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Lake Taupo
This beautiful lake is about the size of Singapore - more of an inland sea really. It was created nearly two thousand years ago by a volcanic eruption so big it darkened the skies as far away as Europe and China.

The lake's volcanic origins are still evident today, from steam vents and warm water currents at the beaches to the ever-present views of the massive volcanoes in adjacent Tongariro National Park. There are several active geothermal areas to visit, where the earth hisses steam and mud boils in pools.

With 47 rivers and streams flowing into the lake, this area is renowned for trout fishing and kayaking. The Waikato River is the only river flowing out of the lake - at 425 kilometres in length it's New Zealand's largest natural waterway. For all New Zealanders, the Waikato River has always been a great provider - from fish, eel and freshwater lobster, to drinking water, irrigation and hydro-electric power.

The forests surrounding Lake Taupo offer hiking and mountain biking adventures to suit all levels of experience.

The resort town of Taupo, on the northern shore of the lake, is a skilled and experienced host. There's a large visitor information centre ready to help you get the most from your visit.