Taupo spreads along the northeastern tip of the lake, where the Waikato River, New Zealand’s longest, flows out of Lake Taupo’s Tapuaeharuru Bay. The main road is Tongariro Street. Perpendicular to that are Heu Heu and Horomatangi streets, two of several that form the main shopping area. Tongariro Street runs into Lake Terrace, the continuation of State Highway 1 that runs around the lake and takes you to most of the motels. The settlements of Acacia Bay and Jerusalem Bay are just across on the western shore of the lake.
The Taupo i-SITE Visitor Centre (tel. 07/376-0027; www.greatlaketauponz.com) is easy to find—it’s on Tongariro Street, the main road through Taupo. It has a wide selection of brochures and can arrange fishing guides and licenses, tours, and activities. It also sells stamps, phone cards, and souvenirs. Hours are 8:30am to 5pm daily. Experience Taupo, 29 Tongariro St. (tel. 0800/368-775 in NZ, or 07/377-0705; www.experiencetaupo.co.nz), is another good source of information. They stay open later than the visitor center (till 7pm in summer, 6pm winter), and they can organize all your adventures in the region with no booking fees.