​Discover Taupo Museum's treasures, browse our pleasant galleries and share the unique history, culture and stories of our community.

Tuwharetoa Gallery

Tuwharetoa is the name of the local Maori tribe (Iwi) who have lived in the Taupo area for centuries. Today, the people of Ngati Tuwharetoa make up close to 30 per cent of the population of the Taupo district and are the sixth biggest Iwi in the country.

Explore Taupo's Maori history and heritage, feel the spirit of this diverse people and their dynamic living culture and learn about their relationship with ancestral lands, waters, cultural sites and  taonga (treasures). 

A 15 metre waka made from one mighty Totara log is the centrepiece exhibit, representing the journey from the past to present.

Kiwiana Caravan

This old caravan is brimming over with memorabilia from the late 1950s and early 1960s. Climb aboard the tiny, 2125mm wide x 3100mm long, three berth, New Zealand made, Anglo Imp caravan and recall the simple pleasures of holidays of yesteryear.

This delightful time capsule celebrates the Taupo District's role as a year round playground - a role that continues today. 


Maori Meeting House

Carved in Taupo between 1927 and 1928 by master carver Tene Waitere, this beautifully-crafted meeting house, known as Te Aroha o Rongoheikume (for the love of Lucy Reid) stands in the foyer, welcoming visitors to the museum.

The carvings were made for his niece Mrs Ruhi (Lucy) Rongoheikume Reid (nee Rickit) and gifted to the people of Taupo after her death. 


Taupo's Volcanic Secrets

This display focuses on the numerous powerful volcanic eruptions which have shaped the caldera volcano now filled by Lake Taupo and the cycle of eruptions and volcanic mudflows from Mt Ruapehu's crater lake in nearby Tongariro National Park. 

 Become an armchair tramper and explore the famous day walk, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in a virtual field trip.


Ruaumoko - God of Geothermal

This unique artwork was carved on site at the museum by Taupo artist Delani Brown in 2010. 'Ruaumoko, the god of geothermal, volcanoes and earthquakes', is depicted in this 2.3 metre high carving.

The natural root structure gives this atua (god) a fantastic appearance in keeping with Ruaumoko's power and mana. He was carved from the lower trunk section of an ancient kauri tree from the far north of New Zealand. The timber was recovered from a peat swamp from where it had lain buried for thousands of years.

This wonderful carving was purchased for the Taupo Museum in August 2010 jointly by MB Century and the Taupo District Council. Since 1949, MB Century has taken the leading role in the field of geothermal investigation drilling and development in the central North Island.

It is therefore entirely appropriate that MB Century embraced the development of the artwork and donated Ruaumoko the geothermal god in a display celebrating this area's fascinating geothermal features and also the use of geothermal energy.

Other Displays

Other interesting, educational and fun displays include: Anglers Paradise, Men of the AC, Taupo's Volcanic secrets, SS Tongariro, Lake Ferry, The Busy Corner Store and Timber Tales of Old.

Page reviewed: 17 Aug 2017 1:29pm