🚗 self-drive itinerary
🛏️ minimum 2 night stay recommended
🍽️ dining suggestions offered
📅 visit any time of year
Majestic and snow-capped, Mount Taranaki watches over a region that's all about rejuvenating adventures and refreshing experiences. Visit one of the few places in New Zealand where you can go snow boarding in the morning and surfing the same afternoon.
Highlights can include:
- The award-winning Coastal Walkway is perfect for enjoying the view of the dramatic west coast. The path that forms an expansive sea-edge promenade ideal for walking, running, cycling, skating or admiring sculptures like The Wind Wand 👟🏃🚴🐕
- Puke Ariki aims to inspire creativity and enrich lives by promoting the heritage of Taranaki and connecting local people and visitors to new ideas
- Brooklands Zoo is a FREE, family focused zoo home to a diverse variety of species including farmyard animals, reptiles, otters, meerkats, monkeys as well as colourful birds housed inside a walk-through free-flight aviary 🐒🐷
- Forgotten World Adventures provide self-driven rail tours along the decommissioned railway line in specially modified rail carts 🛤️
- New Plymouth's newest icon Te Rewa Rewa Bridge is reminiscent of both a breaking wave and whale skeleton
- catch a wave along Surf Highway 45, Taranaki's winding coast road is all about epic surf and empty beaches running from New Plymouth to Hawera 🌊🏄
- Egmont National Park surrounds the volcano Mount Taranaki and is a dream destination for enthusiastic hikers 🌋👟🏞️
- Taranaki is world renowned for its gardens: Pukeiti’s rhododendrons and other exotics create an explosion of colour amidst lush native rainforest; Tupare is a beautifully sculptured landscaped garden nestled on a hillside overlooking a river; Hollard Gardens are informal and intimate, with a huge variety of native and exotic, rare and endangered plants 🌺🌷🌱
- Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / The Len Lye Centre experiments with film and kinetic art and houses the collection and archive of Len Lye, one of the most original artists of the twentieth century 🎨📽️
- get some fresh air and spectacular coast and Tasman Sea views on the Whitecliffs Walkway (note: travels over private farmland closed Jul-Sep) 👟
- New Zealand's premier botanical garden Pukekura Park treats you to 128 acres of bush walks, formal gardens, lakes, children's play areas and a Tea House. A highlight is a visit to the Fernery and Display Houses and the Festival of Lights held in summer 🌲🌱🌷👟
- Stratford's revered Glockenspiel Clock Tower is home to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, emerging for their balcony scene, four times daily 💕
have your camera ready for Dawson Falls/Te Rere o Kapuni, a picturesque 18 metre high waterfall easily found after a short walk through goblin forest 👟📸
- Paritutu Rock rewards those that scramble to the top with views over the coastline, city, port and the Sugar Loaf Islands marine reserve 📸
- Tawhiti Museum features thousands of life-size models and scale figures to tell Taranaki’s history - a unique heritage project that'll amaze you
- fans of Elvis will not want to miss out on seeing the collection of memorabilia housed in K.D's Elvis Presley Museum 🎶
- explore the North Taranaki coast at low tide where Elephant Rock once stood alongside the Three Sisters, before losing its trunk to erosion in 2016 🌊
- if Mount Taranaki is visible, climb the 215 steps of Hawera Water Tower for a spectacular vantage point to overlook the volcano and region 📸
AT A GLANCE
📍 # of Visitors3.5
🌦️ Chance of Rain4.0
👨👩👦👦 Family Fun4.0
🍽️ Food + Wine 5.0
🏳️🌈 LGBTQI+ friendly 👍
Note: the highest possible score is an 8.0
🎥video courtesy of Taranaki - like no other on Facebook
Sit back and relax. We've planned it all for you.
Day 1 : Arrive into Taranaki
You'll travel to Taranaki, arriving either by car, coach, railcruise or by flying into New Plymouth's Airport. Upon arrival into the Taranaki you'll check in to your accommodation, settle in and get acquainted with your surroundings for the next 2 nights.
That afternoon get a glimpse into the relaxed lifestyle of the locals by taking in The Wind Wand and/or Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, both along the popular Coastal Walkway. Watch your reflection wobble outside The Len Lye Centre which is worth a look if you're a fan of a mix of visual sculpture and art. Visit Puke Arikiand find out how the volcano Mount Taranaki came to be. The volcano often reveals itself at dusk, and when it does, have your camera ready. It's extremely picturesque from every angle.
We'll offer suggestions on the best places to eat and hot spots after dark, or keep the vibe more relaxed with some fish and chips on one of the beaches.
Day 2 : a full day in Taranaki
The near perfect symmetry of Mount Taranaki will likely have lead you to the region, so we'll let you know some of the best vantage points to take a photo should the mountain reveal itself to you. Pukekura Park is a must, and The Fernery in particular is a must see for visitors of all ages. New York's Central Park wishes it was this pretty!
The walks will beckon you to make the trip into Egmont National Park and as a minimum you've got to walk the short walk to see Dawson Falls. The visitor centres offer great advice here on what to see and do based on the weather during your visit.
Should your visit coincide with unfavourable weather, you've always got the quirky indoor options of visiting a museum dedicated the Elvis Presley, or the heritage museum that started out as a hobby, incredible Tawhiti Museum that is said to have a 'touch of Disney' to it.
Whatever you've ended up doing with your day though, we'll arrange dinner tonight for you to celebrate the best of Taranaki food and your last night in this region at one of our favourite restaurants in the area.
Day 3 : Say goodbye to Taranaki
This morning, as you watch the silhouette of Mount Taranaki fade in the rear view mirror, slowly but surely, make sure you time your visit to the town of Stratford right - the Glockenspiel Clock Tower is sure to put a grin on your face. Or travel via the other side of the mountain along Surf Highway 45 and take in the surf scene of towns like Opunake - the waves will likely entice you to take a dip. We'll let you know the best way to get from this region to the next part of your New Zealand trip, wherever you want that to be.