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Lake Taupo, New Zealand

At the heart of New Zealand’s central volcanic plateau sits the largest freshwater lake in Australasia, Lake Taupo. This huge, shining expanse of water, moving between aquamarine blue and jade green, is crystal-clear to a depth of 13 metres. It is home to one of the best wild trout fisheries in the world, more than 30 species of water bird, several types of native fish and native koura (crayfish).

It’s known by local tangata whenua (‘people of the land’) as Taupō Moana, the 'inland sea of New Zealand'.

It’s known by local tangata whenua (‘people of the land’) as Taupō Moana, the 'inland sea of New Zealand'.

Most days, the lake is beautifully calm, but its creation was one of the most spectacularly violent natural events in history. The gigantic Oruanui eruption, 27,000 years ago, shot volcanic debris 50km into the air, covered the North Island in a thick layer of volcanic ash, and created the caldera that is now the lake.

It’s New Zealand’s largest lake (and Australasia’s), with a surface area about the same size as Singapore.

It’s New Zealand’s largest lake (and Australasia’s), with a surface area about the same size as Singapore.

You can enjoy fishing charters, scenic boat tours, waterskiing, kayaking, paddle-boarding and the extraordinary Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay. The Great Lake Trail which is part of Nga Haerenga - The New Zealand Cycle Trail runs around the shoreline.

Lake Taupō has a steep drop-off from the shore to an average depth of 100m, and plunges to 186m at its deepest point.

Lake Taupō has a steep drop-off from the shore to an average depth of 100m, and plunges to 186m at its deepest point.

In the mornings Lake Taupo can be shrouded in mist, which usually rolls back by midday to reveal the sparkling waters beneath. The surface of the lake is often dotted with pale balls of pumice, a volcanic rock so light it floats on water.

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Discover more highlights...

  • Scenic attractions

    Tongariro River

    Flowing north from the snow-clad peaks of Tongariro National Park, through the picturesque town of Turangi, the pristine Tongariro River is one of the world’s best places to catch trout.

    More info 
  • Scenic attractions

    Waikato River

    Born on the eastern slopes of Mt Ruapehu, the longest river in New Zealand drains Lake Taupo through Taupo town, blasts through a narrow rock chasm to create the Huka Falls, then winds more peacefully northwards towards Port Waikato, south of Auckland.

    More info 
  • Scenic attractions

    Huka Falls Taupo

    At Huka Falls nearly a quarter of a million litres of water per second erupts from a natural gorge and thunders 11m into the Waikato River below.

    More info 
  • Scenic attractions

    Tongariro National Park

    A diverse and awe-inspiring landscape born from volcanic eruptions and carved by ice age glaciers, Tongariro National Park is a place of natural wonders and spiritual significance.

    More info 

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