Tirau Travel Guide

  • Most signs are this style of iron.
    Most signs are this style of iron.
    by kiwi
  • Tirau's main road.
    Tirau's main road.
    by worldkiwi
  • Looks like a sheep I suppose
    Looks like a sheep I suppose
    by iandsmith

Tirau Things to Do

  • The Big Sheep Wool Gallery.

    When it comes to big sheep, I'm reminded of the one on the outskirts of Goulburn in N.S.W. but this is certainly a worthy challenger. Situated right beside the tourist centre it offers all sorts of woollen items, even ones with possum fur mixed in.

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  • Castle Pamela

    Private collection of Dolls, Toys and Royal Albert China well displayed in this unique castle built to house these. Situated in a really nice spot overlooking lovely rolling farmland, not far from the centre of town. They have a nice large Cafe with nice food and drinks, including Devonshire Teas. The theme is regal and you can buy trinkets if you...

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  • Tirau Information Centre.

    Tirau Information Centre built (1998) to look like a dog. This is no ordinary dog, but the traditional sheep dog that helped develop the area in years gone bye. At night his eyes and nose are lit with small lights. You can find very nice, clean toilets here at the Information Office, for your convenience, open 9am - 5pm daily. A great place to stop...

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  • Castle Pamela

    Private collection of Dolls, Toys and Royal Albert China well displayed in this unique castle built to house these.Situated in a really nice spot overlooking lovely rolling farmland, not far from the centre of town.They have a nice large Cafe with nice food and drinks, including Devonshire Teas. The theme is regal and you can buy trinkets if you...

    more
  • Tirau Information Centre.

    Tirau Information Centre built (1998) to look like a dog. This is no ordinary dog, but the traditional sheep dog that helped develop the area in years gone bye. At night his eyes and nose are lit with small lights.You can find very nice, clean toilets here at the Information Office, for your convenience, open 9am - 5pm daily.A great place to stop...

    more
  • Dining out

    Poppy's, with those three delightful flowers atop the roof (obviously they don't get strong winds around here) is where we ate. It's quite a popular place and, inside there is a grand chandelier (pic 2) that originated from the local theatre.They bake their own cakes etc. so, if you get in early, it could be fresh out of the oven.

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  • A floral tribute

    Here and there in Tirau there were some gardens with fine blooms when we were there in early spring, I thought I might share a couple of shots with you.

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  • Looking for a reason

    Tirau is a small attractive township in a rural setting, with the Kaimai ranges as a backdrop. It's population of approx 800 people belies the amount of people you'll see on the streets most days.It is situated within the South Waikato District, as are the towns of Putaruru and Tokoroa; while other towns in close proximity are Matamata and...

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  • Let the dog guide you

    Apart from tourist information this place is full of all those things designed to relieve you of your hard-earned.Even I have to admit it's different. No Roman ruins here, no Sydney Opera House, no skyscrapers, just lots of ingenuity with currugated iron, one of the staple building materials where I come. I think it's clever that someone found...

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  • Who's to blame

    Any Australasians will know what was happening to rural communities in the 1980's. They were disappearing faster than chocolate at a kid's birthday party.Tirau was no exception. The B.N.Z. Bank branch had closed down, as had the local butcher, baker, chemist and Rose Bros General Store which had been a Tirau landmark.Following local government...

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  • Pulling the wool over your eyes

    When it comes to big sheep, I'm reminded of the one on the outskirts of Goulburn in N.S.W. but this is certainly a worthy challenger.Situated right beside the tourist centre it offers all sorts of woollen items, even ones with possum fur mixed in.

    more
  • What a load of old cabbage

    I loved the sign on this window and pondered if it may have been a Kiwi solution to worrisome children or in-laws.........perhaps not.Early Maori spoke of Tirau as a wonderful place to catch the Kereu or native pigeons.The birds used the many Cabbage trees in the area as overnight resting places and large parties of Maori came and gathered them at...

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  • A Kiwi Castle??

    At the top of the hill that is Tiraus main street, a brown tourist info sign points the way to the Castle. A castle in Tirau? So you follow the sign, which leads down a side road, where another sign points the way, then another, then another. Finally you arrive at the fairytale Castle Pamela!The Castle Pamela is a fairly recent construction (the...

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  • Tirau's most photographed building (and...

    Visitors to Tirau, armed with a camera, will find themselves photographing the colourful corrugated shop signs that give the town its character. You will see everything here from corrugated flowers, to pigs, to pukekos (a native bird).The local tourist information centre went one better than just having a corrugated sign, and had the whole building...

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  • The Big Sheep Wool Gallery.

    And next door to the dog is a sheep building. That is the wool shop. Built in 1994, this was the first corrugated iron structure in town, starting a popular trend.They sell more than just woollen products and have a very nice array of garments and sheepskin and possum products.

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Tirau Restaurants

  • The Castle Cafe.

    Approaching Tirau from the south, you will see a big castle on a hill. Of course we don't have castles in New Zealand and this one is actually a cafe where you can stop for a cup of coffee and something to eat. Being a castle freak, I was intrigued enough to go up and have a look, but I didn't stop for food. There is a gift shop inside and the...

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  • Poppys Cafe.

    Poppys (sic) Cafe in Tirau bakes it's own cakes and scones. There are delicious quiches and pies. The coffee is great and the prices what one would expect. Service can be a little slow and you might have to get up to get your own sugar!

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  • Tacky or novel... you decide.

    Approaching Tirau from the south, you will see a big castle on a hill. Of course we don't have castles in New Zealand and this one is actually a cafe where you can stop for a cup of coffee and something to eat. Being a castle freak, I was intrigued enough to go up and have a look, but I didn't stop for food. There is a gift shop inside and the...

    more

Tirau Shopping

See all 7 Shopping in Tirau
  • The Merchant of Tirau

    This may not be a shop for travellers, but it could be. Especially if you are looking for some cuisine from home. There is a very interesting array of wine here and lots of other goodies to go with it, both from New Zealand and overseas. Almost a delicatessen. I spent a lot of time just looking and pondering. Now I can go back and buy from time to...

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  • The Christmas Heirloom Company

    The Christmas Heirloom Company sells Christmas decorations all year round. They have the most incredible selection of trees and themed decorations - some traditional stuff, and more quirky ideas too. I saw a tree decorated with surfing santas and penguines wearing shades! Lots of glitter, sparkle and all things Christmassy. A lot of people like to...

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  • Stop for coffee and take a break from...

    Not entirely obvious from the street, this very nice café can be found out the back of a busy, cluttered, lovely knick knack shop.You can sit either outside or inside, and take coffee and cake.See the travelogue for more pics. And in front, beside the street is a gift shop with amazing items for sale. It's a small area with a LOT of items for...

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Tirau Tourist Traps

  • kiwi's Profile Photo

    by kiwi Written May 14, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is no bank branch in Tirau.

    Fun Alternatives: However at the Caltex petrol station, right in the middle of town, there is a money machine.

    Money machine.
    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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Tirau Off The Beaten Path

  • allikat's Profile Photo

    by allikat Updated Nov 4, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Te Waihou River Walkway is a short drive from Tirau and well worth seeing. If you don't fancy much of a walk, park your car in the car park at the Blue Spring end of the walk, and see the beautiful Blue Spring pool ~ the photo here is an accurate representation of the colours you see!

    If you can manage it, do what we did, and park the car there, but get a ride to the other end of the walkway. The river walk is a beautiful 5 kilometers long, and by leaving a car at the other end, it saves you walking it twice. Having said that, it really is so pretty, that walking it twice wouldn't be such a bad thing!

    For more pictures of this lovely walk, which takes you through farmland and bush and follows the river with its incredibly clear water the whole way, see my travelogue :-)

    TeWaihou's Blue Spring
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Hiking and Walking

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Tirau Favorites

See all 8 Favorites in Tirau
  • Another great NZ tourist info office!

    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...

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  • Cafes and gift shops galore!

    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...

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  • An example of corrugated iron art work...

    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.

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