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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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  • 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.

  • Scenic flights

    INFLITE Experiences Taupo - Overview

    INFLITE Experiences Taupo offers unforgettable helicopter tours, showing the best of Taupo's powerful volcanoes, thermal reserves, tranquil wilderness areas, colourful local lakes, sparkling rivers and coastlines.

    $99 - $790
  • 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

    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.

  • 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

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

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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