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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

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Geothermal

    Tokaanu Thermal Walk

    See steaming hot mineral pools and spluttering mud pools on this short, easy walk.

  • 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
  • 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.

  • 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

    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

    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.

    $115 Book now
  • Art galleries

    Taupo Art Gallery

    ..if a picture paints a thousand words then I hope that my landscapes reflect a little of me and my love of New Zealands wonderful scenery and often, tranquil moods.

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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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