There is so much to learn about the earliest traditions and local legends, many stories dating from pre-European times.
Lake Taupo is rich in local Maori history and the place to come and experience authentic Maori culture, activities, and food such as hangi (traditional Maori feast served from an earth oven). This small town is buzzing with life and offers an abundance of diverse culture, music, unique food & wine, and arts.
These are a few of our favourite local must-do’s!
Home to a variety of New Zealand heritage and culture, from historic treasures to contemporary art, the Taupo Museum is inexpensive and located right in the heart of Taupo. It includes the award winning “Ora, the 100% Pure New Zealand Garden of Wellbeing’. The art exhibitions are always changing so be sure to check out their website for current and future exhibits.
Kai Waho is a Maori phrase meaning “outdoor cuisine” or can be used to describe a master or teacher of the ways of the wilderness. The Kai Waho experience merges these two meanings to give you an unforgettable authentic Maori food and wilderness experience. Take a 35 minute off-road drive to a cabin (Whare) to 3,000 feet, on the eastern rim of Taupo basin and get exclusive access to a magnificent native forest and the finest, Maori cultural experience available anywhere.
Discover New Zealand’s military history at the National Army Museum. New Zealand’s most comprehensive Army museum gives you access to a fantastic collection of military exhibits, memorabilia and public research material. Engage with real life soldiers’ stories and reflect on how conflict has shaped New Zealand. Located in Waiouru and about an hours drive south of Taupo, this museum, cafe, and gift shop, is well worth the drive!
Visit the The Trout Centre to see and feed wild trout in their natural environment. Take a walk through the park, see trout in the underwater viewing chamber and other fish memorabilia, and don’t miss the Riverwalk beside the famous Tongariro River. This is a great place to stop if you are heading to the National Army Museum as it is about half way between Taupo & and Waiouru.
This unique gallery is situated in the CBD and represents some of New Zealand’s best-loved artists as well as emerging talent. The word Kura means “treasure” in Maori and the gallery features work that speaks of whom Maori are as a culture. See carving, original paintings, weaving, ceramics, sculpture, jewellery, and prints.
Luxurious and elegant accommodation right on the edge Lake Taupo. Offers a range of studios and one bedroom units, all with spa baths. Plus luxury lakefront apartments. With direct lake access, heated pool and thermal spa pool. Free WiFi and parking.