Taupo. For our overseas readers we are going to try and tell you all about Taupo and why we love our little town so much.
A quick pronunciation lesson - Taupo is pronounced Toe pour. Think big 'toe' and 'pour' water and you are on to it. Who lives here? Only the best of course. We have a population of approx 40,000 people but this number is somewhat misleading. Taupo is a holiday town and we swell immensely during holidays and long weekends.
Taupo is the name of the town on the North East corner of the Lake from which we take our name. The lake was formed when a rather large eruption occurred approx 26,500 years ago. OK it was a very very large eruption and was one of the largest eruptions anywhere in the world in the last 70,000 years! So a big bang to say the least. The eruption left a large hole which eventually filled with water which is today Lake Taupo. It is 616 square kilometres in size (Thats 238 square miles for those who don't work in metric) but BIG is a good description.
Thankfully there were no humans living here at the time as the Maori didn't populate New Zealand until approx 1280. Taupo is still an active area with moderate fumaroles and hot springs around the lake so it is considered dormant rather than extinct. The up side to living on one of the largest calderas is that if the Taupo caldera decides to erupt at that level again - we won't know about it because we will be gone. OK maybe not an upside but it will be quick!
Little is really known about the history of the area but the local Iwi (People) are the Ngati Tuwharetoa who have been the main Iwi for the last several hundred years. The town of Taupo was started in 1869 but due to poor soil it was slow to take off and it wasn't until forestry and the Geothermal power station were started in the 50's that Taupo really started to populate.
Our town has many industries including farming, geothermal and tourism. We are home to many amazing things to see and do. Obviously with the Lake at the forefront of our town a lot of the activities revolve around the water. Trout fishing is a big thing down the bottom of the lake at Turangi (another lovely small town) and around the lake. Here in Taupo we have boats galore, fishing, doughboats (yes you read that right) and the most amazing hidden treasure is our Maori carvings. Only accessible by boat this is an absolute must to see when you visit. Just head down to the marina and book a tour.
There is also hot water bathing in Spa park and the most amazing waterfall called Huka falls. Jet boating or cruising the Waikato river or just walking the many trails you will find something for everyone. We have some incredible biking trails too plus if you ever feel the need to throw yourself off a cliff - we can help with Taupo Bungy. Bungy is fun - truly! Oh and the Wairakei terraces with geothermal pools to sooth your troubles away. Plus there is the Craters of the Moon for a trip to another world - bubbling mud and steam billowing and rotten egg smells to delight the young at heart.
Where will you find us? When you look at a map - New Zealand does occasionally not appear but don't despair! Find a map that New Zealand is on and you will see three main islands - two large and one small little one anchoring us down the bottom. Taupo is smack bang in the middle of the North Island. We have three Volcanoes at the south of the lake - Mount Ruapehu, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro. The world famous Tongariro crossing is one of the best hikes anywhere in the world.
So why would you come to Taupo? Well we know its wonderful and we are such sharing kind people we want the world to know about us. We quite literally have something for everyone here - adventure, soul soothing, walks, biking, views, mountains, snow, water and so much more. Plus Jumpers Taupo is just one of many amazing shops in town. Taupo is a shoppers heaven with small friendly stores that will delight everyone. We here at Jumpers Taupo sell the most amazing Merino and Possum Merino jumpers and we are happy to post overseas too. Lets face it who doesn't want to make their relatives overseas jealous of the clothing we have here!
So That is Taupo summed up in one small story. Come to Taupo and pop in and visit us at 73 Tongariro Street for the best jumpers you will find anywhere.