As we journeyed south from Auckland to Rotorua, we stopped for lunch (and a little time for exploration) in the whimsical and charming town of Tirau, New Zealand.
“Tirau” is a Maori word meaning “many cabbage trees.” These trees were important for their use as food, fiber and medicine, as well as being a nesting grounds for native pigeons.
Tirau is also known for its artistic use of corrugated iron. Beginning with the i Site (information center), we were delighted by buildings, signage and pieces of art created out of discarded metal.
This small North Island township is at a major junction in the New Zealand State Highway network. Just south of Tirau is the intersection where travelers can choose to follow State Highway 1 to Taupo, or take State Highway 5 to Rotorua, our next destination (and my favorite city on the North Island).