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From our picture-perfect mountain to our sparkling sea there are countless opportunities to explore, discover and experience Taranaki between garden visits!

For all the local secrets visit Taranaki Like no Other

Taranaki like no other BLACK

Onaero, Waitara, Bell Block

ONAERO

Onaero is a settlement in northern Taranaki, located on State Highway 3 close to the shore of the North Taranaki Bight.

WAITARA

An impressive natural feature of the largest town in North Taranaki is the Waitara River, which flows through the town’s heart. Waitara was one of the first areas in the region to be settled by Māori; consequently, it has some important heritage sites. The banks of the river were the scene of a significant battle during the Taranaki Land Wars of the 1860s that involved over 2000 people.

BELL BLOCK

This rapidly growing beachfront residential town was named after Francis Dillon Bell, the New Zealand Company’s resident agent in Taranaki from 1847–48. In the 1970s, extensive subdivisions expanded the town so that it effectively became part of New Plymouth.

 

MUST-DO EXPERIENCES INCLUDE:

  • Walk over the Bertrand Rd suspension bridge that crosses the Waitara River, linking Huirangi, near Lepperton and Tikorangi. The original bridge was built in 1897 and rebuilt in 1927 after flood damage.
  • Enjoy a game of mini-putt based on the layout of the famous Mount Panorama track at Bathurst and view an impressive collection of Holden cars and memorabilia at the Hillsborough Holden Museum near Bell Block.

New Plymouth

 

Taranaki’s main hub is an energetic and vibrant city nestled on the west coast of Aotearoa, hugging the expansive Tasman Sea. This thriving place offers an eclectic mix of historical landmarks, unique events, and vibrant arts and culture.

From outdoor adventurers to art lovers, avid shoppers to foodies, the 80,000-strong district city has something for everyone. It is dotted with great coffee spots and has a fantastic selection of cafés and restaurants.

New Plymouth is home to year-round surfing events, the internationally renowned Govett Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, Pukekura Park and the TSB Bowl of Brooklands, where countless international acts have taken to the stage.

MUST-DO EXPERIENCES INCLUDE:

  • Reflect on the shining mirror façade of the Len Lye Centre. Explore the latest contemporary exhibition in the adjoining Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and the eclectic gift store.
  • If you’re feeling inspired, pop into Big Jim’s or Palmers to get ideas for your veggie patch and garden.
  • Visit The Jewel and the Jeweller to admire the contemporary jewellery made by NZ artists.
  • Head to Puke Ariki, an award-winning library, museum, and i-SITE. Enjoy the latest temporary exhibition and learn the stories of Taranaki’s fascinating yet turbulent past.
  • Start your day with a bike ride or a walk along the award-winning Coastal Walkway. The Walkway runs 12.7km from Port Taranaki to Bell Block and takes in Len Lye’s Wind Wand and Te Rewa Rewa Bridge.
  • Visit the fabulous art galleries and design spaces in New Plymouth’s centre:
  • Kina NZ Design and Art Space – stunning jewellery, sculpture, ceramics, glass, homewares, and paintings from some of New Zealand’s talented emerging artists.
  • Koru on Devon – a beautiful gallery showcasing a range of New Zealand artists.
  • Gover Street Gallery – showcasing and selling beautiful work from artists right across the Taranaki region.

Ōakura, Ōkato, Warea

Ōakura, Okato, Warea

Ōakura

This thriving beachside community just 14km west of New Plymouth, is a hive of activity all year round. It is home to a popular swimming and surf beach, the iconic Butlers Reef pub, cafés, and a flourishing arts community. Embraced by the protective Kaitake Ranges, Ōakura is one of only three beaches along the stunning west coast that is north facing.

Ōkato

This small coastal town is positioned along the well-known Surf Highway 45, which boasts some of the best surf breaks in the country. The small township 26km south-west of New Plymouth is one of the three surviving northern Taranaki military settlements established in the 1860s (along with Urenui and Lepperton). It is also home to the iconic Stony River, one of the main rivers that flow from Taranaki Maunga.

Warea

Warea is a small settlement 35km south-west of
New Plymouth, home to the world-class surf break
Stent Road.

MUST DO EXPERIENCES INCLUDE:

  • For stunning locally designed and crafted jewellery visit Ringcraft Moana. Jewellery making workshops are also available on inquiry.
  • Just south of Ōkato is the picturesque Cape Egmont Lighthouse at the end of Cape Road and discover its story at the Historic Cape Lighthouse and Museum at the end of Bayly Rd, Rahotu.
  • Follow the Ōakura Arts Trail to see works by talented local artists, who open their studios up to the public each weekend of the garden festival.

Ōpunake, Manaia, Hawera

Ōpunake, Manaia, Hāwera

Ōpunake is the seaside destination halfway along the iconic 105km stretch of road known as Surf Highway 45. Featuring world-renowned surf breaks, mountain-to-sea views, and a 7km walkway. Discover antique stores, vibrant murals, and a bronze statue of Peter Snell.

Manaia

Manaia has been nicknamed the “bread capital” of
NZ because it is home to world-renowned Yarrows Family Bakers. Stop by the bakery for great deals on bread and baked goods. The village is named after the former Māori rangatira of the district, Hukunui Manaia.

Hāwera

Relax in one the town’s picturesque parks, stop in at the famed Tawhiti Museum with its life-size figures created from moulds cast from real people, or climb the iconic Hāwera water tower. The Māori name of Hāwera means “the burnt place” or “breath of fire”.

MUST-DO EXPERIENCES INCLUDE:

  • Wander in the coastal community garden in Ōpunake. It is like a secret garden; a little patch of paradise.
  • Walk the Ōpunake Loop Trail past the Ōpunake Lake, across the clifftops and enjoy the coastal vistas for 7 kilometers.
  • The sweetheart of Ōpunake, discover Everybody’s Theatre, with an eclectic and heart-warming range of original restored seats and comfy sofas.
  • The Emporium gallery and gift shop in Ōpunake is filled with quality homewares, gifts and art from local Taranaki artists.
  • Lysaght Watt Gallery in Hāwera showcases contemporary fine arts by emerging and established artists, with exhibitions changed monthly.
  • Visit the acclaimed Aotea Utanganui – Museum of South Taranaki in Pātea, the home of some of New Zealand’s oldest wooden artifacts. The museum provides a wonderful insight into South Taranaki’s rich past.

Eltham, Stratford, Inglewood

Eltham

Eltham’s main street is lined with Victorian buildings that are home to many charming antique and curiosity shops. The town has a fascinating history, being where the New Zealand dairy industry took off globally. A trip through the town would not be complete without stopping at the Eltham Cheese Bar to sample some of the speciality cheese and dairy products.

Stratford

Stratford, situated in the heart of Taranaki, is the home to the only Glockenspiel clock tower in New Zealand. Every day at 10am, 1pm, 3pm and 7pm, the Glockenspiel chimes and performs a short re-enactment of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in commemoration to the town being named after the birthplace of the great bard William Shakespeare.

The town features 67 streets named after characters from an assortment of Shakespeare’s plays.

Inglewood

As well as laying claim to eight buildings classified by the New Zealand Historical Places Trust, it is also home to the oldest remaining railway station on its original site in New Zealand.

 

MUST-DO EXPERIENCES INCLUDE:

  • The Bank in Eltham is a treasure trove of vintage furniture, retro wares, costume jewellery, and clothing, plus contemporary photography.
  • The Eltham Cheese Bar with its range of reasonably priced products is a must for all cheese lovers.
  • Visit the Percy Thomson Gallery public art gallery in Stratford. New exhibitions start every three to four weeks and vary between national, local, and regional artists—established and emerging.
  • Fenton Street Art Collective is into ART in a big way: the ART of Coffee, Art of ART and the ART of Distilling. You will be amazed at what you can find in this historic old building.
  • Discover what life was like for Taranaki pioneers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries at Stratford’s outdoor museum Pioneer Village.
  • Explore the wetland and lowland forests that are home to hundreds of native plants and threatened wildlife species at Rotokare Scenic Reserve.
  • Stop at Inglewood’s Fun Ho! Toys and view the fantastic collection of the Fun Ho! Toys that were produced locally between 1935–1983.