1. Over the Moon, Putāruru
If you’re a cheese fan, this boutique cheese factory in the heart of dairy country is well worth a visit. Over the Moon makes around 23,000kg of cheese each year from locally sourced cow, goat, sheep and buffalo milk and has won more than 75 awards.
The cool little storefront that juts out on the corner of Tīrau Street sells screeds of cheese and all kinds of accompaniments, as well as some sweet treats for the road.
2. Talking Poles, Tokoroa
Discover the history of the town and its links to the forestry industry by following the Talking Poles, giant impressive carvings that are dotted through the town and can be followed on a 'pole trail'.
Created by local, national and international artists, the project was suggested by landscape designer Colleen Priest in 1996. Forty-six have been created in a variety of themes, styles and materials, with more of them in the making.
3. Te Waihou Walkway
About 9km out of town is Te Waihou, a 4.7-km popular scenic walk that takes you through farmland and along lovely streams that are the source of the well-known Blue Spring.
The spring is fed from the Mamaku Plateau and its water takes about 100 years to filter through, making it memorably brilliant and clear.
The water is of such high quality that it supplies 70 percent of New Zealand’s bottled water.
4. Lake Whakamaru
About 25 minutes south of Tokoroa, Lake Whakamaru (translated as a place to give shelter) was established initially as a place to accommodate people working at the Whakamaru Power Station.
These days it is a popular summer spot, especially enjoyed for water skiing. MiCamp Whakamaru is an island on Whakamaru that can accommodate around 100 people in cabins and it also has a three-bedroom house.
5. The Honey Shop, Tīrau
There are so many places to stop and have a look at in Tīrau and The Honey Shop is one of them. Full of bee products and gifts, it is one of the must-visit shops on the shopping streets of Tīrau and it’s unlike something you would come across in your neighbourhood.
Here you can order honey ice cream and peruse its shelves full of honey-centric products like Buzzy Bee toys, fluffy bears holding honeypots, and every type of honey product you could possibly imagine.