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 north-east corner of Lake Taupo, and functions as a tourist centre, particularly in the summer, as it offers panoramic views over the Lake and Mountains to the south. To capitalise on the large number of visitors, Taupo has seen the development of a number of tourist ventures from Sky Diving, Jet Boating, "Paragliding" and other such activities.
The name Taupo comes from Māori, the full name is Taupo-nui-a-Tia. Taupo means shoulder cloak, nui big, a 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, shared with 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.
Description courtesy of Wikipedia