Talking Poles – Tokoroa, New Zealand - Atlas Obscura

Talking Poles

Tokoroa, New Zealand

The wooden sculptures are studded throughout a small New Zealand town. 


Tokoroa, a small New Zealand town, uses public art to encourage tourists traveling between Hamilton and Taupo to stop and wander around.

Wooden sculptures depicting the symbols of the cultures who call the town home dot the Central Business District, inviting tourists to stretch their legs in a place they otherwise may have driven straight through.

The installations celebrate the town’s forestry history as well as its cultures, clubs, and organizations. Many of the sculptures were carved from local wood.

The idea was first conceived in 1996. Since then, more than 40 sculptures have been constructed and scattered throughout the town. The aim is to have a total of 60, which will create an art trail for both locals and visitors to enjoy.

Know Before You Go

Go to the visitor center first to collect a free map of the trail.

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July 8, 2019

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