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Maori Rock Carvings, Lake Taupo attraction

  • 3 minutes

North Island, New Zealand

Ngatoroirangi Mine Bay how to get there

Maori Rock Carvings situated on Lake Taupo is an unmissable and a #nzmustdo attraction. Appreciate the artistic skill of the Maori Rock Carvings as they stand sentinel on their cliff face overlooking Lake Taupo.

While the Maori Rock Carvings is only accessible by water there are several ways to get to the Carvings. Join a leisurely cruise, sail to the Carvings or kayak. Multiple travel options mean the Maori Rock Carvings are accessible for all visitors including mobility impaired. Enjoy viewing magnificent art nestled in the cliff face as you float on Lake Taupo.

The towering carvings near Mine Bay were carefully crafted by master artisan Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell in the 1970’s. The artist portrays the story of Polynesian navigator Ngatoro-i-rangi who guided the Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa tribes to the Taupo district hundreds of years ago.

Sail boat sailing near the iconic Maori Rock Carving at lake Taupo in the North Island of New Zealand.
Sail boat sailing near the iconic Maori Rock Carving at lake Taupo in the North Island of New Zealand

What is the best time to go to the Maori Rock Carvings?

The best time to visit the Maori Rock Carvings is peak summer season, December to mid-March as this period offers visitors plenty of choice how to get there as well as sailings several times a day. There are cruises to the Maori Rock Carvings throughout the year.

Maori rock carvings are among the 11 popular attractions and things to do in Taupo. Check out the Taupo / Turangi travel guide for more information.

Family-friendly Maori Rock carvings – leisurely cruise

A cruise on the Ernest Kemp, a replica steamer is ideal for couples looking for the romance of a bygone era. Families looking to keep kids safe while on the open water of Lake Taupo will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere aboard the Ernest Kemp steamer.

  • Kids might be invited to check out what the skipper does while stearing the boat
  • Raided safety rail surrounding the deck
  • The vessel has comfortable seating both inside and out. The lake can get rough but the Ernest Kemp with its heavy steel hull ensures your cruise is as smooth as possible.
  • Kids activity books
  • There are steps to access the boat from the wharf. Strollers are not encouraged to take onboard due to the limited space
Maori Rock Carvings, NZ
Maori Rock Carvings, NZ

Walk along Taupo’s lakeside promenade and grab a SELFIE of #LOVETAUPO signage.

Maori Rock carvings, Taupo, New Zealand
Maori Rock carvings, Taupo, New Zealand

Family-friendly Maori Rock Carvings – Chris Jolly outdoors catamaran

A short lake journey of 90 minutes on the fast Cat to the Maori Rock Carvings.

  • Kids activity program
  • The Cruise cat is stroller friendly and has wheelchair access though not a disabled toilet on board
  • The skipper invites kids to have a go at driving the boat!

All passengers on Chris Jolly Outdoors scenic cruises will have a dollar from their ticket price go towards the planting project with The Opepe Farm Trust.

Romance – Lake Taupo – Maori Rock carvings

Sunset sailing on Lake Taupo is the stuff of lifetime memories for couples, swim, cruise and relax on the Kindred Spirt, Taupo Sailing Adventures.

Need a bit to eat before boarding the boat for the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carving excursion, then check out Taupo foodie experience, where to eat – Best Bits and we promise you will not go hungry.

On the water, paddle to the Maori Rock carvings, Taupo

  • Kayak past quiet bays and native bush reserves, view pumice strewn beaches and pear into the depths of deep blue Lake Taupo on your way to Mine Bay Maori Rock carvings.
  • Guided trips are run daily by Canoe and Kayak
New Zealand, view to Maori cave art with two tourists in kayak in front
New Zealand, view to Maori cave art

Eco-friendly cruising Lake Taupo to Mine Bay Maori Rock carvings

  • Sail away on Sail Barbary yacht with its electric engine. The yacht is re-charged overnight at the harbour.
  • Sail Barbary is super quiet, zero-emissions 100% sustainable electric yacht. No fumes and no noise

Are you interested in Maori culture and would like to learn more?

Nearby Taupo is Rotorua (55 minutes drive) with outstanding Maori cultural and artistic entertainment. Check out Things to do in Rotorua. Activities, Attractions & Places to Visit and one of New Zealand’s amazing day trips between Taupo to Rotorua.




Best Bits travel guide is published by Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.


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