2 Jun 2024

Regional Wrap: Tūrangi Tongariro district 

From Culture 101, 1:25 pm on 2 June 2024
Pihanga Gallery Tūrangi

Pihanga Gallery Tūrangi Photo: supplied

The Tūrangi Tongariro region, at the spectacular southern end of Lake Tāupo bordering the Volcanic Plateau, is midway between Wellington and Auckland, Napier and New Plymouth and Hamilton and Palmerston North. A popular topping off point, you couldn’t get more central. 

Yet, surrounded by National Parks, geothermal warmth, long home of Ngāti Tūwharetoa and claimed as the trout fishing capital of the world, it deserves its own cultural attention.

Pihanga Gallery Tūrangi

Pihanga Gallery Tūrangi Photo: supplied

In the midst of the Tūrangi shopping centre - built to accommodate a far bigger population in the ‘60s for the development of the Tongariro hydroelectric scheme - a hub for local artists has sat for 12 years or more. The Pihanga arts collective run Pihanga Art Gallery, an initiative member Ali Shannon says flowed from an arts society Artworks first established at the time of the hydroelectric development.

Jewellery by Ali Shannon

Jewellery by Ali Shannon Photo: supplied

Based in the beautiful township of Pukawa bay nearby, collective member Ali Shannon is an accomplished  jeweller who is now also painting. It’s clear talking to her and other members, this gallery is a vibrant hub. It opens Monday to Saturday, including this King’s Birthday Monday.

Ali Shannon joins Culture 101 for this week’s Regional Wrap.


Painting by Norma Cranwell

Painting by Norma Cranwell Photo: supplied