|Territorial authority||Taupō District|
|Named for||originates from Taupō-nui-a-Tia, meaning "great cloak of Tia" in Māori|
|• Mayor||David Trewavas|
|• Urban||132.57 km2 (51.19 sq mi)|
|• District||6,970 km2 (2,690 sq mi)|
|Elevation||360 m (1,180 ft)|
|• Urban density||190/km2 (500/sq mi)|
|• District density||5.8/km2 (15/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+12 (NZST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+13 (NZDT)|
|Local iwi||Ngāti Tūwharetoa|
Taupō, sometimes spelled Taupo, (Māori pronunciation: [ˈtoʊpɔː]) is a town on the north-eastern shore of Lake Taupo in the central North Island of New Zealand. The town is the largest urban area and the seat of the Taupo District, and the second-largest urban area in the Waikato region behind Hamilton.
Taupō has a population of 25,400 (June 2020). In 1953, Taupō was officially constituted as a borough, but from 1989 it has been administered by the Taupo District Council, the district including both Taupō itself and the surrounding hinterland. Despite this, it is occasionally referred to as a city.
The name Taupō, by which the town is commonly known, is the shortened version of the lake’s Māori name, Taupō-nui-a-Tia. Literally translated, Taupō-nui-a-Tia means "The great cloak of Tia", the explorer who discovered the lake. In 2019 the official name of the town was changed from Taupo to Taupō.
Taupō is located on the northeastern shore of Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake. The Waikato River drains the lake and runs through the town, separating the CBD and the northern suburbs. The river flows over the spectacular Huka Falls, a short distance north of the town. Taupō 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.
- Inner suburbs
Taupō neighbourhoods include:
- Wharewaka – has a popular swimming spot for locals and 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 Richmond Heights shopping center.
- Waipahihi – lies to the north of Richmond Heights. It is home to the Waipahihi Primary School, 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.
- 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.
- Outer suburbs
The climate of Taupō is cold and windy when compared to other parts of the North Island and has an oceanic climate (Cfb). 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 Taupō is rare. The summer climate in Taupō 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
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||77.3
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||7.7||6.7||7.3||7.4||8.7||10.9||10.9||11.4||10.7||10.6||8.2||9.2||109.6|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||224.3||202.6||179.7||156.3||126.3||96.1||116.5||134.6||140.0||179.6||190.4||204.6||1,950.9|
|Source: NIWA Climate Data|
The Taupō urban area had a population of 23,622 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 2,499 people (11.8%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 2,925 people (14.1%) since the 2006 census. There were 11,523 males and 12,099 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.95 males per female. Of the total population, 4,740 people (20.0%) were aged up to 15 years, 3,836 (16.2%) were 15 to 29, 10,167 (43.0%) were 30 to 64, and 4,872 (20.6%) were 65 or older.
Ethnicities were 79.8% European/Pākehā, 24.5% Māori, 3.3% Pacific peoples, 5.7% Asian, and 1.9% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).
|SA2 name||Population||Dwellings||Median age||Median income|
|Acacia Bay||1,653||987||50.8 years||$39,600|
|Bird Area||2,235||1,155||43.3 years||$34,900|
|Nukuhau-Rangatira Park||2,442||1,206||44.6 years||$31,700|
|Richmond Heights||2,328||1,143||37.2 years||$32,500|
|Taupō Central East||2,439||1,083||35.8 years||$25,400|
|Taupō Central West||405||222||32.1 years||$31,100|
Taupō 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, paragliding, and bungy jumping.
Taupō services a number of surrounding plantation pine forests including the large Kaingaroa Forest and related industry. A large sawmill is sited approximated 3 km to the north east of the town on Centennial Drive.
Taupō is surrounded by seven geothermal power stations including the historic Wairakei geothermal power station a few kilometres north of the town.
Some regular sporting events in Taupō include Ironman New Zealand, the Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge and the Great Lake Relay (established in 1995). The Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge has about 5,000 riders. The Oxfam Trailwalker has been held in Taupō several times. In 2006 Taupō was also the location of the off-road motorcycle event FIM International Six Day Enduro.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association has designated the mountain biking trails at Bike Taupō as a silver-level IMBA Ride Center. Ride Centers are the IMBA's strongest endorsement of a trail experience.
Taupō has four high schools: Tauhara College, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College, Māori immersion Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Whakarewa i Te Reo ki Tuwharetoa and state integrated Lake Taupo Christian School. It also has Wairakei, St Patrick's, Waipahihi, Hilltop, Mount View, Taupō and Tauhara primary schools, and Taupo Intermediate School.
Taupō is served by State Highway 1 and State Highway 5, and the Thermal Explorer Highway touring route. All three highways run concurrently along the Eastern Taupo Arterial, which was built in 2010.
Taupō is one of the few large towns in New Zealand that have never had a link to the national rail network, although there have been proposals in the past.
- Patrick Bevin (born 1991), road racing cyclist
- Bevan Docherty (born 1977), Olympic triathlete
- James Tito actor and musician
- Louisa Wall (born 1972), member of parliament and former national representative netball and rugby union player
Taupō is twinned with:
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- "Welcome - Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge". Cycle Challenge. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
- "Oxfam Trailwalker in New Zealand Search". Eventfinda. Archived from the original on 20 January 2021. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
- "Past Events". Oxfam Trailwalker. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
- "Introducing the 2012 Model Trail Awards Winners; International Mountain Bicycling Association". Imba.com. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Pocahontas State Park to Develop Regional Biking Center – Richmond Times-Dispatch: Outdoor Recreation In Richmond And Central Virginia". Richmond.com. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Taupo.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Taupo.|