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Things To Do In Taranaki

Taranaki, located on the North Islands West Coast, at the heart of this majestic province lies the mighty Mount Taranaki. The symmetrical cone of the mountain can been seen from every angle. The region is an adventurist?s dream with lots of activities to see and do. There are many scenic walks through Egmont national park which offers lush water... Show More

Tourist Information About Taranaki

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Tourist Information About Taranaki

Taranaki, located on the North Islands West Coast, at the heart of this majestic province lies the mighty Mount Taranaki. The symmetrical cone of the mountain can been seen from every angle. The region is an adventurist?s dream with lots of activities to see and do. There are many scenic walks through Egmont national park which offers lush waterfalls, rainforests and extensive walks that cater for all levels of exploring. It is a place where you can go surfing in the morning and snowboarding in the afternoon. Surfing has long been a draw card for the region offering 180 degrees of ocean swells. It is certain you will find a wave somewhere in the Tarananki region.

Best attractions and free things to do in Taranaki and New Plymouth

The Coastal Walkway

1. The Coastal Walkway

The award-winning Coastal Walkway has got to be at the top of your bucket list. It's a 13.2km path that runs from Pioneer Park in Port Taranaki to the eastern side of Bell Block Beach, forming an expansive sea-edge promenade.

This beginner level walkway is paved, with some gentle slopes. It is excellent for walking, running, cycling, skateboarding, skating and scooting.

The Forgotten World Highway

2. The Forgotten World Highway

This quiet route includes a number of interesting stops along the way. It passes through four mountain saddles, Tangarakau Gorge, and a 180-meter single-lane tunnel. After 50 years in the construction, the Forgotten World Highway was finally completed in 1945.

The Forgotten World Highway connects Stratford with Taumarunui and is 150 kilometres long. It's more than just a route connecting two towns; it's a comprehensive experience, packed with heritage and historical insights. The journey is twisty and secretive, and the sights of pristine native bush are breathtaking; it's unusual to come across country that has been unaffected by the modern world.

The Matemateonga Track, located off the Forgotten World Highway at Stratford and leading into Whanganui National Park, is a 3- to 4-day hike for the adventurous to tackle.

Hike Paritutu Rock

3. Hike Paritutu Rock

Paritutu Rock, a massive volcano remnant, is located just around the corner from our vacation park. Seven Sugar Loaf Islands, which are also volcano relics, keep company with the 156-meter renowned sight.

The 360-degree views from the top, where you can see the coast wrap around the city as the majestic mounga looms towering in the background, make this short but steep climb worth the 20-minute endeavour.

On a clear day, the North Island's Central mountains, Mt Ruapehu, Mt Tongariro, and Mt Ngauruhoe, can be seen. If you're an early riser, the sunrise scenery is spectacular.

The Surf Highway

4. The Surf Highway

On the North Island, Taranaki gets the most swell and has the highest concentration of quality spots to surf. Some of the best surf spots are only a short drive from the city center, while others are more tranquil.

The beautiful Surf Highway along Taranaki's coast is a surfer's dream, with 180 degrees of ocean swells. Spend a day or two at one of the several beaches in the area hunting the perfect wave.

Hike the Pouakai Crossing, Mount Taranaki

5. Hike the Pouakai Crossing, Mount Taranaki

The Pouakai Crossing route, which is part of the multi-day Pouakai Circuit, is a 19-kilometer, eight-hour trek that is one of New Zealand's top one-day walks. On the top slopes of Mount Taranaki, the track passes through a series of unspoilt vistas. Lush native woodland, volcanic cliffs, marshes, and a small mountain lake or tundras that perfectly reflects the mountain top are among the highlights. A decent degree of fitness and adequate gear for the shifting mountain conditions are usually required for a summer trek.

Explore the Len Lye Center

6. Explore the Len Lye Center

The architecturally magnificent Len Lye Center, which connects seamlessly with the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, is recognised as one of Taranaki's greatest places to visit. It features works by Len Lye, a renowned New Zealand kinetic sculpture and pioneering film artist, that are both fascinating and humorous. The Govett-Brewster and the New Zealand Film Archive hold the artist's entire collection of roughly 18,000 artifacts, allowing shows to vary every few months. These well-curated encounters occasionally contain works by other well-known artists. Explore this internationally recognised gallery in the center of New Plymouth's arts district and prepare to be amused, entertained, and enlightened.


7. Explore the Forgotten World Highway

The Forgotten World Highway (SH 43) runs 148 kilometers from Stratford to Taumaranui, and is built on a colonial horse route. It travels through a number of charming settlements, such as Whangamomona, a self-declared republic known for its old hotel. Other highlights include views from the Whangamonoma Saddle, the small Moki Tunnel, an alternative diversion to Mount Damper Falls, and a visit at Lauren's Lavender Farm, which is open from October to May, are among the other attractions.

The Three Sisters

8. The Three Sisters

Take a picnic lunch and visit the Three Sisters at Tongaporutu. You can find the formations by walking alongside the river and around the point at low tide.

A rock etching of a strange six-toed foot can also be found in neighboring caverns. But check the tides first, as the formations are only accessible during low tide.

Pukekura Park and the Bowl of Brooklands

9. Pukekura Park and the Bowl of Brooklands

This 52-hectare park, located in the center of New Plymouth, is one of New Zealand's best botanical gardens. Fountains, lakes with bridges, open lawns, walking routes, formal gardens, a fernery, and a large variety of native and exotic species may all be found here. A lakefront tea shop and three children's playgrounds are also available. Pukekura Park hosts the TSB Festival of Lights from mid-December to late-January. WOMAD, an internationally known three-day music festival, takes place in March at the park's enormous outdoor stage, the TSB Bowl of Brooklands, and there's almost certainly a terrific headline act or two performing during the summer.

Tawhiti Museum

10. Tawhiti Museum

Thousands of super-realistic scale models and life-size displays bring much of the area's history to life at this award-winning, privately owned museum. Their Whalers and Traders experience is a must-do, as you board a small vessel and sail into the darkness before being transported back in time for a glimpse of life in Taranaki between 1820 and 1840. Tawhiti Museum is open Friday to Monday from September to May and on Sundays from June to August, and is rated as one of the top things to do in South Taranaki for visitors of all ages.


Best things to do near Taranaki

Sledge the Kaituna River - This thrilling activity is perfect for kids who love adventure! They'll feel the rush of the rapids as they navigate the Kaituna River on a sledge, guided by experienced instructors.

Hells Gate - Experience the natural healing powers of the mud at Hells Gate geothermal reserve by enjoying the hot pools, mud baths, and geysers while learning about the area's volcanic history.

Scenic Cruise on Lake Rotorua - Take your friends and family on a scenic cruise on beautiful Lake Rotorua, where they'll see stunning views of the surrounding geothermal landscape and maybe even spot some of the lake's resident wildlife.

3D Trick Art Gallery - You will be amazed by the optical illusions and 3D artworks in this unique gallery. Take pictures and participate in interactive exhibits and immerse yourself in a large maze.

Mount Tarawera Guided Volcanic Crater Hike - Go on a guided hike through the volcanic craters of Mount Tarawera, where you’ll see the stunning geothermal activity and learn about the area's rich Maori history.

Frequently Asked Questions about Taranaki Area