Air NZ's top 10 picks for New Plymouth

New Plymouth's great outdoors beckons.

If you are planning a visit to New Plymouth reach for your walking shoes, tramping boots or surf board – this is a place to appreciate the outdoors!

On the east coast of the North Island with Mt Taranaki as its lofty neighbour, New Plymouth caters for all.

Its world class breaks along Surf Highway 45 draw surfers from all over the globe while at the more genteel end of the scale; its beautiful gardens have become so popular that 50 of the best are opened up each spring in the annual Taranaki Rhododendron and Garden Festival.

Somewhere in the middle is the international award winning New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, an easy 10km stretch along the coast punctuated with magnificent views and some of the city’s public art pieces including artist Len Lye’s 45 metre high Wind Wand sculpture.

You might also like to join the locals at the beach for a swim, round of cricket or a fish and chip dinner as the sun goes down.

And for those wishing to step it up a notch , Mt Taranaki and the Egmont National Park offer plenty of opportunities for more challenging trekking and mountain biking.

Our top 10 picks for activities in New Plymouth are:

  • Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (contemporary art museum)

  • Pukekura Park (walks, playground, lake, zoo and host to a magical Festival of Lights during the summer months)

  • Puke Ariki (integrated visitor centre, museum and library)

  • Lake Mangamahoe (walks and picnic)

  • Tawhiti Museum ( an engaging display of Taranaki’s heritage)

  • WOMAD music and cultural festival

  • Surfing

  • Garden visits

  • Walking, hiking and mountain biking in the  National Park

  • Super-sized ice creams from the Iona Dairy (a local favourite, watch out for the Kiwi favourite flavour Hokey Pokey)

Air New Zealand flies to New Plymouth from Wellington and Christchurch linking it with 24 other destinations on its domestic network. For information and to book flights to New Plymouth visit

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