Presenting a fascinating insight into the history and heritage of one of New Zealand’s most unique regions, the Lake Taupo Museum and Art Gallery adds another layer to the Taupo experience. The museum’s series of quirky exhibits are devoted to bringing Taupo’s rich culture to life, including a vibrant array of Maori artifacts and a gallery of contemporary artworks by regional artists.
The eclectic collection includes a room devoted to Taupo geology including an exhibition on the ‘supervolcano’ that lies beneath Lake Taupo and a virtual tour of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of the region’s most iconic hikes. Next up is a room devoted to Taupo industry, including a recreation of a 19th-century Taupo shop and a diorama of a North Island sawmill and tramway; followed by an elaborately carved Maori meeting house, the Te Aroha o Rongoheikume, filled with traditional Maori carvings, artworks and handicrafts. Other highlights include a fully kitted out 1960s caravan, designed in celebration of the time-honored tradition of the ‘Kiwi family holiday’ in Taupo; and the Ora – Garden of Wellbeing, an exquisite recreation of the New Zealand garden that scooped the gold prize at London’s 2004 Chelsea Flower Show.
Routes to take by transit: TPO Bus: Opp 9, 191.