Bridge swinging is a Waitara specialty, or you could arrange to tour magnificent Manukorihi Pa. North Taranaki is full of surprises.

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Waitara is the largest town in North Taranaki. It was one of the first areas in the region to be settled by Maori; consequently it has some important heritage sites. Manukorihi Pa is set above the town and features a magnificent carved meeting house, Te Ikaroa-a-Maui. Tours can be arranged.

On the first and third Sunday of each month, the Waitara Railway Preservation Society operates a return train ride to Lepperton. At one point the track has a 1 in 40 gradient - the steepest in New Zealand.

The Waitara River, which flows through the town, is popular for fishing, boating and white water rafting. Bridge swinging is another fun river activity.

Functional facts: Approx. population 6290, information centre, wide range of shops and services.