Taupo is a town on the shore of Lake Taupō in the centre of the North Island of New Zealand. It is the seat of the Taupō District Council and lies in the southern Waikato Region.
Taupō has a population of 24,100 (June 2016). In 1953, Taupō was officially constituted as a borough, but from 1989 it has been administered by the Taupo District Council, the district including both Taupō 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 Taupō, 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.
In 2009 a team of Taupō citizens won the TV2 programme Top Town.
Taupō is located at the outlet of Lake Taupō, New Zealand’s largest lake, in the northeast part of the lake where it discharges to the Waikato River. The river flows over the spectacular Huka Falls, a short distance north of the town. Taupō is a centre of volcanic and geothermal activity and hot springs suitable for bathing are located at several places in the vicinity. The volcanic Mount Tauhara lies six kilometres (4 mi) to the east.
Somewhat to the northeast are significant hot springs. These springs contain extremophile micro-organisms that live in extremely hot environments.
Taupō is situated on a stretch of State Highway 1, running concurrently with State Highway 5. It is situated 53 km north of Turangi. It is one of the few centres in New Zealand that were never linked to the rail network.
The small but growing satellite town of Kinloch, where there is a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, is 20 kilometres west along the lake.