The Taupo area is part of the Volcanic Plateau with farmland, scrub, bush and pine forests sloping away from the lake to the Kaimanawas in the east to the Hauhungaroas in the west.
Looking south across the lake, Ruapehu (2797m), Ngauruhoe (2291m) and Tongariro (1968m) dominate the smaller extinct volcanoes of Pihanga, Tihia and Kakaramea. (Ngauruhoe has the distinction of doubling as Orodruin or "Mount Doom" in the Lord of the Rings films). (Tongariro erupted 06 August 2012 and has a new eruption crater to view).
Lake Taupo is absolutely huge! It is Australasia’s largest lake and to give you an idea of its size, it is as large as the whole of Singapore. There are some smaller lakes in the area too that were, like Lake Taupo, also formed by volcanic upheavals. Lake Rotoaira and Lake Rotopouamu in the south-west and sulphurous Lake Rotokawa in the north for instance are well worth a visit.
Huka Falls are the largest falls on the Waikato River, and the most visited natural attraction in New Zealand - a short 5 minutes drive north of Lake Taupo. The Waikato River is one of New Zealand's longest rivers which flows out of Lake Taupo. The Aratiaria Rapids (on the Waikato River) were also used for a scene in Peter Jackson's movie The Hobbit.
Besides being a very scenic region, Taupo is also the North Island’s adventure activities capital. Every adrenalin-pumping activity imaginable is on offer here in Taupo. From bungy jumps and skydiving to cross country mountain biking, high ropes course challenges, white water rafting, jet boating, kayaking, and much more.
And if you enjoy golf, there are some fantastic courses in the area to play a round or you could try the Great Lake hole in one challenge. So if you like an active holiday, there is no place quite like Taupo.
Did you know? The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered the best one day trek in New Zealand and rated by many in the top 10 day treks in the world.