Taranaki Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Taranaki is a region on the west coast of
New Zealand’s north island, about a five- hour drive south of Auckland. It is named after the dramatic volcanic mountain that dominates its skyline, and known for its spectacular landscapes, Set against a canvas of endless hiking tracks, pristine surf breaks and world-class skiing, Taranaki is a region where nature and creativity
are intimately entwined. Art is everywhere here. It’s in the jaw dropping landscapes. It’s in the art trails and festivals peppered
throughout the region. It’s even in the bridges and on the wind. New Plymouth, Taranaki’s main city,
has a huge stature in the world of contemporary art
despite its humble size. Start your adventures at the arresting
Len Lye Centre and the adjoining Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Len Lye was a maverick kinetic sculptor and
experimental film maker whose work is now deeply embedded
in the town’s identity. Wander to the waterfront and take a look at
his famous work, the Wind Wand, a 157 foot kinetic sculpture that changes
with the weather. Follow the Coastal Walkway, a promenade that links the town centre to
many of its beautiful parks and black sand beaches
such as Fitzroy and East End. Art meets nature again at
the Te Rewa Rewa bridge. This award winning bridge spans
the Waiwhakaiho River and evokes the power of an enormous wave. No matter where
you are in New Plymouth, Mount Taranaki is never far from sight, a constant reminder of how richly this region
has been blessed by nature. Make the climb to the top of Paritutu Rock, or discover a rich diversity of marine life at the Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Reserve. At Pukekura Park, right in the heart of the city, light itself becomes the artist
as it reflects off the lakes. If you are visiting
don’t miss the festival of lights which transforms the entire park. In 1956, a natural amphitheatre was converted
into the Bowl of Brooklands which has been one of New Zealand’s finest
concert venues ever since. It is also home to the world famous
WOMAD festival, the Brooklands Zoo, and the picturesque “Poet’s Bridge.” This bridge was named not after a local poet
as the name suggests but after a racehorse whose winnings provided
the funds to build it. Conservation and a deep respect for the past
is also evident in the many museums throughout New Plymouth, such as Puke Ariki. Explore the interactive exhibits and
an ever-changing program of events that delve into the region’s history. No visit to Taranaki is complete
without getting close to the powerful presence that stands at
the heart of the entire region. Follow Surf Highway 45 to
the Egmont National Park where Mt. Taranaki reigns supreme. On the westernmost point of
the Taranaki coast stands Cape Egmont Lighthouse
which has been protecting ships from the treacherous Tasman since 1881. Drive north to Lake Mangamahoe, a magnet for those who love hiking and riding. The series of picture-perfect surf breaks
along the coast lead to the dramatic rock formations known
as the Three Sisters and Elephant Rock. Once there were four sisters, but the sea is slowly reclaiming
these natural sculptures one at a time. It is sometimes said, that great art
picks up where nature ends. The longer you spend in Taranaki,
with its spectacular scenery, powerful artistic legacy
and epic outdoor adventures, the more you realise that
the two are so closely linked it is sometimes impossible to tell the difference.

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