Riverside Park is located within the Tongariro Domain on the banks of the Waikato River.
Riverside Park officially opened in November 2007 on the site of the former Taupo Motor Camp, which closed in 2006 after the lease expired. Public opinion was divided when the camping ground closed, as it had been a popular camping site since the 1930s. Today Riverside Park is popular with locals and visitors.
The park has plenty of seating, tables and green space for picnicking and relaxing. There are a mature beech trees in the park that were donated from former mayor Clayton Stent’s own property.
There is a large boardwalk that runs alongside the Waikato River. The boardwalk turns into a concrete pathway, which makes for a nice short walk. Visitors can exit the park and cross the road by Control Gate Bridge and continue along the banks of the Waikato River to Spa Thermal Park or walk along Tongariro Street to the main shopping district.
In the park carved into three stones are words from the poems ‘Waikato River’, ‘A Preference for River’ and ‘My Poems’, from Rowley Habib’s poetry collection The Raw Men – Selected Poems 1954 – 2004. Habib’s mother was of Ngati Ruingarangi hapu, a sub tribe of local iwi Ngati Tuwharetoa and Habib grew up in Taupo and attended Taupo Public School.
The Unison Amphitheatre is grassed amphitheatre that provides seating for up to 15,000 people and is used for outdoor concerts and events during the summer months.
Also held every Saturday from 10am to 1pm is the Riverside Market, which has various stalls selling produce, breads, crafts, art, clothing, jewellery, cosmetics and more.