Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
| ||Urban Area||Population||20,300|
|Extent||Nukuhau to Waipahihi|
|Extent||Mangakino to Mount Ngauruhoe;
east to the headwaters of the Rangitaiki River
Taupo has a population of 20,310 (2001 census). Until 1989 Taupo was officially described as a city, but it is now administered by the Taupo District Council, the district including both Taupo itself and the surrounding hinterland. Despite this, it is still occasionally referred to as a city.
Taupo is located at the northeast corner of Lake Taupo, and functions as a tourist centre, particularly in the summer.
The name Taupo comes from Maori, the full name is Taupo-nui-a-Tia. Taupo meaning shoulder cloak, nui meaning big, a meaning of and Tia the name of the discoverer of the lake, literally translated it means The great cloak of Tia.
It is situated on a stretch of State Highway 1 which is technically also part of State Highway 5.
To the north of the town is the geothermal power station at Wairakei , and hot springs suitable for bathing are located at several places in the vicinity of Taupo. One of New Zealand's most spectacular waterfalls, the Huka Falls is also close to the town on the nascent Waikato River.
The Taupo District covers 6,350 km2 of land, as well as a further 610 km2 of lake area, both in Lake Taupo, the country'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.
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