Sport and Art Combined in Taupo

Lake Taupo, New Zealand – Oct 29, 2015 – The stunning landscape of the lakeside town of Taupo lends itself to all manner of sporting pursuits, but like the rest of the country right now the town is focused on rugby in a big way. It was fitting then when street artist Tane Lawless surprised locals by painting a huge mural of rugby legend Richie McCaw during Towncentre Taupo’s Graffiato Street Art Festival at Labour Weekend.

Graffiato organisers, Julie McLeod and Sarah Hancock, said they had no idea that one of the street artists was going to paint McCaw. “Leading up to the festival, Tane Lawless said he wasn’t sure what he was going to paint yet, but that it was going to incorporate a god.” It was a surprise to everyone involved when the painting turned out to be Richie McCaw.

By all accounts though it was a brilliant surprise and a very fitting tribute to the rugby legend who will soon lead his team in one of the biggest games of his life. The artwork is already becoming a much talked about attraction and is the perfect photo opportunity for those who haven’t been able to meet the man in person. The question remains… had Tane intended to paint Richie all along? Or was this a spur of the moment decision sparked by tournament success?

In addition to the Graffiato Street Art Festival, a whole host of other arts and sports events were held in the Great Lake Taupo region over Labour weekend, drawing unprecedented numbers of visitors to the area. The annual Kinloch Market saw the small lakeside village swell in numbers on Sunday, with art, craft and food stalls drawing crowds to the Kinloch Domain.

Damian Coutts, General Manager for Destination Great Lake Taupo, said “It was fantastic to see so many people from out of town, as well as locals, enjoying the market and the beautiful village of Kinloch. There were some great products on offer from stallholders from all over the country and this, combined with the vibrant small village atmosphere, made for a fantastic day out.”

There were also several major sporting events held in Taupo over Labour Weekend that attracted people from out of town, including the BMX North Island Titles held at Taupo’s BMX track and the Taupo Motocross Fest. It also proved to be the perfect weekend to enjoy the many other outdoor activities on offer, with mountain bikers, kayakers and boaties all seen out in force enjoying the balmy spring weather.

Visitor numbers in the Great Lake Taupo region are set to rise drastically over the coming months as the busy summer season approaches.



For more information or images please contact:

Zelia Horrell

Destination Great Lake Taupo
Sales & Marketing Manager
P| 027 276 5110


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