This Shakespearean-inspired town looks after hikers, cyclists, and climbers who plan to venture into Egmont National Park/Te Papakura o Taranaki. Taranaki Maunga is right next door.
Nearly all the streets in Stratford are named after Shakespearean characters. It’s pretty easy to guess why - Stratford-in-Taranaki was named to honour Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon.
Admire the glockenspiel standing proud in the town centre - it’s one of a kind in New Zealand - with Shakespeare’s most famous star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, emerging for the balcony scene four times a day. The glockenspiel performs for approximately 5 minutes, after the hour chimes at 10am, 1pm, 3pm and 7pm.
If you’re planning to venture into the Egmont National Park/Te Papakura o Taranaki, this town is a handy accommodation base or supply stop. It’s also the last fuelling point before the Forgotten World Highway – a unique 150 kilometre journey (with no service stations) that ends at Taumarunui.
Other attractions include the Pioneer Village for an interesting history lesson, Percy Thomson Art Gallery public gallery space, and the Stratford Heritage Trail with multiple points of interest.