Just 20 minutes from Waitomo, Te Kuiti hosts the New Zealand Shearing Championships. This annual event is held the weekend after Easter.
The prime time to visit Te Kuiti is in autumn when Te Kuiti puts on the Great NZ Muster, normally held the weekend after Easter each year. As well as all things sheepish (shearing contests, sheep races and more), you can see Maori culture groups performing and enjoy the street stalls.
At other times of the year, Te Kuiti is a good base for exploring the Waitomo Caves area or cycling the Timber Trail.
Local beauty spots include the Tatsuno Japanese Garden, Te Kuiti lookout, Mangaokewa Scenic Reserve and shearing statue and the Sir Colin Meads statue.
The Maori meeting house Tokanganui-a-Noho is beautifully carved and can be visited by arrangement. Visit Te Kuiti's i-SITE Visitor Information Centre for more information.