The Taupo District 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.
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.
Wording courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org/
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