Mount Taranaki dominates the regions landscape and defines much of what the region represents and the character and personalities of its people.
Taranaki is a walking and cycling paradise with the symmetrical cone of the mountain always present and providing fabulous bush walks, mountain exploring and water adventures.
The region is blessed with some great beaches such as Ohakura, Fitzroy and Back Beach (voted one of New Zealand’s favourite beaches) all located close to the main city of New Plymouth. Further south,drive the spectacular Surf Highway 45 between New Plymouth and Hawera to find pumping surf year round.
There are numerous activities and places to visit for those seeking some nature and wildlife experiences plus the Taranaki region is home to some outstanding gardens (among the best in New Zealand).
From the mountain to the water and everything between, Taranaki has something special to offer everybody.
Discover . . .
Walking & hiking:
Egmont National Park, incorporating Mt Taranaki, offers over 300 kms of walking tracks. Recommended walks and hikes are Barrett Domain, Carrington Walkway, Hollard Gardens and Kapuni Loop Track. For a relaxed walk through the suburbs of New Plymouth, there is the Huatoki Walkway or walk New Plymouth’s eleven-km coastal walkway, where you will encounter sculptures, rocky beaches with rock pools and the iconic Te Rewa Rewa Bridge.
For spectacular views of the coast, climb volcanic Paritutu Rock or visit the Cape Egmont lighthouse (a popular spot for photography with Mt Taranaki as a stunning backdrop). From a one hour stroll through beautiful Pukekura Park to a three-day trek around the mountain, there is a walk to suit all ages and levels of fitness.
Great surf breaks:
Taranaki is one of New Zealand’s best surf regions and a drive along the famous Surf Highway 45 is a must for any avid surfer. The hemispherical coast ensures there is always good surf at one of the many beaches dotted along the coastline.
Marine wildlife encounters:
Get up close and personal with seals and other marine life at the Sugar Loaf Marine Park – a protected marine area encompassing the islands and reefs of the Sugar Loaf Islands.
Contemporary art, local history and culture:
Taranaki is home to some wonderful museums, galleries and historic places of interest, such as the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre (for contemporary art), Puke Ariki Museum and Heritage Centre located right on New Plymouth’s waterfront and the glockenspiel and pioneer Village in Stratford.
Discover Taranaki from the air:
Enjoy a ‘birds eye’ view over parts of Taranaki with a helicopter tour. As well as spectacular views of the coast, Mt Taranaki and native bush land, visits are included to a magnificent waterfall and isolated Mangatoi Station (a cattle farm located next to the Mokau River).
In the upper reaches of the Waitotara Valley in the south of the region, you will find Makowhai Station. The 22,000 acres of predominant hill country, offers top grade free range animals to hunt including wild boar, deer, wild bull and ducks. You are accompanied by a friendly professional guide.
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