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Best things to do in Taranaki Region
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Top 15 things to do in Taranaki Region
1. New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, New Plymouth
Feel the sea breeze, admire the views of Mount Taranaki, listen to the sound of breaking waves, and go for a relaxing stroll, jog, or bike ride at New Plymouth Coastal Walkway. The 12.7 km (7.9 mi) walkway stretches along a large part of the city's coast and serves as one of New Plymouth's favorite outdoor areas. Along its length, the walkway is lined with beaches and picnic areas as well as cultural and historical sites. Look for the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, an architectural gem spanning the Waiwhakaiho River. If you're bringing your dog along for a stroll, make sure to always keep it on a leash.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about New Plymouth Coastal Walkway
2. Pukekura Park, New Plymouth
Unwind and soak in the tranquil atmosphere at Pukekura Park, widely regarded as one of New Zealand's most beautiful botanical gardens. This oasis of nature covers an area of 52 hectares (128 acres) dotted with lakes, walking trails, waterfalls, and fountains. Lush greenery, playing areas for kids, and sports facilities make the park a popular outdoor destination for locals and tourists of all ages. Look for the most famous landmarks here, the 19th-century poet's bridge and the tea house on the lake, dating back to the 1930s. Admission to the park is free.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Pukekura Park
3. Tawhiti Museum, Hawera
Visitors of all ages can immerse themselves in local history at Tawhiti Museum, featuring engaging displays of life-size models and figures depicting the area's past. The museum's scenes depict stories of farming, trains, shipping, and other colonial themes. Interactive exhibits let you discover technology through the ages and its impact on local life. Highlights include the Farmpower Wall and the Tawhiti Bush Railway, providing an engaging glimpse into history. The family-friendly attraction also boasts a cafe and museum shop.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minLearn more about Tawhiti Museum
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4. Puke Ariki, New Plymouth
Visit Puke Ariki, an innovative combined museum, library, and information center featuring exciting exhibits. Learn about Taranaki's history at the museum's four permanent exhibits, check out visiting events, and get engaged with multimedia displays. You can also explore the library and visitor center for more information, or relax at the onsite cafe. Located between Mount Taranaki and Tasman Sea, this place of discovery won Creative New Zealand's "Creative Places Award" in 2003.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Puke Ariki
5. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre, New Plymouth
The Govett Brewster Art Gallery is New Zealand’s museum of contemporary art.
The latest addition to the Govett-Brewster – the Len Lye Centre – is New Zealand’s first institution dedicated to a single artist, the pioneering filmmaker and kinetic sculptor, Len Lye.
With its curved exterior walls of mirror-like stainless steel, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre is the country’s first example of destination architecture linked to contemporary art and is one of the country’s most iconic buildings.
Experience innovative and provocative work by New Zealand and international artists, an ever-changing exhibition programme, talks about the art, tours and art making.
The 62-seat Len Lye Centre Cinema is a welcoming environment for audiences to experience Len Lye’s films, experimental, arthouse and cult films, and regular film festival programming. Tickets are available online or at the Govett-Brewster Shop.
For something a little different, the Govett-Brewster Shop is not your usual tat. Contemporary design and objects of inspiration, jewellery, Len Lye and Govett-Brewster merchandise, books, gift cards, cool kids' stuff and limited edition collaborations mean you’ll definitely need to add extra time to your visit.
Monica’s Eatery, next door to the Govett-Brewster, is an international art cafe inspired by the life and spirit of Monica Brewster, a globetrotter even before the golden age of air travel and founding patron of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Open seven days for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minLearn more about Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre
6. Mount Taranaki, Egmont National Park
Renowned for its eye-catching symmetry, snow-capped Mount Taranaki stands as one of the country's most active volcanoes. Reaching to a height of 2,518 m (8,261 ft) above sea level, the mountain plays an important role in Maori lore: that of a heartbroken lover, banished to the coast by a bitter rival, hiding its tears with a cloudy shroud. Head for the surrounding park to explore a wide array of walking trails of a varying lengths, taking you through lush forest, past waterfalls, and over rocky foothills. You can even try to summit the mountain yourself, though keep in mind that you'll need sufficient equipment, preparation, and fitness level to go safely. The mountain's weather can be extremely volatile, so dress warmly and bring along something rainproof even on a sunny day.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 minLearn more about Mount Taranaki
7. Forgotten World Highway, Stratford
Drive into the pioneering past and diverse natural wonders of the Taranaki region on Forgotten World Highway. Following what was once an ancient Maori trade path, the road leaves from Stratford and winds through 155 km (96 mi) of the rich and awe-inspiring landscape of Egmont National Park. Along the way you'll catch views of Mount Taranki, a stunning volcano stretching up into the sky. Also look out for historical settlements in among the native forest, telling stories of the route's past life. Numerous picnic stops and photo ops line the road as it weaves into a forgotten history of mankind's relationship with the natural world.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Forgotten World Highway
8. Brooklands Zoo, New Plymouth
Get up close to a range of native and exotic species at Brooklands Zoo, a well-managed and family-focused zoo. With farmyard animals, otters, meerkats, and even Bolivian squirrel monkeys, visitors are treated to great views of the abundant mammalian life that has its home here. A walk-through aviary offers new perspectives on New Zealand's avian life, while the daily feeding of the Capuchin monkeys provides an educational form of entertainment. A playground and numerous picnic tables make the zoo a comfortable space for the whole family to explore at their own pace.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minLearn more about Brooklands Zoo
9. Paritutu Rock, New Plymouth
Five small islands make up Paritutu Rock, each a volcanic remnant from an ancient volcano. Coral reefs surround the islands (which get their name from Captain Cook), creating a haven for marine life including at least 89 species of fish. Try to spot seals, dolphins, and whales at this protected area, and get an up-close look by scuba diving. Head to New Plymouth harbor's eastern end to see Paritutu, another extinct volcano. The views from its 153 m (502 ft) top are fantastic, but think twice about making this climb if your fitness level is rather low or you're afraid of heights.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Paritutu Rock
10. Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, New Plymouth
Te Rewa Rewa Bridge is a pedestrian and cycleway bridge across the Waiwhakaiho River at New Plymouth in New Zealand. Its spectacular shape and setting make it a popular landmark.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Te Rewa Rewa Bridge
11. Te Henui Cemetery, New Plymouth
Te Henui Cemetery, also known as New Plymouth Cemetery, is the oldest public cemetery in New Plymouth, New Zealand. It was first used in 1861.
The New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage gives a translation of "the great mistake" for Te Hēnui.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minLearn more about Te Henui Cemetery
12. Port Taranaki Walkway, New Plymouth
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Port Taranaki Walkway
13. Pouakai Circuit, Egmont National Park
Suggested duration: 4 hoursLearn more about Pouakai Circuit
14. Tupare, New Plymouth
Tūpare is a former family home in the Arts & Crafts / Tudor style surrounded by a 3.6 ha park / garden in New Plymouth, New Zealand that is now owned and operated by the Taranaki Regional Council as a public park and event venue. It is located above the Waiwhakaiho River.
The garden was one of the four (public) gardens that formed a core of the original garden festival of New Plymouth. It has also been named as one of Top 50 New Zealand Gardens by a garden guide book.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Tupare
15. Elvis Presley Memorial Room, Hawera
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Elvis Presley Memorial Room
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