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Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings Tours

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Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings
The unique art and handicrafts produced by New Zealand’s Maori population are among the country’s most vibrant and celebrated art works. There are few better examples than the Mine Bay Maori Rock carvings. One of the most striking attractions of Lake Taupo, the immense carvings adorn the cliff faces of the bay, towering over 10 meters high.

Although the designs appear like the remains of an ancient Maori settlement, they were in fact carved by artist Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell in the 1970s, taking three summers to complete. The dramatic works are some of the largest rock art of their kind in the world, depicting Ngatoroirangi – the Maori visionary who guided the Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa tribes to Lake Taupo over a thousand years before. Flanking Ngatoroirangi are two smaller carvings depicting the south wind and a mermaid, and utilizing traditional Maori stone-carving techniques.

Only viewable from the water, visiting the Maori Rock Carvings is a popular boat excursion from Taupo, but it’s also possible to get there by kayak, offering an incredible up close view of the figures as you float beneath the cliffs.
Address: New Zealand
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Cultural Tours

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Maori Rock Carvings Scenic Cruise

Carved in the 1970s by one of Aotearoa’s master Māori carvers, the Mine Bay rock carvings are a striking Taupō attraction. They’re also impossible to access on foot, so hop on board a charming replica steamboat and take a scenic cruise out to the carvings instead. Learn all about the history and the myths behind the carvings from your steamboat crew, and along the way enjoy pristine views of Lake Taupō and beyond, including the nearby volcanoes Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe.
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  • 100 to 120 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$ 28.96
From  
US$ 28.96
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  • 100 to 120 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Day Cruises

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Daily Scenic Maori Rock Carving Cruise Taupo

Cruise around the scenic bays of Lake Taupo and admire the Maori Rock Carvings during this 1.5-hour boat tour. Aboard the boat, listen to informative commentary about the ecology, volcanology and cultural history of the area. Admire the impressive views of the snowy mountain tops of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park and Lake Taupo's picturesque shores. See the Maori Rock Carvings depicting the legends of the local Tuwharetoa tribe. Choose from morning departure (includes tea) or afternoon departure (includes a fishing demonstration).
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$ 27.25
US$ 30.28
US$ 3.03 savings
From  
US$ 27.25
US$ 30.28
US$ 3.03 savings
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Sailing Trips

Maori Rock Carvings Sailing Tour

Sail Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, and get up close to the Māori Rock Carvings on this 2.5-hour sailing tour. Aboard Fearless, a sleek ketch boat, you’ll set sail on the impossibly blue Lake Taupo at the heart of the North Island. Choose to rig and hoist the mainsail with the crew, or sit back and let the views wash over you as you sail to the secluded spot where Māori figures have been etched into the rock face. This sailing trip is limited to just 14 people, ensuring a more intimate experience.
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  • 150 to 180 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$ 25.67
From  
US$ 25.67
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  • 150 to 180 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Kayaking & Canoeing

Half-Day Kayak to the Maori Carvings from Taupo

Take in the scenery of Lake Taupo during this half-day kayaking tour from Taupo. After a brief paddling lesson, set out in your kayak from Jerusalem Bay. Follow your guide along the shoreline of New Zealand’s largest lake to rock cliffs where you can see Maori carvings. Stop at a scenic spot for snacks and an optional swim on a tour that is suitable for all levels of experience.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$ 65.16
From  
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Sailing Trips

Maori Rock Carvings Sailing Trip in Taupo

Relax aboard a sailing yacht on Great Lake Taupo during this sightseeing cruise to Maori rock carvings. Accessible solely by water, this impressive rock art on the cliffs of Mine Bay was created by a master carver in 1976. You’ll come up close to the 22-foot-high (10-meter) gallery and enjoy postcard views from the deck. Relax with a complimentary glass of wine or beer if you sail in the evening.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$ 32.25
From  
US$ 32.25
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation


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