Taranaki is a region on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The region is named after the near perfect conical volcano that dominates the geography in the area; Mt Taranaki. Mt Taranaki is the second highest peak in the North Island and was used as the location for the film ‘The Last Samurai’ due to its resemblance to Mount Fuji.
Things to do in New Plymouth, Taranki, New Zealand
The main city in Taranaki is New Plymouth, and it sits on the coast less than 30 minutes away from Mount Taranaki (meaning you can ski and water ski on the same day!). In the centre of New Plymouth you’ll find Pukekora Park, one of the country’s finest botanical gardens with a large array of diversity in its flora and its spaces. You’ll find an English Country Garden, tropical forests, lakes, a waterfall, a zoo; the list goes on! It’s a wonderful place to take the family to, or just to find a little peace and tranquillity. Pukekora Park hosts a festival of lights between December and February, which in our opinion is one of the most wondrous experiences in Taranaki.
If you like your adventures a little wild, then one of the best things to do in Taranaki, in fact in New Zealand as a whole, is to travel the Forgotten World Highway. This is New Zealand’s oldest touring route, made up of decent roads, unsealed roads, and only-just-roads that winds its way through Taranaki towards the centre of the North Island. Passing through wild bush-land and tiny settlements, over river canyons and passed giant waterfalls, this is a journey you’ll never forget and one that will reveal natural wonders and secrets that even some of the locals don’t know about. Keep an eye out for fossils along the way and witness the wild side of New Zealand.
Hike Edgmont National Park and Admire Mt. Taranaki
Wherever you are in Taranaki, you’re never far from a view of the volcano, and it is spectacular! So our third recommendation for things to do in Taranaki is to get up close and personal with it. The volcano sits in the middle of Edgmont National Park, the second oldest national park in the country and while Mount Taranaki steals the show somewhat with its handsome slopes (and the skiing, abseiling and rock-climbing it offers), there is much more to the park that just this. At Edgmont you’ll find cloud forests, high altitude swamps, rare flora and fauna and fairy-tale waterfalls. Despite all it has to offer, Edgmont remains relatively unvisited by international tourists, so break the mould and get off the beaten track with a trip to Edgmont National Park and Mount Fuji! Sorry, Mount Taranaki (blame Tom Cruise).
Whilst Taranaki may remain a little undiscovered by international tourists, rest assured our team here are as familiar with this region as we are with the rest of our favourite place on Earth. So don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you’d like a few more insider tips about this hidden gem.
Ready to Explore Taranaki and New Plymouth?
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