Section One Taranaki
Within the region's boundaries is a range of activities and attractions that will appeal to visitors, grouped here along the following themes.
Mount Taranaki and Egmont National Park
- Bush walks and treks in Egmont National Park
- Visitors can hike to the top of Mount Taranaki with a professional guide or independently. The summit can usually be climbed in around five hours by people of averagely fit people, and descended in three hours.
- In Winter (June - August) visitors can ski the slopes of Manganui skifield a local club field where vsitors can interact with the locals. The field has ski hire available.
Parks and gardens
Taranaki has long sunshine hours, high rainfall and volcanic soil that produce gardens abounding in colour, shape and texture. Specialist roses, rhododendrons, fuchsias and native plants are plentiful in the region.
Surf and coastal
A number of scenic highlights and activities can be found along Surf Highway 45.
- Countless surf spots: visitors can pick up a Surf Highway map on arrival into Taranaki or ask the locals where the best surf spots are.
- Surf guiding or surfing lessons: Experienced surfers can hire a guide for the day to take them to the best spots or alternatively beginners can learn to surf.
- Cape Egmont Lighthouse: a spectacular backdrop of the mountain makes this a wonderful spot for photos
Māori cultural activities and attractions
- Patea Māori Club: a renowned Māori performance group, put on shows at their Marae in Patea.
- Parihaka: Parihaka Pa, the sanctuary of Māori leaders Tohu Kakahi and Te Whiti o Rongomai, is spiritually and historically unique. It was here that these two leaders preached and practiced unity and passive resistance, long before Ghandi.
Other activities and attractions
In New Plymouth
- The Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Reserve: see the seals and other marine life. Cruise tours are available daily (weather dependent) with Chaddy’s Charters
- New Plymouth’s foreshore walkway: bike or walk the 8km/ 5 mile walkway
- Govett-Brewster Art Gallery: a leading contemporary art museum in the South Pacific. www.govettbrewster.com
- Puke Ariki Museum: Puke Ariki is an integrated museum, visitor information centre and library complex that redefines the traditional concepts of information, education, research and entertainment to present them in new, refreshing and challenging ways.
Around New Plymouth
- Whitecliffs Walkway: a five-hour walkway, where visitors will see Taranaki’s white cliffs and the ‘Three Sisters’ rock formations. Walk through the hand-hewn Te Horo tunnel, which leads from the beach to farmland.
- Lake Mangamahoe: a short drive south of New Plymouth to see views of Mount Taranaki.
- Dairyland: a cafe and interactive display of the dairy industry on the site of New Zealand’s largest dairy factory located in Hawera.
Half/full day outdoor/adventure activities
- Dam dropping on Waingongoro River: experience a guided 8 metre / 26 foot drop over a dam on a three-hour heart-pumping experience. www.damdrop.com
- Canoe adventures: three Taranaki rivers offer varying degrees of difficulty.
- Rock climbing and abseiling: Opportunities for experienced climbers and beginners. Check the Taranaki website for local guides offering this service. www.taranaki.co.nz