Most New Zealand lakes are situated in New Zealand's South Island. The largest lake on this island is Lake Te Anau at 342 square kilometers (132 square miles).
The largest lake in New Zealand is Lake Taupo situated in the central North Island. It is 600 square kilometers and is really the crater of a super volcano. IN ancient times, Taupo was a conical volcano. It blew itself apart and formed the lake we see today. Taupo holds the world record for the biggest eruption in the last 5000 years and a previous eruption that is the biggest in the last 70,000 years.
The Rotorua area in the North Island has over 30 lakes, some of them contain thermal areas. Lake Hauroko is New Zealand's deepest lake at 462m (1515 feet). There are 775 lakes that are bigger than half a kilometre long. Lakes cover about 1.3% of the country's land area.
'Roto' is the Maori word for lake. Place names abound that start with 'roto' such as: Rotorua (second lake), Rotomahana (warm lake), Rotoiti (small lake), and Rotoroa (long lake).