This friendly west coast city is the gateway to a prime dairying region that has a most spectacular backdrop, Mt Taranaki (also known as Mt Egmont).
New Plymouth is not only rich in farming and alpine scenery but also in arts and crafts, parks and gardens, sports and a whole range of outdoor lifestyle activities. It is the centre of New Zealand’s petrochemical industry and boasts the only deep-water international port on the west coast.
Here are some of the great things to do in and around the town:-
Stroll along the popular well-signposted Coastal Walkway
The walk takes in the Port, Paritutu Rock and the Power Station, which has guided tours.
Follow the City Heritage Trail on a self-guided tour
The Visitor Centre leaflet identifies 30 historic sites around the city including Richmond Cottage, St Mary’s Church and the Fitzroy Pole.
Visit the Taranaki Museum on Ariki Street
‘Puke Ariki’ as it is called, combines history with high-tech in excellent exhibits. It is a world first as a purpose-designed, fully integrated museum, library and information centre.
Call in to the Govett-Brewster Gallery on Queen Street
Admire the contemporary art works and Len Lye’s surrealistic kinetic sculptures.
Walk or drive to Pukekura Park, a green tranquil oasis in the city
This is New Plymouth’s crown jewel with lovely gardens, bush-fringed lakes and hidden dells.
Drive around the near-perfect local swim and surf beaches
East End, Fitzroy, Oakura and Ngamotu are just the start of the famous Surf Highway 45 around Mt Taranaki.
Cruise out to the Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Reserve
This remnant volcano is older than Mt Taranaki. The reserve boasts 70 fish species and New Zealand’s most northerly fur seal colony.
Drive 30 minutes out to Pukeiti Rhododendron Park
The park has a renowned rainforest garden. Pouakai Zoo Park and the historic Hurworth Cottage can be visited on the way.
Visit Lake Mangamahoe, 9 km south of the city
In clear conditions Mt Taranaki is superbly reflected on the lake surface. The interesting Aviation Transport and Technology Museum is nearby.
Explore the goblin forest tracks on the slopes of Mt Taranaki, New Zealand’s most-climbed major peak
North Egmont Visitor Centre is reached via Inglewood. East Egmont Mountain House is via Stratford. Dawson Falls Visitor Centre is via Mahoe. All access roads are sealed.
Visit Hawera’s privately owned Tawhiti Museum
The entertaining and educational displays are made up with incredibly lifelike figures. Don’t miss this treat.
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