The small market town of Taihape lies on the southern edge of the Central Volcanic Plateau and promotes itself as the ‘Gumboot Capital of New Zealand’.

It takes a certain degree of boldness and fierce independence of spirit to claim such a title for your town. However, the locals have no doubt about the vital importance of gumboots in the rain swept valleys of the Rangitikei. They compete aggressively in the celebrated annual ‘Gumboot Throwing Contest’ in which participants endeavour to toss a gumboot the greatest distance across a paddock.

Taihape occupies a basin on the banks of the Hautapu River and was first known as Koronokonui, ‘The place of the big bird’, referring to the 5 metre tall giant moa which was the main source of protein for New Zealand’s earliest inhabitants and was hunted to extinction.

Today the citizens take pride in their parks and gardens. The Taihape Domain is a pleasant recreational reserve with a network of bushwalks, and the adjacent Oval has sports grounds, showgrounds and a swimming pool. Keen gardeners who visit Taihape are able to view the four showpiece gardens of Titoki, Rongoiti, Waitoka and Kiri Kiri, which are all within a one hour drive from the town.

Bus Pass New Zealand

The Rangitikei region stretches from Taihape to Bulls and includes many picturesque river valleys. The visitor centre in Hautapu Street has a pamphlet entitled ‘Rangitikei – The Undiscovered Secret’. This shows that within an extra long toss of the old boot from Taihape, there is a wide range of popular adventures including white-water rafting, abseiling, kayaking, horse trekking and bushwalking.

North of Taihape is the Waiouru Military Base, which includes the very polished Army Memorial Museum. The history of the New Zealand Army in times of war and peacekeeping operations is well told with very realistic displays and audio-visuals.

To the south is the tiny settlement of Mangaweka where you will find the Aeroplane Cafè, a venerable old D.C.3 aircraft, which has been converted to an elevated cafè beside the highway.

Taihape’s strong pioneering spirit will ensure that it will long retain its title, as ‘New Zealand’s only Gumboot City’.

By | 2016-11-26T18:57:44+00:00 August 31st, 2014|North Island Towns|0 Comments

About the Author:

Danny de Hek
Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people. My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch. My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

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