Like many magnificent lakes, New Zealand’s largest lake is a crater lake. Formed by volcanic eruption, Lake Taupo sits in a caldera on the country’s North Island. This island has gained notoriety as of late due to its role in the Lord of the Rings movies.
The famous “Mount Doom” in many scenes is actually Mount Ruapehu, which sits beside Mount Tauhara, source of the lava flow that formed Lake Taupo’s caldera.
Rolling mountains surrounding Lake Taupo make the lake a tourist hot spot. Visitors also come for its abundant fish populations, as it supports hefty schools of brown trout, rainbow trout, crayfish and whitebait.
Many make an annual visit for the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge that runs its course around the lake in an area covered mostly by forest that includes beech and conifer trees, ferns and shrubbery.
Hydrothermal activity is common near Lake Taupo. Hot springs north and south of the lake are found at Rotokawa and Turangi that support extremophiles capable of living in the super-hot environments.
Lake Taupo is drained by the Waikato River, New Zealand’s longest.