Lake Taupo, New Zealand

As New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo turns into a popular destination for swimming holidays in summer. In winter, it impresses with a breathtaking landscape in front of dark volcanic peaks.

Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake, has formed in an extinct volcanic crater. Today it glistens quietly and peacefully in the sun, but around 26,000 years ago it was formed by an eruption of the Taupo volcano, which went down in the history of the earth as one of the most devastating eruptions of the last 250,000 years.


At the nearby bubbling mudholes and hissing geysers of the Craters of the Moon Geothermal Park, the volcanic activity and underground heat of this region can be experienced first hand.

PICTURES: Lake Taupo

Photo gallery: Lake Taupo

At 40km long, 28km wide and with a water surface area of a good 600 square kilometres, Lake Taupo is not only the largest lake in New Zealand, but also the second largest lake in Oceania - behind Lake Murray in Papua New Guinea.

Taupo - tourist centre on the lake

Taupo, at the point where the Waikoto River, the only outlet of the lake, breaks through, is the largest town on Lake Taupo and also the largest in the entire Taupo District. The pretty town is the tourist centre of Lake Taupo with accommodation, restaurants and leisure activities such as sailing, water skiing, fishing and skydiving.

Between February and March, the Ironman New Zealand takes place here, where athletes swim just under 4km, cycle 180km and then run a marathon.

Activities at Lake Taupo

Against a backdrop of impressive volcanic peaks, Lake Taupo in New Zealand is a great place to enjoy a relaxing day at the lake - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

The recreational opportunities at Lake Taupo are, of course, primarily related to bathing and water sports. In summer, numerous visitors transform the almost 200km long shore of Lake Taupo into idyllic bathing beaches. Street cafés, cosy holiday homes and small shops make the holiday feeling perfect. Against the backdrop of impressive volcanic peaks, you can enjoy a relaxing day at the lake.

Water sports at Lake Taupo include water skiing, jet skiing and kayaking, and bathers can also try their hand at parasailing. Lake Taupo is the world's largest naturally formed lake that is home to trout, which attracts anglers and sports fishermen in particular.


Boat tours take you to Maori rock carvings over 10m high on a cliff in Mine Bay, which legend says protect the lake from volcanic activity inside the earth.

Activities and excursions around Lake Taupo

Embedded in a geothermal area, the surroundings of Lake Taupo also invite you to explore, New Zealand - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

Embedded in a geothermal area, the surroundings of Lake Taupo also invite you to explore. Hiking trails and mountain bike trails lead through idyllic landscapes to volcanic features that can be observed up close at the nearby Craters of the Moon.

Huka Falls

The Huka Falls are one of the most visited and photographed sights in New Zealand and are located only about 10km from Lake Taupo. They are formed by a narrow canyon through which the otherwise calm Waikoto River plunges as a raging, shimmering turquoise blue flood over several cascades.

PICTURES: Huka Falls

Photo gallery: Huka Falls

Trip to Tongariro National Park

If you want to get to know the volcanic side of New Zealand better, Tongariro National Park is the place to go. Only 60km from Lake Taupo, the fourth oldest national park in the world offers three active volcanoes (including the "Mount Doom" from the movie "The Lord of the Rings").

If you are tired of volcano trekking, you can explore the bizarre lunar landscapes as well as lush rainforests and secluded beech groves on hiking trails and mountain bike routes. From June to November, you can even ski in the Tongariro National Park.

PICTURES: Tongariro National Park

Photo gallery: Tongariro National Park

Related links:


Taupo tourism website
Official website of the Taupo District