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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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  • 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
  • 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
  • Maori Cultural Attractions

    Scenic boat tour to the Maori Rock Carvings with Chris Jolly Outdoors

    Chris Jolly Outdoors has been looking after you for 40 years and that continues during COVID-19. Our ability to socially distance you on your 90 minute tour makes us part of your 'top things to do in Taupō'. Spacious and sparkly clean.

    $35 Book now
  • 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
  • Maori Cultural Attractions

    Backyard Tours

    Nau mai Hāere mai - Greetings and Welcome. Backyard Tours transport services customers to and from having fun in the snow at Ruapehu Whakapapa Ski fields and hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Ask us if booking groups or other need of transport.

    $30 - $50 Book now
  • Maori Cultural Attractions

    Maori Rock Carvings with Taupo Kayaking Adventures

    We will take you on a 1/2 day adventure kayaking to the impressive 14m high Maori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay, Lake Taupo. Only close-up viewing is accessible by water, a visit to the carvings is the must do activity in Taupo.

    $120 Book now
  • 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
  • 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

    Lake Taupo Cruises

    Offering scheduled daily cruises to the world famous Māori Rock Carvings with the iconic replica steamboat Ernest Kemp, or private charters aboard the luxurious Regal Flyer showcasing beautiful Lake Taupō.

    $35 - $46 Book now
  • 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

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You might also like...

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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