Taupo is a town on the shore of Lake Taupo in the centre of the North Island of New Zealand. It is the seat of the Taupo District Council and lies in the southern Waikato Region.
Taupo has a population of 23,700 (June 2015 estimate). In 1953, Taupo was officially constituted as a borough, but from 1989 it has been administered by the Taupo District Council, the district including both Taupo itself and the surrounding hinterland. Despite this, it is occasionally referred to as a city. It is the 20th largest urban area in New Zealand, and the second-largest in the Waikato Region (behind Hamilton).
The name Taupo, by which the town is commonly known, is the shortened version of its full name,Taupō-nui-a-Tia. Literally translated from Māori language, Taupō-nui-a-Tiameans "The great cloak of Tia", where Tia is the name of the discoverer of the lake.
|FOUNDED :||Founded 1869|
Borough status 1953
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone NZST (UTC+12)|
• Summer (DST) NZDT (UTC+13)
|LANGUAGE :||English (official), Maori (official), Sign Language (official)|
|RELIGION :||Anglican 13.8%, Roman Catholic 12.6%, Presbyterian, Congregational, and Reformed 10%, Christian (no denomination specified) 4.6%, Methodist 3%, Pentecostal 2%, Baptist 1.4%, other Christian 3.8%, Maori Christian 1.6%, Hindu 1.6%, Buddhist 1.3%, other religions 2.2%, none 32.2%, other or unidentified 9.9%|
|AREA :||• Urban 132.57 km2 (51.19 sq mi)|
• District 6,970 km2 (2,690 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||360 m (1,180 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||38.6875°S 176.0694°E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.10%|
|ETHNIC :||European 56.8%, Asian 8%, Maori 7.4%, Pacific islander 4.6%, mixed 9.7%, other 13.5%|
|AREA CODE :||07|
|POSTAL CODE :||3330|
|DIALING CODE :|
Taupo, is a town on the northern shore of Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake, in the central North Island. It is built around the lake's outlet into the Waikato River, the country's longest river.
It is a popular tourist destination due to its lake, boating, trout fishing, geothermal attractions, waterfalls, outdoor activities and proximity to the North Island's highest mountains.
The Lake Taupo area is situated on a volcanic plateau. The lake, famed for its trout fishing and boating, fills the caldera of one of the largest super-volcanoes in the world, in a still active geological region. About 26,000 years ago, the lake area was a volcano that erupted in an enormous explosion that ejected about 800 cubic kilometres of material, spreading it over the central North Island and forming the Volcanic Plateau. The resulting depression became Lake Taupo after it filled with water draining off the surrounding hills. It last erupted about 1,800 years ago, reportedly turning the skies over China and Rome red.
Today, Lake Taupo is New Zealand's largest lake by area, covering 616 square kilometres. It feeds the Waikato River, New Zealand's longest, with the water to run eight hydroelectric power stations. After leaving town, the river rushes through the tourist attractions of Huka Falls and Aratiatia Rapids.
The climate of Taupo is cold and windy when compared to other parts of the North Island. This is due to the town being located inland, which results in the accumulation of dry air causing severe frost during winter. However snowfall in Taupo is rare. The summer climate in Taupo is mild with maximum average temperature reaching 23 degrees and a minimum average temperature of 10 degrees.
Climate data for Taupo
|Average high °C (°F)||22.7|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||17.0|
|Average low °C (°F)||11.4|
|Source: NIWA Climate Data|
Taupo is located at the outlet of Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake, in the northeast part of the lake where it discharges to the Waikato River. The river flows over the spectacular Huka Falls, a short distance north of the town. Taupo is a centre of volcanic and geothermal activity and hot springs suitable for bathing are located at several places in the vicinity. The volcanic Mount Tauhara lies six kilometres (4 mi) to the east.
Somewhat to the northeast are significant hot springs. These springs contain extremophile micro-organisms that live in extremely hot environments.
Taupo is situated on a stretch of State Highway 1, running concurrently with State Highway 5. It is situated 53 km north of Turangi. It is one of the few centres in New Zealand that were never linked to the rail network.
The small but growing satellite town of Kinloch, where there is a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, is 20 kilometres west along the lake.
Taupo is a tourist centre, particularly in the summer, as it offers panoramic views over the lake and to the volcanic mountains of Tongariro National Park to the south. It offers a number of tourist activities including sky diving, jet boating and paragliding.
Taupo services a number of surrounding plantation pine forests includingKaingaroa Forest, the largest manmade forest in the world, and related industry. A large sawmill is sited approximated 3 km to the north east of the town on Centennial Drive.
The Wairakei geothermal power station is a few kilometres north of the town.
Taupo's neighbourhoods include:
- Wharewaka is a popular swimming spot for locals and has a growing new subdivision along with a large retirement village.
- Nukuhau lies north of the Waikato River. To the south west lies Acacia Bay and to the south lies Taupo town centre.
- Richmond Heights lies to the east of Rainbow Point and south of Mountain View. It is home to the Waipahihi Primary School, Richmond Heights shopping center, and the Waipahihi Botanical Gardens.
- Mount View
- Acacia Bay
- Rainbow Point lies north of Wharewaka and west of Richmond Heights. To the west lies Lake Taupo.
- Tauhara lies just north of Hilltop and east of Mount View. Mount Tauhara lies just east of Tauhara. Tauhara is the location of Tauhara primary school, Tauhara College and Tauhara Golf course.
- Hilltop lies south of Tauhara. Hilltop is the location of Hilltop School,Taupo Intermediate School, the Taupo Hospital, the Taharepa shopping centre and the Hilltop shopping centre.
- Gradwell is a suburb of Taupo. To the south lies Rainbow Point to the north is Hilltop. Gradwell is the location of the Waipahihi Botanical Gardens.
- Taupo CBD
- Five Mile Bay is located on the east side of Lake Taupo, south of Wharewaka and north of Waitahanui on State Highway 1 just west of the Taupo Airport. It is a popular swimming/water skiing beach which gets very busy in summer. Five Mile Bay is one of three similar named bays along the lake shoreline, the others being Two Mile Bay and Three Mile Bay.
Accessing the Internet is simple and easy, with Internet cafes and wireless hotspots available in the city centre, motels, restaurants, bars and clubs.
Available wireless hotspots
Wireless hotspots available within numerous areas or that cover a large area.