Taranaki

Taranaki – world-class surf breaks, famous black-sand beaches, the picture-perfect peak of Taranaki Maunga

Taranaki, New Zealand

Taranaki, New Zealand.

With world-class surf breaks, famous black-sand beaches, the picture-perfect peak of Taranaki Maunga, and now the title of NZ’s sunniest region, Taranaki has so much on offer all year round. Be immersed in the full mountain-to-sea experience as you explore Taranaki and let the wairua of the region re-energise and invigorate you. 

Taranaki Surfer

Our photogenic region is crammed with unique experiences 

There is something for everyone, Not to mention the unique experiences that are hard to come by anywhere else (the Goblin Forest, Forgotten World Highway, Wilkies Pools, and a tour of the Sugar Loaf Islands, just to name a few).  

As you explore Taranaki – be immersed in the full mountain-to-sea experience.

“Taranaki, New Zealand.”

Top 10 things to do in Taranaki

1

Tramp the premier one-day track, the Pouākai Crossing. The Pouākai Crossing is the premier one-day walk in Te Papakura o Taranaki/Egmont National Park. Prepare yourself to take in the awe-inspiring views from Taranaki Maunga, over the North Taranaki countryside to the coast and inland Mt Ruapehu. The walk highlights the longer two-to-three-day Pouākai Circuit at a more manageable duration for many. If you wish to complete the advanced Pouākai Circuit, be sure to book one of the bunk beds at the cosy Pouākai Hut, situated along the trail through the DOC website.

2

Visit the world-renowned Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre. The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre is New Zealand’s only contemporary art gallery and home to artist Len Lye’s multi-media artworks. Since opening in 1970, the Govett-Brewster gallery has dedicated itself to innovative programming, focused collection development, and audience engagement. It has earned a strong reputation nationally and internationally for its global vision and special commitment to the contemporary art of the Pacific Rim. In 2015, the adjoining Len Lye Centre was opened to house the collection and archive of the pioneering filmmaker and kinetic sculptor Len Lye (1901–1980).

3

Experience a wildlife boat tour with Chaddy’s Charters. Chaddy’s Charters guarantees a great experience onboard the revitalised Rescue III, a 1950s lifeboat from the UK. Head out to the culturally and environmentally significant Sugar Loaf islands to get up close and personal with wild seals, bird life, and perhaps you’ll even spot a whale (not guaranteed!). The skipper offers running commentary along the trip, highlighting the historical significance of the area, in particular the cultural and historical significance to mana whenua. Chaddy’s Charters also hire bikes, e-bikes, kayak, fishing rods, and stand-up paddleboards for lessons. 

4

Discover the hidden gem, Te Popo Gardens & Accommodation. Te Popo Gardens & Accommodation is a privately owned 13-hectare garden and onsite bed and breakfast. Come across waterfalls, bridges, and ponds as you stroll through parkland and woodland. Keep an eye out for the secret gardens hidden behind pristine hedges. The boutique bed and breakfast accommodation is set among spectacular florals, greenery, and mature trees, featuring a backing track of birdsong and flowing water – it’s nothing short of enchanting.

5

Find out what all the food-fuss is about at Liardet Street Projects. This is a must-do ‘hidden secret’ for anyone visiting Taranaki. Tucked away in central New Plymouth, Liardet Street Projects is a communal courtyard of food trucks and stalls, offering a wide range of authentic street food and cheap eats. It is the perfect spot for when your squad can’t agree on just one type of cuisine. Including American-style burgers, Vietnamese, Hawaiian/Japanese fusion, Spanish, Californian-style pizza, and artisan coffee, as well as loads of Instagram-worthy street art to provide the perfect backdrop on the surrounding walls.

6

Explore Wilkies Pools and the Goblin Forest. The Wilkies Pools Loop Track takes you to a series of remarkable plunge pools formed by the scouring action of water-borne sand and gravel on 20,000-year-old lava. Family-friendly and accessible for all, make sure you take your togs/bathers with you for an icy dip in these natural pools. Be sure to walk through the Goblin Forest of twisted kāmahi trees draped with ferns and mosses. The maunga, and particular sites on the maunga, including Wilkies Pools, have significant cultural value to local iwi and tangata whenua. Visitors are asked to treat this taonga/treasure with care and stick to the marked trails, which are accessible through the Dawson Falls carpark side of Taranaki Maunga.

7

Wake up to birdsong at the Piwakawaka Family Hut in Pukeiti Garden. The Piwakawaka Family Hut is situated high above the rainforest treetops of Pukeiti Garden. Take a one-hour stroll to the hut through the stunning gardens and be mesmerised by the birdsong surrounding you as you take in the 360° views of the native rainforest. The Family Hut sleeps 12 in bunk-bed style and includes a log-burner fireplace with wood supplied, solar-powered lights, and a toilet.

8

Check out Forgotten World Adventures off the Forgotten World Highway. A trip along the Forgotten World Highway, accessible via Stratford, will take you down New Zealand’s oldest heritage trail and towards the unforgettable Forgotten World Adventures, a unique experience that offers modified golf carts to ‘ride the rails’, and purpose-built rail bikes to zip through a number of tunnels, over viaducts, and between landscape inaccessible by road. 

9

Immerse yourself in local history at Tawhiti Museum and Traders & Whalers. Widely regarded as the best private museum in New Zealand, Tawhiti Museum uses life-size exhibits and scale models to present Taranaki history and heritage in a series of super realistic and engaging displays. The Traders & Whalers underground boat ride and experience offers live commentary about the pioneering history of Taranaki and the times of trade and turmoil between Māori and European settlers. Visit on the first Sunday of the month to catch the logging train running.

10

See historically significant taonga at Aotea Utanganui Museum. Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki is a purpose-built museum that embodies the wairua and mana of the South Taranaki region. Home to significant collections, the museum plays an active role within the 

Taranaki – Like No Other.

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