7 Terrific Things to Do in Taihape

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Taihape activities you can’t miss!

Seeing the giant gumboot sculpture at the entrance to Taihape is a memorable part of any road trip around the North Island! But did you know there’s a lot more to explore in the Taihape area?! Taihape is not only known as the “Gumboot Capital of New Zealand”, but it’s also a fantastic base for walks, white water rafting, horse trekking and fishing! The classic rural country town has so much to offer, so if you want to make the most of it while you’re travelling on New Zealand’s main highway through the country, State Highway 1, then make sure you check out these 7 things to do in Taihape!

Taihape is not the only town worth stopping by in this interesting rural area of the North Island. Stop by these nearby towns and see what hidden gems there are to uncover:

Base

1. Have a gumboot throwing competition

Where else in the world has a gumboot throwing lane?! For a truly unique thing to do in Taihape, challenge your mates to a gumboot throwing competition. Whoever can launch their gumboots the furthest wins! There are gumboots already at the gumboot lane so all you need is yourself and a sense of fun. Why throw gumboots? It’s a fierce competition on Taihape’s annual Gumboot Day.

Location: On the road between Kiwi Street and Robin Street, across from the railway station.
BackpackerGuide.NZ(c) BackpackerGuide.NZ

2. Get a photo with the giant gumboot

This is the last we’ll mention gumboots, we swear. But another must-do activity in the Gumboot Capital is to take a photo with the giant gumboot sculpture made of corrugated iron. You can find it at the northern entrance to the town alongside State Highway 1. For more funny sculptures to see around the country, check out 22 BIG Things in New Zealand.

Location: 18/40 State Highway 1.
BackpackerGuide.NZ(c) BackpackerGuide.NZ

3. Walk up Mt Stewart

This 10-minute climb to the top of Mt Stewart takes you through a small tract of forest before reaching a viewing platform. Enjoy views of the town, surrounding countryside, and even Mt Ruapehu on a clear day!

Location: Start the walk behind the Giant Gumboot, 18/40 State Highway 1.
BackpackerGuide.nZ(c) BackpackerGuide.nZ

4. Visit the Taihape Museum

See early settler artefacts from Taihape and the surrounding area in the Taihape & Districts Historical and Museum Society (catchy name!). Check out relics from Taihape’s original stores and services within this collection of interesting antiques!

Location: 14 Huia Street.
Pxhere(c) Pxhere

5. Horse trek or go Rafting at River valley

Taihape is the closest town to one of the best adventure lodges in the North Island. Choose from grade 4 white water rafting on the Rangitikei River, horse trekking on majestic hills, or just relaxing at the lodge complete with bar and restaurant. For more places to try white water rafting, see 7 Places to go White Water Rafting in New Zealand.

Location: 31km from Taihape. Mangahoata Road.
BackpackerGuide.NZ(c) BackpackerGuide.NZ

6. Visit the National Army Museum

Whether you’re interested in New Zealand’s war history or not, this museum is packed with stories, historic wat memorabilia and tanks that are sure to impress anyone! Learn about New Zealand legends from the early Maori wars to New Zealand’s influence in the World Wars and more!

Location: 28.5km from Taihape. State Highway 1, Waiouru.
BackpackerGuide.NZ(c) BackpackerGuide.NZ

7. Go fishing at the Tarata Fishaway Lodge

Hidden in the valley of the Rangitikei River, this wilderness retreat lodge is a great base for guided fishing trips, guided raft fishing, scenic raft trips and more! Whether you’re a solo traveller looking for adventure, a couple looking for a getaway, or a family trip, the Tarata Fishaway can provide the best experience for you.

Location: 27km from Taihape. 925 Mokai Road, RD3.
Tourism NZ(c) Tourism NZ

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