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Art & Māori culture

Taupō has a vibrant arts culture bred by its relaxed pace of life, which draws many creatives and artisans to the region. From traditional Māori 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 Taupō Art Trail on Queen’s Birthday weekend goes inside local artists’ own studios to show their process up close.

In spring, the Graffiato: Taupō Street Art Festival is a high-energy celebration, bringing local and international artists to add to Taupō’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, Taupō hosts boutique film festivals, local and travelling theatre shows and outdoor music events, including the annual Taupō Summer Concert, featuring international artists.

Discover the region's Māori cultural heritage at the Taupō Museum, and visit some of New Zealand’s most significant Māori 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 & Māori culture activities and tours in Taupō

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  • Boat cruises

    Scenic boat tour to the Māori 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.

    $49 Book now
  • 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.

    $59 - $69 Book now
  • Kayaking

    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
  • 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

    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.

  • Arts & crafts

    Lava Glass Glassblowing Studio Tour

    Lava Glass is the playground of Lynden Over, one of New Zealand's leading glass artists. In his studio, you get the opportunity to watch him and resident artists at work. Lava Glass is the first certified net carbon zero glass studio in the world.

    $12.50 - $20
  • Taupō town

    Scrapbook Cottage

    Your only scrapbooking and card making store based in Taupo.

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Graffiato: Taupō Street Art Festival

New Zealand’s longest running annual street art festival. 

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