Taupo is a small resort town on the north-east shores of New Zealand's biggest lake, Lake Taupo. It is at the heart of the volcanic Central Plateau.
There is plenty of evidence of the volcanic activity in the area, such as the Wairakei Geothermal Power Project and eerie, sulphorous landscape Craters of the Moon.
And Lake Taupo forms the source for New Zealand's longest river, the Waikato. The river tumbles over Huka Falls just north of town - what the falls lack in height they make up for in sheer volume of water.
South of Lake Taupo lies the spectacular wilderness of Tongariro National Park, home to three huge volcanos, Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. I spent a day enjoying the Tongariro Crossing, rated as New Zealand's best one-day walk.