Climb a massive conical volcano, explore quaint towns and relax in sprawling parks when visiting this west coast region of New Zealand’s North Island.
Taranaki is a striking mountainous and coastal region, steeped in Māori history. Visit its regional hubs for museums, art galleries, boutique shops and cultural activities and don your hiking shoes to explore its great outdoors. The region contains spectacular natural areas, including an imposing volcano and a large national park.
The region’s hub, New Plymouth, is great for relaxing in landscaped gardens and attending major festivals. Spend a day exploring Pukekura Park, a beautiful public garden with many exotic and indigenous plants. The park also hosts WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance), an annual international arts festival.
Shop for handmade jewellery and souvenirs in the heart of New Plymouth or set off along the Coastal Walkway, a long-distance sea-edge promenade. The city is home to Puke Ariki, a combined museum and library that explores the region’s local culture. Visit Puke Ariki to study Taranaki’s past though many fascinating objects, including intricate Māori carvings.
Drive to Egmont National Park from New Plymouth in just 30 minutes and explore its vast network of walking tracks, including the 3-day Pouakai Circuit. With peaceful waterfalls, eroded rock pools and the striking snow-capped Mount Taranaki, there are a wealth of outdoor activities to discover in this spectacular national park.
Mount Taranaki is a magnificent volcano believed to be approximately 120,000 years old. The volcano has been dormant since the late 19th century and is a popular climb for experienced hikers. Trek the 6.3 kilometres (3.9 miles) to the summit or admire the enormous volcano from many areas in Egmont National Park. Bring suitable hiking equipment and supplies if you wish to attempt the summit track.
Stay in waterfront hotels and self-contained apartments in the city of New Plymouth, which is approximately 360 kilometres (220 miles) south of Auckland. Flights arrive at New Plymouth Airport where you can rent a car or use public transport to explore the region. The smaller Taranaki towns of Hawera, Waitara and Stratford offer accommodation for those looking for a quieter base