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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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  • 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.

  • Art galleries

    ZeaYou Gallery

    ZeaYou Gallery has been a Taupo icon in the CBD for the past 27 years. Now relocated to the top level of Brantry House.

  • Art galleries

    Tukairangi Gallery / Ross Palmer Pottery

    Discover our range of beautiful handmade wheelthrown and dramatic freeform ware, all in signature rich colourful glazes.

  • Geothermal walks

    Tokaanu Thermal Walk

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

  • Māori culture

    Opotaka Historic Reserve - Lake Rotoaira

    Opotaka is a historical Maori pa site (fortified village) where you can learn about the history of the famous Ka Mate Haka, see the remains of the Maori settlement, and enjoy spectacular views across Lake Rotoaira to Mt Tongariro.

  • Boat cruises

    Taupo Sailing Adventures - Sail Fearless - Māori Rock Carvings Sailing Tour

    Come on board and be fearless. Sail aboard Lake Taupō's pirate-flagged sailing boat to the Maori Rock carvings. Sustainable and family friendly cruise.

    $49 Book now
  • Horse treks

    Enchanted Forest and Te Waimarino River

    Ride through the Enchanted forest to the beautiful Waimarino River.

    $90
  • Arts, Culture and Heritage

    Lava Glass Sculpture Garden

    Wander through an arty oasis featuring manicured grounds and hundreds of glass sculptures.

    $12.50 - $20
  • Sailing

    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
  • 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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You might also like...

Graffiato: Taupō 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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