fbpx The Taupō Catchment | LEARNZ

The Taupō Catchment

The Water Cycle
Lake Taupō's Web of Life

The Taupō catchment includes all the land and water courses which eventually drain into Lake Taupō.

Lake Taupō

The natural and physical environment is strongly centred around Lake Taupō. It is the largest body of freshwater in Australasia (622km²).

There are many smaller lakes, such as Rotoaira and Rotopounamu in the southwest and the sulphurous Lake Rotokawa in the north. Like Lake Taupō they were all formed by past volcanic activity.

Streams and rivers

Large catchments like Lake Taupō are made up of many sub-catchments. About 40 streams and rivers flow into Lake Taupō. These streams and rivers are higher above sea level than Lake Taupō. The largest are the Tongariro, the Waitahanui, the Hinemaiaia, Tauranga-Taupō, Waimarino and Waiotaka.

Freshwater leaves the Taupō catchment via the Waikato River and flows into the Tasman Sea.

A healthy catchment

A healthy catchment should be able to filter and clean water as it flows overland and seeps through the ground. Water, soil, plants, animals and humans are all linked together within a catchment. Whatever happens in the sub-catchments affects the overall wellbeing of the waterways lower down.

Healthy catchments are important for human survival. They are often where our food is grown and where the water we drink comes from. For the Lake Taupō catchment, clean water is important for the many businesses that rely on Lake Taupō and its surrounding freshwater environments (see Wai Tourism).

Audio Māori keywords: 

Investigate: Find out what the catchment is for a lake near you. What can people living in this catchment area do to make sure they do not have a negative impact on the water flowing into this lake?

Lake Taupō is the largest body of freshwater in Australasia. Image: LEARNZ.

Lake Taupō was made from a volcanic eruption. Image: LEARNZ.

The largest river flowing into Lake Taupō is the Tongariro. Image: LEARNZ.

Water leaves Lake Taupō through the Waikato River. Image: LEARNZ.

The Water Cycle
Lake Taupō's Web of Life