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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
  • 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
  • Maori culture

    Kai Waho

    Kai Waho is an experience that is shared in the true essence of ‘manaakitanga’ with all visitors interacting with all activities.

  • 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.

  • Taupo town

    Scrapbook Cottage

    Your only scrapbooking and card making store based in Taupo.

  • Museums

    Volcanic Activity Centre

    Turangi’s Volcanic Activity Centre is a hands-on interactive educational tourist visitor attraction that makes understanding the earths volcanic forces easy and fun through a wide range of informative visual, electronic and interactive displays.

    $10 - $12
  • Cafes

    L'Arte Cafe & Gallery

    Come and escape the hustle and bustle of pavement dining and soak up our relaxed L’Arté atmosphere. A visual and edible feast. You won't be disappointed.

  • 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.

    $12 - $15 Book now
  • 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.

  • Performing arts

    The Haka Shop

    Maori Hangi dinner & Cultural show- Meet the real locals to hear the real stories of our tribal area. The Haka Shop welcomes you! Or take a walk with guide "Snow" or weave a mini kete with our expert weavers.

    $49 - $89 Book now

You might also like...

Gina Kiel painting a mural at Graffiato: Taupo Street Art Festival 2019

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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