Lake Taupō is a caldera – a depression formed by a large volcanic eruption of pumice and ash. Its present shape was formed after the Ōruanui eruption, about 26,500 years ago, with a smaller eruption in the northern part about 200 CE.
The area around the lake was originally covered by native bush. Much of the forest (dark-coloured) has been removed, and turned into pasture (light green). Fertiliser runoff from farmland has caused nutrient enrichment of the lake.
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