Next time you drive through Taupo, visit the Taupo Museum and Art Gallery in Story Place by the Tongariro Domain. The museum, shop and art gallery are open every day from 10.00 – 4.30 except Christmas Day and Good Friday.
Relax in the Ora Garden of Wellbeing. Based on the central North Island environment, this garden was designed by a team of New Zealanders and entered into the Chelsea Flower Show in London, in 2004, where it won a gold medal. The garden has been reconstructed, complete with original birdsong soundtrack, in its own courtyard and contains a number of Maori design elements including bronze guardian figures representing the four winds, and has a water feature.
Our art exhibitions display an eclectic and captivating array of work, from painting, photography and sculpture to fibre arts, pottery and quilting. Exhibitions change regularly so there is always something new to see and the work is frequently for sale.
The main entrance features a Wharenui, carved by renowned Rotorua carver, Tene Waitere, for his niece in the 1920s and known locally as the Reid Carvings. Gifted to the community, the carved pieces lay in storage for decades before being assembled in the museum.
Taonga (treasures) from the local iwi, Ngati Tuwharetoa, are displayed in the Tuwharetoa Gallery together historical paintings of the lake and mountains. ‘The Island’ is a 40-minute documentary about the significance of sacred Motutaiko Island and can be viewed on request.
On Sundays at 2.00pm you can join a guide for an informative hour-long walk around some significant historical sites. Alternatively You can also pick up a brochure at the museum and take a self-guided walk if Sunday is not suitable for you.
Other displays include volcanology, an almost complete moa skeleton, trout fishing, the Armed Constabulary, forestry complete with model bush railway, and a little old caravan, oozing nostalgia. The collection of World War II model aircraft will be on display again next year.
Visit the museum website for more information and to plan your trip: http://www.taupomuseum.co.nz
1: Te Hau Tonga – south wind guardian of the Ora Garden. Photo courtesy of Taupo Museum
2: Nostalgic 1960s era holiday caravan. Photo courtesy of Taupo Museum