I have to say, New Zealand really does have some of the best tourist information offices I've come across, and the one at Tirau is no exception. They seem to make an extra effort over here.
The one at Tirau, apart from being built as a giant corrugated dog which of course makes it a bit of a one off, has been painted inside with murals of the native bush and beaches. The usual stock of postcards and leaflets is here with info on places to stay and things to do. Helpful staff, as ever.
Tirau caters beautifully for the tourist without ripping the tourist off. There are plenty of cute boutiquey type gift shops, cafes and coffee shops, and of course, in true Tirau style, they advertise their wares with some really original signs made from corrugated iron.
Tirau is definitely a place where you can wander up the main street, peer in shop windows, nip inside and treat yourself to a keepsake, then sit outside with a coffee or a glass of wine and do some people watching.
Here is a picture of yours truly, Allikat outside Alleycats, a cafe~come~giftshop.
I really enjoyed my recent lunch stop in Tirau. I had never noticed before, as I drove through, how much effort had been put into the corrugated iron art work around town. It gives the place a zany feel and differentiates it well from other small rural towns in the North Island!
This is just one example of what you can spot walking around town.
And Tirau even has its own castle! I saw it quite some distance away on the top of a hill as we approached the town, and thought it looked impressive, but after we finally found the little road leading up to it, the castle was closed and the exterior reminded me more of plastic or polystyrene than anything else.
Tip: if you like castles, admire from a distance!
Favorite thing: Another example of some of the pretty countryside we drove through during this day, in the Tirau region. Mostly the whole day long, the scenery was beautiful and hilly and oh so green.
Favorite thing: I was most taken with the beautiful farming countryside around Tirau. It's so green it reminded me of Ireland (a very great contrast compared to Victoria's dry brown countryside in summer and autumn)
Favorite thing: Here is another of the quaint shops, with the supermarket on the left. (Note the cow wheeling a trolley!) Very original ideas...
Favorite thing: This giant sheep is right next to the Dog Information Centre, and is a souvenir shop selling...you guessed it....all types of woollen products, and many good quality souvenirs.