|Territorial authority||Taupo District|
|Named for||originates from Taupō-nui-a-Tia, meaning "great cloak of Tia" in Maori|
|• MP||Louise Upston (National)|
|• Mayor||David Trewavas|
|• Territorial||6,970 km2 (2,690 sq mi)|
|Elevation||360 m (1,180 ft)|
|Population (June 2013 estimate)|
|• Density||4.9/km2 (13/sq mi)|
|Time zone||NZST (UTC+12)|
|• Summer (DST)||NZDT (UTC+13)|
|Local iwi||Ngāti Tūwharetoa|
Taupo (//, commonly mispronounced //) 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 23,100 (June 2013 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.
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-Tia means "The great cloak of Tia", where Tia is the name of the discoverer of the lake.
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 one of New Zealand's most spectacular waterfalls, 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 mountain of Mount Tauhara lies six kilometres (4 mi) to the east. Some forested area exists near Taupo, with understory vegetation consisting of certain shrubs and ferns.
Somewhat to the northeast are significant hot springs. These springs are the site of occurrence of certain extremophile micro-organisms, that are capable of surviving 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.
Taupo's neighbourhoods include:
- 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 . It 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.
The climate of Taupo is cold and windy when compared to other parts of the North Island. It 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, although snow fell on August 2011 due to a prolonged cold period in New Zealand. The summer climate in Taupo is mild with maximum temperature reaching 23 degrees and with a minimum of 10 degrees.
|Climate data for Taupo|
|Average high °C (°F)||23.3||23.3||20.9||17.6||14.1||11.8||11.2||12.1||14.1||16.5||19||21.3||16.9|
|Average low °C (°F)||11.5||11.6||10.2||7.4||4.9||3.4||2.2||3||4.7||6.6||8.4||10.1||7.1|
|Precipitation mm (inches)||85||77||83||74||87||99||105||109||90||102||85||108||1102|
|Source: NIWA Climate Data|
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 including Kaingaroa 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 has three high schools: Tauhara College, Taupo Nui-a-Tia College and state integrated Lake Taupo Christian School. It also has St Patrick's, Waipahihi, Hilltop, Mount View, Taupo and Tauhara primary schools, and Taupo Intermediate School.
Since the mid-1990s Taupo has become increasingly popular as a venue for major sporting events, increasingly of an international nature. The town's compact size, clean environment, central location and supportive council and community have been cited as the reasons for this. Major events in Taupo include:
- Ironman New Zealand
- Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge
- Oxfam Trailwalker
- Great Lake Relay
- Mizuno Half Marathon
- Taupo Half Ironman
- Erupt Lake Taupo Events*
- North Island Cross Country Championship
- World Water Ski Racing Championships
- FIM International Six Day Enduro
- Cricket One Day Internationals
- A1 Grand Prix
The International Mountain Bicycling Association has designated the mountain biking trails at Bike Taupo as a silver-level IMBA Ride Center.  Ride Centers are the IMBA's strongest endorsement of a trail experience. 
Taupo is served by State Highways SH 1 and SH 5, and the Thermal Explorer Highway touring route. All three highways run concurrently for 11 km from Wairakei in the north, along Tongariro Street and Lake Terrace, to southern Taupo.
Taupo Airport is located south of the township. The airport is served by Air New Zealand subsidiary Eagle Airways, with direct flights using Beechcraft 1900D aircraft to Auckland, Wanganui and Wellington
- "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2013 (provisional)". Statistics New Zealand. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. Also "Infoshare; Group: Population Estimates - DPE; Table: Estimated Resident Population for Urban Areas, at 30 June (1996+) (Annual-Jun)". Statistics New Zealand. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- "Push to get Maori pronunciation right". Television New Zealand. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Taupo". Encyclopedia of New Zealand (1966).
- "Taupo is New Zealand's Top Town". One News. 5 April 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- C.Michael Hogan. 2010. Extremophile. eds. E.Monosson and C.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington DC
- "Climate Data". NIWA. Retrieved 2 November 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Taupo.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Taupo.|