The Taupo Volcano has produced two of the world's most violent eruptions in geologically recent times. The first (known as the Oruanui eruption) occurred approximately 26,500 years ago, and the second (the Hatepe eruption) as recently as AD 232 (give or take five years). The Hatepe eruption was probably the most violent in the world in the last 5,000 years, unleashing about 30 cubic kilometres of material. The resulting pyroclastic flow moved at something between 600 and 900 kilometres per hour, and climbed 1,500 metres into the surrounding hills.

Lake Taupo was formed by the Oruanui eruption, and significantly enlarged by the Hatepe eruption.

© Haydn Thompson 2019