Tokaanu is a small settlement close to Turangi at the southern end of Lake Taupo. The Tokaanu Thermal Pools and the easy access to Lake Taupo make it a popular lakeside holiday destination. A short walking track through the Tokaanu thermal area leads past steaming hot mineral pools and small mud pools dotted amongst the native bush. To the east of Tokaanu, another short walking track leads up the 490m high Manganamu, an extinct lava dome. Also in the area is the Tokaanu hydro dam which is the biggest dam in the Tongariro power scheme
Before the development of Turangi in the 1960s, Tokaanu was the main settlement at the southern end of Lake Taupo. It had been known to Māori for centuries for its natural thermal pools. The pools became a major stopover on the Grand Tour stage coach run from Wanganui to Taupo in the 1800s. Passengers arrived by stage coach from Waiouru, and departed by steam launch from the historic Tokaanu wharf onwards to Taupo. The Tokaanu Power Station was built in the 1960s.