Location of Taupo Territorial Authority within New Zealand
|Main towns and settlements||Taupo, Kinloch, Turangi, Mangakino|
|• Mayor||David Trewavas|
|• Parliamentary electorate||Taupō|
|• Territorial authority||Taupo District Council|
|• Total||6,970 km2 (2,690 sq mi)|
|Population (June 2015 estimate)|
|• Density||5.1/km2 (13/sq mi)|
|Time zone||NZST (UTC+12)|
|• Summer (DST)||NZDT (UTC+13)|
|Postcode(s)||Map of postcodes|
The Taupo District covers 6,350 km² of land, as well as a further 610 km² of lake area, both in Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake, and also in the smaller Lake Rotoaira. The district stretches from the small town of Mangakino in the northwest to the Tongariro National Park in the south, and east into the Kaingaroa Forest. The district's population is largely located in the two main centres, Taupo and Turangi.
Little is known about early Māori settlement near Taupo, although Ngati Tuwharetoa have been the main iwi of the area for several hundred years. Major pa were situated at the southern end of the lake to the west of the modern town of Turangi.
Taupo town was founded in 1869 as a garrison town during the New Zealand Wars, but remained small due to the poor volcanic soils of the region. It was not until the 1950s that the region started to develop, with forestry and the construction of the Wairakei geothermal power station.
State Highway 1 winds along the eastern shore of Lake Taupo, and several small townships are located along it. Fewer people live on the northern or western shores, although there are several small settlements close to Taupo, and to the west of Turangi (notably at Tokaanu)
In the 2006 census the resident population was:
- Taupo: 22,300
- Turangi: 3,240
- Mangakino: 1,020
- Other (rural): 5,858
- Total population: 32,418
- "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2015 (provisional)". Statistics New Zealand. 22 October 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2015. For urban areas, "Infoshare; Group: Population Estimates - DPE; Table: Estimated Resident Population for Urban Areas, at 30 June (1996+) (Annual-Jun)". Statistics New Zealand. 22 October 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2015.