Tīrau is a town of contrasts. At first glance it appears to be a sleepy rural township, but look further and you'll find a gem of 800 people bursting with energy and things to do.
Where else would you find the largest corrugated iron sheep and sheepdog in the world? A corrugated what ??? you may be thinking! Tīrau has a wonderfully unique Information Centre housed in a building in the shape of a dog, which was built to complement the sheep-shaped buildings which house a wool and craft shop. Built in the middle of town along the state highway, these three buildings are wonderful landmarks for any tourist.
Originally named Oxford, over the years Tīrau has changed. The Post Office is now a craft shop and art gallery, the bank is a trendy restaurant, the butchery sells gifts, the grocery is an antique store and the greengrocer is a jade and jewellery shop. Where could you shop for antiques direct from Britain, feast on a delightful lunch and finish with an exciting outdoor adventure?
Based in some of the most fertile land in New Zealand, Tīrau is not only surrounded by pine forests and horse stud farms, but has a variety of outdoor high adventure activities that would challenge the best - canoeing, white water rafting, 4-wheel drives, jet-boating and bush walks, all nestled in the magnificent scenery of the Kaimai and Mamaku ranges. If it's outdoor excitement that makes you buzz, Tīrau has it.
For those who prefer to unwind, Tīrau has a picturesque rural golf course, several public tennis courts, bowling greens and a lively horse racing industry. For the after match function there is always one of Tīrau's unique cafes, bars or restaurants.
Lake Karapiro, only 15km away, is home to world champion rowers. Here you can fish for trout, water ski or enjoy unique New Zealand scenery.
An immediate feeling of friendliness welcomes visitors to Tīrau, ensuring that any visit will be remembered.
The Tīrau Information Centre
The Tīrau Information Centre is a prime example of the enterprise of the South Waikato District community.
What began as an idea for new public toilets ended in the creation of one of the most striking information centres in New Zealand . The dog was designed and built by the Tīrau community with funding from the South Waikato District Council to complement the internationally famous sheep and ram that house a shop and cafe. The iconic buildings are key landmarks of the bustling Tīrau shopping centre.
The Information Centre is beautifully decorated with wall to wall murals depicting the South Waikato landscape, contains clean toilets as well as all the information you will ever need on how to have a great time in this fabulous district.
The centre is strategically located on State Highway 1 at the northern end of Tīrau with ample parking. Why not take a break with us next time your long drive takes you through the town of Tīrau.