Taupo is the largest freshwater lake in the South Pacific region and Australia and the largest lake in New Zealand. The largest river in the country, the Waikato, flows out of it. The lake was formed about 27,000 years ago as a result of a powerful volcanic eruption. The eruption was so powerful that its ash covered the sky over China. The result was a huge crater measuring 616 km² and a maximum depth of 186 meters. It gradually filled with water and formed a lake called the heart of the North Island, but it does not pump blood, but water.
The water in the lake is exceptionally clear and simply teeming with trout, imported from Europe and the state of California in the late nineteenth century. Smelt were also imported as food for the trout. The lake’s native fauna are crayfish, as well as small tulka. At the bottom of the lake, around underwater geothermal sinkholes, live colonies of sponges and associated invertebrates. Much of the lake’s watershed is covered with beech forests and coniferous forests with ferns below.
Lake Taupo is located in an area of high geothermal activity where bubbling mud, geysers, and hot rivers are quite common. On the northern shore of Lake Taupo lies the town of the same name, and on the opposite side are the snow-white mountains of Tongariro National Park. The natural uniqueness of the lake makes it one of the most popular holiday destinations for New Zealanders and tourists from other countries. Taupo offers a variety of recreation: cruises on the lake, speedboat rides, visiting a shrimp farm and observatory, rafting on the mountain rivers, bungee jumping in the Waikato River. These places are especially popular with fishing enthusiasts.
There are many famous attractions in the vicinity of the lake. Eighty kilometers to the southwest are the unique Waitomo Caves, with glowing insects that create the illusion of a starry sky underground. To the south is Tongariro National Park, with its sacred Tongariro, Ruapehu, and Ngauruhoe volcanoes. Five kilometers to the north, on the Huikato River, the water falls gently down the Huka Falls. On the northwest side of the lake, on the rock of Maine Bay, there is an image carved in stone of Chief Ngatoraruanga, who lived more than a thousand years ago. But this image was made in the late seventies of the twentieth century and its main purpose is to protect the lake from the volcano. Whether it will protect the lake or not is unknown, but people are hopeful.
Still the development of tourism and the economy in general is promoted by the climate. It is moderate here. There is no exhausting heat and strong cold. In summer the temperature is within 23-24 degrees, and in winter it never drops below eleven. But it can rain at any time of the year, especially in winter and spring.