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Lake Taupo.
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Around 1800 years ago Lake Taupo was an active volcano, that was the last time it erupted, so while it's been dormant all this time, it could still erupt again..

Apparently when it last erupted the ash and smoke was seen well into the northern hemisphere.. The resulting lake is now the by far the biggest in the country.. I'm not sure of the exact circumference, but driving round the entire lake takes in excess of 6 hours driving on reasonably easy roads, and by someone who knows the roads reasonably well..

From memory the deepest point of the lake is over 600 metres, so more than deep enough to swim in during the summer months.. Swimming isn't a good idea early/mid spring as the snow from the mountains like Ruapehu is melting and flowing down the rivers into the lake..

Nowadays, even though Taupo is dormant, it makes a very good swimming area and the water there is used to supply Taupo and all the other townships around the area with drinking water, the local councils pump out what they need, treat it and supply everyone in the region..

Even during droughts I've never seen the lake level drop by more than about 10 or 15 feet down the shoreline and the waters supplying a population of around 40,000 people and a few farms.. There's also a hydro dam on the northern end of the lake, this is about 10 minutes drive north of Taupo township and supplies quite a lot of power further north...
Love many, trust few, paddle your own waka.
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