Winter comes alive for Taupo¯ fest
The Tongariro Domain will be transformed from a bland and somewhat soggy patch of open ground to a winter entertainment wonderland as part of the upcoming Malcolm Flowers Insurances Taupo¯ Winter Festival.
The festival, which runs from Thursday July 13 to Sunday July 16 will bring both the north and south ends of the Tongariro Domain alive.
Festival manager Nicola Carter says the Tongariro North Domain will have the Ebbett Taupo¯ ice slide which will be open for snow play. It will be filled with snow from Mt Ruapehu for children to go inside, build snowmen, have snow fights and play with snow toys. The snow globe will operate in 15-minute sessions that cost $5 per person. The slide and nearby snow globe will also be running on the evening of Saturday, July 15.
This year’s ice slide will be double the size of last year’s at 35m and although it’s free, if you want to skip the queue you can purchase an express ticket. It will stay on the domain until July 22.
To enhance the festival atmosphere there will be live entertainment on the domain all day on Saturday, July 15 from local artists, with food and coffee nearby. The free family circus Biggest Little Circus, with juggling, trapeze and danger, will perform on the domain from 11am until midday.
Festival manager Mrs Carter says organisers felt after last year’s festival that the domain needed somemore activity, and decided to bring in the live entertainment. Entertainers will also be roaming and playing live music in the Taupo¯ town centre during the day. On the other side of the Great Lake Centre, the Unison light trail and seven light sculptures will be set up on the Tongariro South Domain, and the Lions Train will be running night time rides. The popular light trail has made several visits to Taupo¯ but this year’s will be something quite different, festival programme manager Kylie Hawker-Green says.
“We’ve had a light trail for a few years now and we wanted to change it up and create something a bit magical and special so we have seven phenomenal world-class light installations coming to Taupo¯ and we’re going to connect those installations with lights, creating a magical pathway.”
The light trail will be switched on at a firelight celebration on Friday, July 14 at 5pm.
Children will be able to create glow-in-the-dark painted T-shirt masterpieces to wear to the celebration and join in the fun with live music, entertainment, giveaways and train rides, and the Taupo¯ Museum will also be open late.
The light trail will be on the Domain every evening until 10pm on Saturday, July 22 and the ice slide will also be open every day until July 22.
We’ve had a light trail for a few years now and we wanted to change it up and create something a bitmagical and special.
SNOW FUN: The Mt Ruapehu snow globe will be on the Tongariro North Domain during the Malcolm Flowers Insurances Taupo¯ Winter Festival.
LIGHT TRAIN: The Lions Train will be running night time rides during the winter festival and will be joined by the Unison Light Trail and light art sculptures.