Located in the Central North Island region
The Taupō 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 Taupō, 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.
Auckland and parts of the Waikato are at Level 3. DOC huts and campsites are closed in these regions. The rest of New Zealand is at Level 2.