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Destinations - Taranaki

Black sand beach, TaranakiTucked right away between Auckland and Wellington, the charismatic region of Taranaki, has the most evocative landscape not matched anywhere else on North Island. Black sand beaches, the majestic and colossal cone of Mount Taranaki and rolling patchwork hills are just some of the definitive characteristics that are synonymous with Taranaki. With plenty of accommodation, visitors literally pour into the region, especially in the summer time.

Humble Beginnings
The region of Taranaki was already home to many Māori tribes as far back as the 13th century, but by the 19th century, many of the tribes were forced to flee the larger northern tribes and they moved onto Kapiti Island. In the mid 1800's the remaining Māori started making contact with whalers and traders who were arriving in the region to purchase flax.

A trading and whaling post was established at Ngamotu Beach around the same time, and it was not long before more settlers started streaming into the area in ships owned by the Plymouth Company and New Plymouth was born.

Taranaka Oil RigMany of the Māoris then returned to Ngamotu Beach, and were faced with disastrous land disputes which resulted in the ten year long Taranaki Land Wars. Just over 100 years later the discovery of natural gas and oil changed the dynamics of everything, and present day Taranaki is touted as the Texas of New Zealand.

With oil and gas both on and offshore heavily supporting the economy, the other predominant sector is dairy farming with the milk factory on the outskirts of Hawera being the second largest milk factory in the Southern Hemisphere.

Mount Taranaki from Lake MangamahoeTantalizing Taranaki
Diverse and dynamic, there is no other region anywhere else on the North Island quite like Taranaki. I mean, where else can you go surfing in the morning and snowboarding on the same afternoon? The intoxicating scenery and craggy and wild coastline all under the watchful gaze of the glorious Mount Taranaki (also officially known as Mount Egmont), is without a doubt the most dramatic destination to experience.

To say that Taranaki is beautiful is a complete understatement, and words, pictures and documentaries can do this part of the world absolutely no justice. You have to go there and experience the magic for yourself. When it comes to activities, there is perhaps no one place that can match the excitement, with a true abundance of outdoor adventures just waiting to be had.

Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust Go on overnight hikes, white river rafting, surfing in the stunning oceans along surf Highway 45, swimming on Ngamotu Beach, stroll through the wild, untamed forests and check out the famous Wind Wand - by kinetic artist Len Lye. For a more leisurely time visit one of the 14 "Gardens of Significance" in the region, particularly the Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust property of 20 hectares (49 acres) featuring over 25,000 rhodos. Enjoy the winter snow sports on Mount Teranaki in the resplendent Egmont National Park at the Manganui ski resort, where no matter what your skill level, from beginner to advanced, you will find a slope just for you.

New Plymouth, TaranakiThe city of New Plymouth is the biggest city in Taranaki and the bustling inner city commercial hub for the region. Experience the extensive culture, vibrant art centre, the eclectic festivals, awe inspiring museums and art galleries and an abundance of sidewalk cafes, restaurants and art trails. Holiday accommodation in New Plymouth is fantastic for those visitors who want to have a base from which to explore the incredible surroundings, and is mostly close to the amenities and the gorgeous waterfront at Port Plymouth. The Coastal Walkway is a sea-edge promenade of 11 kilometres along almost the entire length of the city.

Taranaki Surf Highway 45The region has 20 golf courses, from sheep occupied to international class, all within one hours drive of each other. Go back in time and visit the Taranaki Pioneer Village - a unique outdoor museum featuring many authentic historical buildings and displays of pioneering life. In fact there is very little that Taranaki doesn't have - epic surf spots, horse riding, cultural and city sights and attractions, art history and beautiful natural formations everywhere as well as an enviable climate, making it the perfect holiday destination all year round.

Getting There
Taranaki is easily accessible because of its neat position right in between Auckland and Wellington. Fly from either of the cities, which is a quick 45 minute flight into the glorious region of Taranaki or drive, which takes four and half hours from either Wellington or Auckland.



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