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Art & culture

Taupo has a vibrant arts culture bred by its relaxed pace of life, which draws many creatives and artisans to the region. From traditional Maori carving and weaving to contemporary painting, sculpture, ceramics, glass-blowing, wood-carving and street art, there’s a wealth of beautiful work to see (and even take home).

Taupo town centre has several art galleries and a small museum that host changing exhibitions. The popular annual Taupo Art Trail on Queen’s Birthday weekend goes inside local artists’ own studios to show their process up close.

In spring, the Graffiato: Taupo Street Art Festival is a high-energy celebration, bringing local and international artists to add to Taupo’s surprising and diverse collection of public murals.

The Lava Glass Sculpture Garden is a must visit for art fans. Featuring more than 600 handcrafted glass sculptures and is the only garden of this kind in New Zealand.

Like many resort towns, Taupo hosts boutique film festivals, local and travelling theatre shows and outdoor music events, including the annual Taupo Summer Concert, featuring international artists.

Discover the region's Maori culture heritage at the Taupo Museum, and visit some of New Zealand’s most significant Maori pa sites (fortified villages) where you can learn about the history of the famous Ka Mate Haka at Opotaka Historic Reserve or discover the site where the last major engagement of the New Zealand Wars was fought in 1869 at Te Porere Redoubt.

Art and culture activities and tours in Taupo

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  • Hot pools & health spas

    Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa - Guided Tour and Maori Experience

    Silcia terraces, thermal bathing pools, massage therapy, Maori cultural experiences, geothermal tours.

    $15
  • Volcanic/Geothermal

    Taupo Tours and Charters

    Taupo Tours and Charters offer tours and transport in the Taupo and Rotorua plus Hawkes Bay region. We will custom fit the tour or transport to your needs so that your stay in the area is maximised. We have comfortable buses with tinted windows.

    $20 - $100
  • Boat cruises

    Sail Barbary - eco sailing Lake Taupo

    Explore Lake Taupō on an eco-friendly scenic cruise with Sail Barbary. Enjoy stunning views as you set sail to explore the Māori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay. Book and enjoy a must-do experience on New Zealand's only commercial electric sail boat.

    $49 - $50 Book now
  • Boat cruises

    Cruise Kakariki to the Maori Rock Carvings

    This all-year-round activity offers relaxation, fun and adventure on the water. Get right up close to this culturally significant 46 foot (14m) high rock art. Enjoy amusing and current commentary on Lake Taupo, the volcanoes and the carvings.

    $40 - $45 Book now
  • Art galleries

    3 Art Gallery

    The 3 Art Gallery brings together the work of three local Taupo artisans using native and exotic wood and naturally coloured sand from around New Zealand. Purchase unique New Zealand art work, view artists at work or join a workshop and create your own piece of art.

  • Art galleries

    New Zealand Maori Creations

    Carvings, as preserved by Maori. Delani is a master carver, with pieces on display in a number of places.

  • Art galleries

    Red Rock Gallery

    We make art readily available to people by allowing them to get close to artworks, helping them to see the colours and forms that can not always be appreciated in a photo or online.

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Tane Flawless Graffiato Taupo Street Art Photo By Krystle Rakatau

Graffiato: Taupo Street Art Festival

New Zealand’s longest running annual street art festival. 

Art & culture

Art & culture events 

Music

Music events 

Markets

The Taupo Market 

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