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Great Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Lake Taupo is a lake situated in the North Island of New Zealand and it is the largest lake by surface area in New Zealand. It is drained by the Waikato River (New Zealand’s longest river), while its main tributaries are the Waitahanui River, the Tongariro River, and the Tauranga Taupo River. It is a noted trout fishery with stocks of introduced brown trout and rainbow trout.

Tourism is a major component of Taupo’s commercial sector, and the city attracts over 2 million visitors per year. The busiest time for the industry is the high summer season around Christmas and New Year. Taupo hosts the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, a cycling tour around the lake which can take anywhere between four and ten hours. Hundreds of volunteers from the Taupo township are involved in the event. Skydiving is a popular local sport and tourist attraction. Taupo also hosts the Kellogg’s Iron Man event.

On the north west side of Lake Taupo on the cliffs of Mine Bay, there are M?ori rock carvings created in the late 1970s by Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell and John Randall. Carved in likeness of Ngatoroirangi, a navigator who guided the Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa tribes to the Taupo area over a thousand years ago according to M?ori legend. The 10-metre-high carving is intended to protect Lake Taupo from volcanic activities underneath. The cliff has become a popular tourist destination with hundreds of boats and yachts visiting the spot daily.

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The two major tribes of Lake Taupo are Tuwharetoa from the Te Arawa waka and Ngati Maniapoto from the Tainui waka. Ngati Maniapoto also descend through Te Arawa waka as the mother of Maniapoto was Turongoihi, who married Raukawa (Maniapoto’s father). Turongoihi was a direct descendant of Tia for which the name “Tauponui a- Tia” comes from. Ngati Rora( a hapu from Ngati Maniapoto) also descend from the Te Arawa waka through ancestors Ngatoroirangi, Tohoto-ariki, Ngaruahaoa, Tuwharetoa, Tamatekapua,Rangitihi, Pikiao, Hei, Tuparahaki.