is one of the world's most famous trout rivers, the Tongariro.
Lake Taupo's beachfront Lake Terrace
is extremely popoular during the
summer months for those staying in
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.
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.
A few 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
Lake Taupo is located in the central North Island.
Mountain biking and cycling
Many outdoor activities are available here. Some of the most popular are fishing, skiing, walking, hiking and cycling. The town and the area host a large number of outdoor multisport events.
See Taupo Trout Fishery
The region is known for its hunting as well, particularly the sika deer in the Kaimanawa Forest Park. For all the detailed information you need about where you can hunt, take dogs and pesticide use visit our local hunting pages. See Turangi/Taupo hunting.
Cycling opportunities are shared with pedestrians. As A highlight is the Bike Taupo Track from Whakaipo Bay to Kinloch.
Tracks and walks
Walks and tracks around Lake Taupo - from the town of Taupo to Turangi; from Kinloch to the Kaimanawas cover a range of environments from lake and river walks to tracks in thermal and historic areas.
Places to stay
Taupo, Turangi and a number of lakeside settlements have an abundance of of accommodation ranging from camp grounds to backpacker hostels, motels, bed and breakfast, lodges and hotels.
Great Lake Taupo website