Taupo 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 about 24,000. 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. It is the 20th largest urban area in New Zealand, and the second-largest in the Waikato Region (behind Hamilton).
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.
Lake Taupo is a lake situated in the North Island of New Zealand. It lies in the caldera of the Taupo Volcano. With a surface area of 616 square kilometres, it is the largest lake by surface area in New Zealand, and the second largest freshwater lake by surface area in geopolitical Oceania after Lake Murray (Papua New Guinea). Motutaiko Island lies in the southeast area of the lake.
Lake Taupo has a perimeter of approximately 193 kilometres and a deepest point of 186 metres. It is drained by the Waikato River (New Zealand's longest river), while its main tributaries are the Waitahanui River, the Tongariro River, and the Tauranga Taupo River. It is a noted trout fishery with stocks of introduced brown and rainbow trout.
Lake Taupo lies in a caldera created by a supervolcanic eruption which occurred approximately 26,500 years ago. According to geological records, the volcano has erupted 28 times in the last 27,000 years. It has ejected mostly rhyolitic lava, although Mount Tauhara formed from dacitic lava.
The volcano is currently considered to be dormant rather than extinct because of moderate fumarole activity and hot springs along the shores of the lake.
The climate of Taupo is cold and windy when compared to other parts of the North Island. 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 Taupo is rare. The summer climate in Taupo is mild with maximum average temperature reaching 23 °C and a minimum average temperature of 10 °C.
Taupo 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. SH 5 diverts east on the Napier-Taupo Road. Before this SH 1 and SH 5 began concurrently from Wairakei in the north, along Tongariro Street and Lake Terrace.
|Base Taupo||7 Tuwharetoa Street Taupo||HOSTEL||80|
|Berkenhoff Lodge||75 Scannell Street||HOSTEL||80|
|Silver Fern Lodge||Tamamutu Street||HOSTEL||83|
|Taupo Urban Retreat||65 Heu Heu Street Taupo||HOSTEL||85|
|Tiki Lodge||104 Tuwharetoa St Taupo||Hostel||84|
|YHA Taupo||56 Kaimanawa Street Taupo||Hostel||-|
|Colonial Lodge Motel||134 Lake Terrace||Hostel||-|
|Lake Maraetai Lodge||5 Totara Terrace Mangakino||Hostel||-|
|Baywater Motor Inn||126 Lake Terrace PO Box 962||Hotel||-|
|Astro Accommodation Taupo||76 Kaimanawa Street||Apartment||-|
|Taupo DeBretts||Taupo 103 Napier/Taupo Highway||Campsite||-|
|Tony's Lodge||313 State Highway 1 Te Rangiita||Guesthouse||-|
|Blackcurrant Backpackers||20 Taniwha Street Taupo||Hostel||86|
|Bradshaw's Travel Lodge||130 Heuheu Street||HOSTEL||85|
|Rainbow Lodge Backpackers||99 Titiraupenga St, Taupo||HOSTEL||85|
|Finns Global Backpackers & Bar||Corner Tuwharetoa & Tongariro Streets, Taupo PO Box 852||HOSTEL||-|
Internet cafés are widely available throughout New Zealand at rates of around NZ$2-4, though sometimes more in smaller places. Besides internet and e-mail services, most big internet cafés also offer some way for travellers to connect their digital camera and burn cds. Many public libraries have public Internet access, and most of them offer short free internet sessions. Wi-Fi access is getting more and more common in for example coffee places or fast food chains. It is becoming more common for Wi-Fi to be provided at hotels and motels, though sometimes at a fee. Wireless Hotspots are located in many cities and towns all over New Zealand from dedicated Wireless providers from whom you can buy connect time. Many camping holiday parks also have such services available.
See also International Telephone Calls
Dial 111 for emergency police, fire or ambulance services. The worldwide emergency number for GSM mobile phones, 112, can also be used.
The country code is 64.
Most payphones in New Zealand require the use of phone cards for payment and it is getting harder to find payphones that accept coins. As phone cards are available at a lot of outlets, they are easy to purchase and very handy as a backup in case of emergencies. Many of them also accept creditcards. Local calls are free from residential phones and charges for calling outside that area can be found at the front of the regional phone books, amongst many other services.
Mobile telephone coverage is effectively national in near urban areas although the mountainous terrain means that outside the urban areas, and especially away from the main highway system, coverage does have huge dead patches. Do not rely on mobile phones in hilly or mountainous terrain. Mobile telephone users can call 555 only to report Non-emergency traffic safety incidents, such as a breakdown, road hazard or non-injury car crash, to the Police. There are currently three major mobile carriers in New Zealand.
A prepaid sim-card connection pack with $10 credit from Telecom or Vodafone costs around $30, and prepaid sim-cards from 2degrees cost $10. Telecom has broader coverage in remote areas away from major cities compared to Vodafone and 2degrees.
Most areas have dedicated PostShops, however stamps can also be bought at grocery shops, supermarkets and book stores. There are two main formats for domestic mail, namely Standard Post and Fast Post. Fast Post is used next day delivery between major towns and cities (two days from rural areas), whereas Standard Post will take a few working days to deliver nationwide. Standard costs NZ$0.50 for letters/postcards (NZ$0.80 for larger envelopes), Fast Post costs NZ$0.80 (NZ$1.20 for larger envelopes). International mail takes about 3-6 days to Australia (NZ$1.50), and 6-12 days to Europe, Asia and the United States (NZ$2). Post boxes are white, red and black and can be found in many areas throughout towns and cities, including information about when their contents are collected. Most post offices and smaller post shops have opening hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 12:30pm on Saturday. You can buy stamps here, or at newsagents and general stores. For parcels, you can use the NZ Post or otherwise courier companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx.
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Taupo searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Taupo and areas nearby.
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