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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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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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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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