Visit Taihape, Rangitikei, NZ

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  • Taihape is located at the southern edge of the Central Plateau, in a sheltered valley near the confluence of the Rangitikei and Hautapu Rivers. It has a long history of Maori occupation. The modern town was founded in 1897.

    Taihape was an isolated farming district until the main north-south road and railway line were built through the town early in the 20th century. Afterwards, the town became an important supply centre for agricultural industries, as well a large railway marshalling yards.

    Visitors to Taihape can enjoy walking and cycling in the surrounding ranges of hills, and participate in adventure activities around the Rangitikei River, including rafting, canoeing and trout fishing.


    Accommodation in Taihape (NZ)

    Taihape has several hotels and motels, and many bed & breakfast establishments, home-stay and farm-stay accommodation.

    There is backpacking accommodation in the town. Holiday parks for camping are located on the outskirts and at nearby locations such as Mangaweka.

    Boutiquelodges and holiday homes for rent can be found near Taihape and throughout the Rangitikei district.


    Transport around Taihape

    Located on State Highway 1, Taihape is about 20 minutes’ drive south of Waiouru, and 60 minutes north of Bulls. The east coast is accessible via State Highway 5, which crosses the Kaweka ranges towards Napier and Hastings – a journey of about 3 hours...

    The railway has long been integral to Taihape’s identity. However, passenger rail services have stopped and re-started intermittently over the past two decades as railway services have been transferred to the private sector. Currently, trains stop at Taihape only during summer the months.

    Inter-city coach services connect Taihape with main centres and other destinations in the Rangitikei District, such as Hunterville and Marton.

    Taihape has a small airport used by only charter aircraft and air services for farming industries.


    Tourist Activities around Taihape

    The Rangitikei near Taihape is well-regarded for its white-water rafting runs, which range from Grade 2 to Grade 5. Canoeists also enjoy paddling this cliff-flanked river as it flows through deep gorges and chasms.

    Tours of the river by jet-boat, four-wheel drive or onhorseback are popular. There are also hiking tours, including journeys that focus on Maori history of the region. Areas with good walking tracks include Taihape Scenic Reserve, 5 minutes’ walk from the town centre, and Paengaroa Scenic Reserve, 5 minutes’ drive north. Walks at Mount Stewart Scenic Reserve at the Inland Patea Heritage Trail are also popular.

    At Mokai Canyon, there are adventure activities including an 80 metre high bungy jump, 160 km/h flying fox (zip line), and giant swing.

    The town centre has a number of cafes, tea room and bistro restaurants, with art, craft and antique shops to visit.

    • Scroll down for Taihape accommodation & activity listings