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Taranaki Region, New Zealand

The Taranaki Region is named after the area's most prominent geographical formation, Mount Taranaki and the main centre of the area is the city of New Plymouth.  The region is situated on the west coast of the North Island and is frequently visited by foreign tourists and New Zealanders alike.

New Plymouth attractions

There are a number of fantastic activities to enjoy in New Plymouth and you will probably need a few days to get the most out of your trip to this wonderful city.  The Coastal Walkway is one of the biggest local attractions.  It stretches for over 7km along the Tasman Sea and it is the ideal trail for walking and biking while taking in the beautiful scenery.

Taranaki is famous for its gardens and Rhododendrons. The Rhododendron and Garden Festival in Spring is not to be missed if you are an avid gardener. Pukekura Park is a park, garden and zoo all in one!  This is the ideal spot to visit for a relaxing stroll and it's perfect for the whole family too. Other popular parks in the area include Pukeiti Rhododendron Park and Tupare Park while the Brooklands Zoo is another top spot for visitors looking to enjoy nature.

While in New Plymouth, you simply cannot miss Mount Taranaki (Mount Egmont) as it towers above.  The volcano is considered active although it has not erupted since 1755.

Other attractions in Taranaki

If you visit Inglewood, you will be in the perfect place to being an expedition through Egmont National Park.  The town is also home to a fascinating toy museum and a hands-on wildlife park where visitors can get a real feel for nature.

Waitara is another top town in the Taranaki region and one of the first areas where the Maori settled.  As such, there are a number of cultural heritage sites in this town as well as a number of fun water activities along the Waitara River.  Such activities include fishing, white river rafting and other boating fun.  If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you could try some bridge swinging too!

Hawera is known for its massive dairy production and it's biggest attraction is a museum featuring life size figures that have been cast from actual people!  You can also climb the 214 steps of the local water tower for an incredible view of the area.

The southern town of Stratford also offers a host of fun and interesting activities.  A walk through the Goblin Forest could easily keep you active, outdoors and entertained for the entire day!  Hollard  Gardens is the perfect place for a relaxing picnic and, if you visit during the winter months, the Manganui Ski Area is ready to thrill the whole family!