Taupo District

The Taupo District is a district in New Zealand. It 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.

Taupo District
Eastern Lake Taupo, Turangi to Taupo

Location of Taupo Territorial Authority within New Zealand
CountryNew Zealand
Main towns and settlementsTaupo, Kinloch, Turangi, Mangakino
  MayorDavid Trewavas
  Parliamentary electorateTaupō
  Territorial authorityTaupo District Council
  Total6,970 km2 (2,690 sq mi)
 (June 2018)[1]
  Density5.5/km2 (14/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
  Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
Area code(s)07

Local government

The district is governed by the Taupo District Council, with the vast majority of the district falling within the jurisdiction of Waikato Regional Council.


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.


The town of Taupo is situated on the north-eastern shore of the lake, and Turangi is at the lake's southern extremity.

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


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