Gumboot Day is the town's biggest annual event, held every March. This silly festival has been running since 1985, and visitors flock to the town every year to participate in gumboot sports, such as the Gumboot Throwing Event and gumboot running races. The event was initially set-up as a way to draw crowds and raise awareness of Taihape's tourist attractions. However, the event has become a staple tourist attraction itself and many local shops now sell gumboot souvenirs, all year round, in honour of the festival. While you're in town, make sure you also snap a photo with Jeff Thompson's gumboot sculpture, made out of corrugated iron.Things to do
Another of Taihape's most popular tourist attractions is the Mokai Gravity Canyon, where you can go bungy jumping, bridge swinging, zooming on the giant flying foxing and riding on the chairlift. If you'd like something a bit more laidback, there are some great trout fishing spots in the area. If the fish aren't biting and you like bushwalking, you'll love Taihape's walking trails. Some of the best ones include: Taihape Scenic Reserve; Mt Stewart Reserve; Paengaroa Scenic Reserve; and the Inland Patea Heritage Trail, which actually goes from Taihape to Hastings and passes by the Rangitikei River. Once you've explored the great outdoors, head back into town for a bite to eat or a cup of coffee. Hautapu Street is the best place to do so. It's the town's main street and shopping strip, where you can pick up some gifts and souvenirs.Getting there
Palmerston North Airport is about half an hour from Taihape and to get around, you'll probably want to hire a car at the airport, if you haven't already arranged transport while you're here. After you've got your car, if you're keen to hit the ski slopes in winter, Ruapehu is less than an hour away.
Make the most of your trip to the Gumboot Capital with these cheap flights to Palmerston North and don't forget to book your Taihape accommodation.
Hotels in Taihape start at NZ$77 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.