The Volcanic Plateau is an area in the Central North Island of New Zealand. It is a relatively uninhabited area of the country that lies to the south of Lake Taupo and is dominated by the volcanic cones of Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. With a bit of creativity, you may recognize this landscape from Peter Jackson's Return of the King, where it was aided with the liberal use of computer graphics to become Mordor.
The Volcanic Plateau lies at the southern end of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, that extends through Taupo and Rotorua and out beyond White Island in the Bay of Plenty. The plateau was formed by the eruption of the super-volcano that formed, and is, Lake Taupo.