Where art meets Mount Taranaki's dramatic peak
Bucolic gardens, coastal highways and lush forests greet travellers in New Plymouth, the gateway to the Taranaki region. Settled by English migrants and named after Plymouth, Devon in England, New Plymouth is a coastal city with a towering mountain within a half hour drive. So it’s possible to snowboard, ski and surf – all in the one day.
The dramatic snow-capped peak of Mount Taranaki rises out of Egmont National Park where hiking trails traverse the mountain and ski slopes line the Manganui Ski Area. In the city and along the Tasman Sea runs the popular New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, a 10km walk with stunning waterfront views. Art fans will enjoy the Len Lye Centre at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, a tribute to the award-winning visionary artist and sculptor, Len Lye.
Things to do
Take a hike
Egmont National Park opens in new window encompasses the perfectly formed Taranaki volcano and offers lush waterfalls, rainforests and mossy swamps. The hiking paths are extensive and range from a 15 minute stroll along the Kamahi Track to the three-day Pouakai Circuit.
Tour Taranaki history
Visit the fascinating collections at Puke Ariki opens in new window for a look at Taranaki history and its people. Innovative exhibitions cover topics including natural science, WWI history and a local photographic history of the region. Unwind in the on-site café or have a meal in the top-class restaurant, and sign up for a city walking tour.
Contemporary art attack
Spend a day at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery opens in new window to explore New Zealand’s dynamic contemporary art scene. A centre dedicated to Len Lye, the pioneering filmmaker and kinetic sculptor, houses a collection of his vibrant multi-media works, and changing exhibitions showcase innovative, provocative work by New Zealand and international artists.
Hit the slopes
Less than an hour's drive from New Plymouth lies Mount Taranaki and the Manganui Ski Area opens in new window. Boasting long runs, two natural half pipes, on-site accommodation and nearby gear hire, Manganui is the perfect place for seasoned skiers and snowboarders to hit the slopes.
Let's go fishing
Get your feet wet with a fly-fishing trip along the Awakino River, one of the North Island’s best fishing rivers. Here you’ll find good numbers of wild rainbow and brown trout ready to test your angling skills. If you’d like a guided adventure, local guides opens in new window are ready to take you out on the river.
Distance to city centre 11km
Taxi A taxi from the airport takes around 15 minutes and costs NZD $30-40.
Shuttle Scott’s Airport Shuttle opens in new window costs around NZD $18 – book ahead.
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When to go
With a climate similar to Auckland but moderated by the surrounding Pacific Ocean, New Plymouth is sunny and temperate. Winter (June–August) is mild with temperatures averaging around 14°C. While there is year-round rainfall, expect a slight increase in the cooler months (May–October).
Come March, New Plymouth is home to one of New Zealand’s biggest music and arts festivals, WOMAD. In the spring, from late October to early November, the region holds the Taranaki Garden Spectacular, celebrating food, fashion, architecture and sustainability in the region’s many striking gardens.Back to top