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5 ways to visit the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings

The Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings are one of New Zealand's most extraordinary contemporary art works. Towering 14-metres above Lake Taupo, they are only accessible by water. Check out our guide to the 5 best ways to visit this iconic New Zealand attraction.

Family-friendly boating


To keep the little ones safe and happy, you can't beat a boat cruise. The Ernest Kemp is a replica steam boat that glides peacefully over the lake, even when it is a bit choppy. There is plenty of indoor space and a raised rail guard around the deck so the kids can run around safely. Refreshments are available on board. The little ones will love feeding the ducks that fly up to the side of the boat and visiting the skipper to steer the wheel. Find out more about Ernest Kemp.

Romantic sunset sails


Watch the sun go down over Lake Taupo and the mountains of the Tongariro National Park as you drift over the water on a yacht. Sail Barbary's summer sunset cruise and Sail Fearless' sunset heaven cruise to the carvings leaves at 7.30pm and includes a complimentary drink and pizza. You can help the skipper sail the yacht or just relax on deck and breath it all in.

In winter, you can cosy up on Chris Jolly Outdoor's Knight Rider scenic cruise every Friday and Saturday. As you reach Mine Bay by moonlight, the carvings will be lit up with a powerful LED torch allowing you to take in every detail. Find out more about Chris Jolly's Knight Rider.

Kayak for the nature lover

Paddle past native bush clad hills, steep pumice cliffs and hidden bays over the crystal-clear waters of Lake Taupo on your way to the Mine Bay Maori rock carvings. Guided trips are run daily by Canoe and Kayak and Taupo Kayaking Adventures. No experience is necessary, and all equipment will be supplied. Not sure if you are able for it? Motorised kayaks are available from Taupo Kayaking Adventures so you can relax and enjoy the scenery worry-free. Find out more about Canoe and Kayak and Taupo Kayaking Adventures.

Sociable sailing fun

The pirate-themed Sail Fearless is the not-so-buried treasure of Taupo. The 18-seater yacht allows for a more intimate and sociable experience with plenty of opportunities to chat with the friendly crew. The economically-priced trip includes a dedicated swim-stop, complimentary pizza and drinks. Find out more about Sail Fearless.

Eco-friendly yacht cruise

Sail Barbary's two yachts produce no pollution, noise, fumes or vibrations thanks to their eco-friendly electric engines. The yachts are re-charged overnight at the harbour. You can enjoy the stunning scenery with a conscious as clear as the water you are sailing over. Find out more about Sail Barbary.

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Iconic Maori Rock Carvings to get significant facelift

New Zealand master carver, Matahi Brightwell, has commenced work on a major refurbishment of his iconic Lake Taupo rock carving. 

Maori culture experiences 

Multi day trip

48 hours in Taupo 

Must do's in Taupo 

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  4. 5 ways to visit the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings