Sprawled on the eastern slopes of Lake Taupo, the township is considered a holiday town and as such, one would expect to find the standard souvenir shops and chain stores… but don’t be fooled! If you are looking for some retail therapy with a focus on top-notch customer service combined with quality products, then you will enjoy the relaxed flow and ambience of the central Taupo township.
Along with designer fashion stores, tourist shoppers can also enjoy the unique range of quality New Zealand souvenirs, jewellery, arts and crafts from well-known tourism shops, including The Woolshed, which offers a wonderful range of classic New Zealand country wear, fine wool and sheepskin products plus a unique shearing set-up display. The largest souvenir collection in Taupo can be found at the New Zealand Corner, including Paua and greenstone jewellery, All Black souvenirs, Michael Campbell golf shirts and much more.
Taupo may not be considered the fashion capital of New Zealand, however there are many talented young fashion designers emerging from the area, which means there is plenty of opportunity for the savvy shopper to purchase designer ‘one-off’ clothing items from local and NZ wide garment designers.
The fashion conscious buyer should ensure they check out such stores as Molly N, which offers European style with Kiwi versatility for their range of shoes, handbags, gloves and accessories exclusively made in Spain. My Caravan is a relaxed designer store owned by Sera Hathaway. The boutique shop sells Sera’s own design label as well as labels from other New Zealand designers. This is the place to find fabulous female clothes, jewellery and accessories.
Of course it isn’t just fashion clothing that attracts shoppers into the heart of Taupo! The Jewellery Box offers a lovely selection of Kiwi inspired jewellery, including bone carving pendants and a large choice of pendants, necklaces and earrings made from Paua, Shell and Greenstone.
Art lovers will not be disappointed either when visiting the township of Taupo! There is a very good selection of fabulous and original art galleries featuring Taupo and New Zealand artists, with most of the work on display for sale.
Contemporary ethnic art is a speciality at Kura Gallery. This Taupo gallery has one of the best selections for quality ethnic New Zealand arts and crafts. Galleries such as Wildwood Gallery sell award winning wood turned art pieces by Robbie Graham along with watercolour and acrylic paintings by Sue Graham. Lava Glass has a glass blowing studio and gallery and is home to Glass Artist Lynden Over. Boasting amazing colours, you can purchase from a range of glass bowls, stopper bottles, vases, spiral bottles, galactic bowls, paperweights, pillar platters and more. All pieces are individually made, and therefore all vary slightly in shape size and design, making it an original artwork. Another great spot for art lovers to visit is the Lake Taupo Museum and Art Gallery.
Surprisingly, Taupo boasts an impressive array of specialist stores, and while you wont find any multi-level shopping malls, you can still easily find shops for your everyday and general requirements, including pharmacy shops, hairdressers, florists, music stores, travel agents, supermarket, banks, post office, photography, etc.
Major credit cards are accepted in most shops along with banks that can assist with changing travellers’ cheques and foreign currency.