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Go west … and explore a special corner of New Zealand where a laid-back coastal lifestyle is enjoyed in a landscape that’s out of this world. The main centre, New Plymouth, is a cultured – and very appealing – place.

Spectacularly beautiful, Taranaki is a region of rural landscapes, amazing surf beaches and a perfect cone-shaped mountain – Mount Taranaki – and it’s the perfect place for an inspiring road trip. Meander along winding river gorges or cruise quiet highways under the gaze of the mountain, stopping to explore wild surf beaches along the way. The main centre, New Plymouth, is a cosmopolitan town with great restaurants, galleries and boutiques.


Download the Taranaki section from New Zealand Trade Manual 2013

Taranaki (from New Zealand Trade Manual 2013) (991)

Highlights

Mount Taranaki The perfect cone of Mount Taranaki rising from green farmland is a spectacular sight. Surf Highway 45 Surf Highway 45 follows the curve of Taranaki’s coastline – 105 kilometres of surf and some of the country’s best surf breaks. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery New Zealand’s leading contemporary art gallery, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, is home to the collection of world-renowned modern artist Len Lye. Puke Ariki The Puke Ariki centre combines a library, museum, visitor information centre and café into one stunning building on the New Plymouth waterfront. New Plymouth Coastal Walkway The award-winning New Plymouth Coastal Walkway runs 10 kilometres along the picturesque waterfront. Forgotten World Highway Winding 150 kilometres from Stratford to Taumarunui, State Highway 43 offers a soul-satisfying road trip through a rugged landscape and tiny, isolated communities.

Destinations

New Plymouth Bustling port city with surf beaches, cultural attractions and a good range of amenities for travellers. Stratford Shakespeare-themed town and closest centre to Mount Taranaki. Opunake Black-sand beach perfect for surfing, swimming and camping. Hawera Busy rural centre with shopping and adventure sports. Patea Home of the famous Patea Maori Club – the artists behind 1980s pop song Poi E.

Getting There and Around

Air New Plymouth Airport, 15 minutes’ drive from the town centre, offers daily flights to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Some flights to smaller North Island destinations are available with Sunair [www.sunair.co.nz]. Road New Plymouth is 5 hours, 5 minutes from Auckland and Wellington (via State Highway 3). Bus companies provide regular services to New Plymouth. The Forgotten World Highway to Taumarunui (State Highway 43) and Surf Highway 45 (State Highway 45) offer picturesque alternatives to the main roads for those on self-drive road trips. New Plymouth to Hamilton [231 km; 3 hr, 20 min] Hamilton to Auckland [126 km; 1 hr, 50 min] New Plymouth to Whanganui [160 km; 2 hr, 15 min] Whanganui to Palmerston North [74 km; 1 hr, 5 min] Palmerston North to Wellington [145 km; 2 hr, 5 min]

Making the Sale

  • The western North Island is off the beaten track, but is home to thriving small towns and a buzzing main centre, New Plymouth, which boasts excellent dining, shopping and nightlife.
  • There is a community ski and snowboard area on Mount Taranaki.
  • New Plymouth is a very cultured place. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Puke Ariki Museum and Art Gallery are highlights for many visitors.
  • Surf Highway 45 or the Forgotten World Highway are both perfect for an unforgettable self-drive road trip.

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