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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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  • Art galleries

    Tukairangi Gallery / Ross Palmer Pottery

    Tukairangi Gallery is the home and studio of master potter Ross Palmer, and his wife Annie. Discover an always-evolving range of beautiful handmade wheel-thrown and dramatic free-form ware, all in signature rich colourful glazes.

  • Boat cruises

    Kindred Spirit - Maori Carvings Sailing Tour

    Escape the hectic of life and experience the beauty of the lake and the Māori Rock Carvings on Lake Taupō's largest charter yacht Kindred Spirit with superior comfort.

    $39 - $59 Book now
  • Art galleries

    Wildwood Gallery

    Our gallery displays fine art woodturning, sculpture and paintings by husband and wife team, Robbie and Sue Graham, plus quirky pottery and more.

  • Maori Cultural Attractions

    Taupo Kayaking Adventures

    Taupo Kayaking Adventures (TKA) specialises in guided scenic tours and trips on Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest fresh water lake, rivers, streams, walking and mountain biking tracks and trails in the Great Lake Taupo Region.

    $65 - $400 Book now
  • Art galleries

    Taupo Museum and Ora - Garden of Wellbeing

    'Sharing Taupo stories with the world' is the motto of this vibrant district museum which contains an array of exhibits with everything from Maori treasures, a Kiwiana caravan and art galleries.

    $3 - $5
  • Heritage attractions

    Tongariro National Trout Centre

    Discover the world of freshwater Trout. Come and learn about the freshwater habitat of Trout. Take your Kids Fishing. We have a Kids Pond that is great for catching a trout. Book now to avoid disappointment.

    $15
  • Art galleries

    Pihanga Art Gallery

    Showcasing and selling paintings, ceramics, sculpture, fibre art, jewelry, Harakeke flax art and woodturning created by a group of artists living in the Turangi / Tongariro area.

  • Boat cruises

    Sail Fearless - Māori Carvings Sailing Tour

    "Be Fearless" and take an amazing sailing trip on Great Lake Taupo, sailing to the Maori Rock carvings. It's a great affordable and family friendly cruise.

    $39 - $59 Book now
  • Maori culture

    Opotaka Historic Reserve

    Opotaka is a historical Māori pa site (fortified village) where you can learn about the history of the famous Ka Mate Haka, see the remains of the Māori settlement, and enjoy spectacular views across Lake Rotoaira to Mt Tongariro.

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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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