About Taranaki New Zealand
Taranaki is a western region of the North Island of New Zealand, so named by its main geographical feature - Mount Taranaki. Surrounding the mount is the Egmont National Park.
Tarankaki's main town is New Plymouth. Other towns include Inglewood, Waitara, Hawera, Stratford and Eltham.
Known as a destination "like no other", Taranaki is a place of epic surf, spectacular gardens, great events, a legendary mountain and countless outdoor and cultural adventures.
Places of Interest
Mount Taranaki, meaning 'Gliding Peak' in Maori, is a huge, dramatic volcanic cone with a snowy top. The mount is a spiritual and physical force with strong Maori cultural history and legends shrouding it.
Sighted in 1642 by Abel Tasman, Mt Taranaki is the source of over 50 rivers and streams and the home of many botanically unique plants. The forest on Mount Taranaki's middle slopes is sometimes known as 'Goblin Forest' because of the gnarled shape of the trees and the thick swathes of trailing moss.
Maori legend tells that Taranaki once lived with the North Island's other great volcanoes (Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe) but was banished for falling in love with Tongariro's wife, a smaller volcano called Pihanga. Taranaki went west towards the setting sun and carved out the Whanganui River as he went.
For a view "like no other", climb to the top of Mt Taranki - a height of 2518 metres. A guide is recommended. Other walks around the mountain include the Pouakai Crossing – a great day hike with stunning forests and open alpine areas, and the Pouakai circuit – an overnight circular hike through lush forest, sub-alpine and alpine vegetation zones.
In winter you can ski Mt Taranaki at the Manganui Ski Area.
Egmont National Park
The Egmont National Park encompasses Mt Taranaki, and the land around it.
There is a great range of hiking options through the park where you will discover a diverse terrain. Lush rainforest covers the foothills of the mountain, but the landscape changes the higher you go. At lower altitudes tall rimu and kamahi trees dominate the landscape. As you climb the landscape changes to dense subalpine shrubs, and then to an alpine herb field with some plants unique to the park.
Other park activities include bird watching, helicopter flights, skiing and kayaking.
New Plymouth is a sunny city, known for its black sand surfing beaches and glorious parks and gardens.
Many magnificent private gardens are open for public viewing year round.
Don't miss the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery - a contemporary art museum, or the Fun Ho! National Toy Museum with over 3,000 locally made toys dating from 1936.