Guide to living in taranaki

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Lifestyle Toolkit




About Taranaki 


The lifestyle 


The region and districts 


The landscape, climate & weather 


The people 


History & culture 


Infrastructure & amenities 


Walking & cycling, public bus services 


Transport networks – sea, air & land 


Accommodation & business assistance 


Conferences & the economy 


Live in Taranaki 


Finding a home 


Schools & education 


Healthcare 12

Restaurants, cafés & bars 


Festivals & events 


A centre for the arts 


A multitude of sports 


Something for everyone 


Parks & gardens 


Walking 21

Mountain to surf 


State Highway touring routes 



June 2015

Venture Taranaki is a public good initiative founded by: 

Moving to Taranaki, New Zealand 


Immigration 24

Shipping & settlement 


Banking & tax 


Pensions, GST, driving & public holidays 


Working in Taranaki 


Job landscape & labour market information 


Salary, qualifications & CV’s 


Looking back, forward & skills in demand 


Skill shortage lists 


Taranaki Industries 


Dairy 32

Oil & gas 


Engineering 36

Food processing 


Horticulture 38

Tourism & hospitality 


Case Studies 


UK 40

South Africa 


New Zealand 


Elsewhere around the globe 


Venture Taranaki recommends the use, advice and assistance of professional services such as licensed immigration advisors, accountants and lawyers to 

facilitate your move and help make it as smooth and stress free as possible.

For more information on the lifestyle you can achieve or to discuss specific job and career opportunities there might be for you in Taranaki, contact Venture 

Taranaki on +64 6 759 5158 email or visit

Thank you for your interest in Taranaki – a great 

place to live, work and play.

The Taranaki Lifestyle Toolkit has been developed by 

Venture Taranaki Trust, the Regional Development 

Agency, to help you discover what living and working 

in Taranaki is like, and what an amazing career and 

lifestyle you can achieve here.

Venture Taranaki has a focus on growing the regional 

economy through business and tourism development 

and building the Taranaki brand. Comprising of 

integrated teams working for the public good across 

economic development, tourism, marketing and 

events, Venture Taranaki is the one-stop-shop for 

anyone looking to visit, work, live or invest in Taranaki.

For more information visit:

Taranaki, New Zealand, is a region of unlimited 

potential. From picture-perfect Mount Taranaki to the 

wild surf beaches and civilised cultural attractions, the 

region boasts a natural energy and vibrancy.

Home to strong oil and gas and dairy sectors, robust 

engineering and primary production, and rapidly 

growing tourism and events sectors, Taranaki has 

evolved into a dynamic and globally acclaimed region 

with a truly enviable lifestyle.

Team these strengths with a unique natural landscape, 

plus innovative and proud people and you have a 

legendary destination in which to live, work and play.

So why not swap sides to Taranaki – a region like 

no other.

Welcome to Taranaki’s 

Lifestyle Toolkit













New Zealand



elcome & Contents

 The lifestyle 

The Taranaki lifestyle has become the stuff of legend. The region 

is known as the energy province of New Zealand, as much for 

the rich mineral resources underneath it, as the energised 

landscape and welcoming locals who reside there.

At its heart – both geographically and spiritually – stands 

Mount Taranaki, a natural playground and proud regional 

icon. Nestled on the coast, the progressive capital city of the 

region – New Plymouth, was judged New Zealand’s Top Town by 

influential North & South magazine.

In Taranaki it’s easy to achieve an enviable lifestyle, without 

having to compromise your career. The region’s dynamic surf, 

multitude of parks and gardens, iconic walkways, major events 

calendar and mountain playground make it a great place to live.

Add to that the minimal traffic, low unemployment and clean 

air and water, and you’ll soon see why this safe and stimulating 

community is the perfect place to call home – whether you’re 

seeking a better lifestyle, starting a family, or simply looking for 

a change. 

About Taranaki

Every day people take the opportunity to cycle, walk, run 

and skate on New Plymouth’s multi-award-winning walkway 

beside the Tasman Sea. 

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 The region

If you are looking for Taranaki on a map of New Zealand, you’ll 

see it’s the bump on the west coast of the North Island. Located 

halfway between the main centres of Auckland and Wellington, 

the region is characterised by the 2518m Mount Taranaki, in 

Egmont National Park.


Beyond New Plymouth there are smaller towns and villages 

all around Mount Taranaki with lifestyle blocks and farms in-

between. This means you can choose between city, small town 

or rural life, and pick whether to live by the sea or further inland.

 The districts

Taranaki is home to 110,000 people, most of 

whom live in the coastal city of New Plymouth. 

The region is split into three districts: New 

Plymouth to the north with a population of  

about 75,000,

Stratford in central Taranaki servicing about 

9,000 people

; and South Taranaki

, including the main centre of 

Hawera, with a population of 26,000. The Taranaki Regional 

Council covers the entire region, providing services and 

information on the environment, resource consents, public 

transport, and civil defence.


The region is characterised by the 2518m, 

Mount Taranaki, in Egmont National Park. 



New Zealand

New Plymouth






Cape Egmont



















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 The landscape

The Taranaki ring plain spreads out from Mount Taranaki like a 

skirt striped with rivers, and has rich free-draining volcanic soils 

that support pastoral farming. The Taranaki hill country to the 

east is steeply dissected by river valleys that are affectionately 

known as ‘the wopwops’.

There’s also the fabulous coastal environment, which edges 

Taranaki from Patea in the south, right around to Mokau in 

the north. Warm iron sand lines the shores, and children and 

adults alike enjoy swimming on the many beautiful beaches 

throughout the region.

 Climate and weather

Taranaki boasts a temperate climate with high sunshine hours 

and abundant rainfall, which combine to make it lush, green 

and fertile. Temperatures are pleasant and mild all year round, 

making it an ideal place for outdoor activities. Average winter 

temperatures range between 6°C and 14°C, and summer 

temperatures a comfortable 13°C to 22°C, with the highest 

temperature recorded as 30°C. On average New Plymouth 

receives 2,197 hours of sunshine annually, one of the highest in 

New Zealand.


The Taranaki region has a temperate climate with abundant 

rainfall and high sunshine hours, making it green, lush and fertile.

In 2013 and 2014, New Plymouth enjoyed the second 

highest number of sunshine hours in the country. 

Taranaki’s seasons 


  September, October and November


  December, January, February


  March, April, May


   June, July, August

Daylight saving starts on the last Sunday in September when 

clocks go forward an hour, and ends on the first Sunday of April, 

when the clocks go back an hour.

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 The people

Taranaki people are known for their friendly and resourceful 

‘can do’ attitude. They are incredibly proud of their homeland 

– turangawaewae, which in Maori means ‘place where I stand’. 

Many people from a variety of different cultures and countries 

have moved to Taranaki for work and lifestyle. These people 

now call Taranaki their home, adding variety and vibrancy to the 


 History and culture

Taranaki has a vivid and colourful history that 

is rich in both legend and spirit. The region has 

seen more than its fair share of wars, beginning 

with bloody battles between the Maori tribes 

that first settled the region in the 13th century. 

European settlement of New Plymouth began 

in earnest in 1841, as did the initial opposition to land sales 

by local Maori. This was to become a defining aspect of the 

region’s history for over 150 years, with the Taranaki Land Wars 

drawing more than 3,500 colonial troops into the region. 

Parihaka Pa became the first place in the world where passive 

resistance was used when the prophets Te Whiti O Rongamai 

and Tohu kakahi led their people in non-violent protest in 

reaction to the confiscation of their lands. Mount Taranaki 

also has a colourful story behind its origin. According to Maori 

legend, Taranaki sat in the centre of the North Island with the 

other mountain gods, Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe who 

were all in love with nearby Pihanga. Taranaki made advances 

towards Pihanga but was banished by a furious Tongariro. A 

grief filled Taranaki moved towards the setting sun, gouging the 

Whanganui river along the way.

Many of the stories about Taranaki’s past are told at Puke Ariki, 

a world-class interactive museum, library and information 

centre in New Plymouth. Its galleries explore the region’s 

natural, geological and human interest stories, and a dynamic 

exhibition and events programme puts the spotlight on specific 

aspects of the region’s culture.

In South Taranaki, near Hawera, is the widely renowned Tawhiti 

museum created by artist Nigel Ogle. It relays Taranaki’s 

heritage through life-size and scale models of Taranaki  

people and places, all of which are created on-site.

The museum of South Taranaki – Aotea Utanganui – in Patea, 

and Taranaki Pioneer Village near Stratford also offer fascinating 

historical insights and are two of many museums scattered 

throughout the region which bring Taranaki’s past to life.

Taranaki has a vivid and colourful history that is rich in both legend and spirit.

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 Infrastructure and 


Taranaki’s infrastructure and amenities are of a high standard 

and impressive for a region of its size. They include numerous 

libraries, town halls, art galleries, sports facilities and swimming 

pools, cycle and walk ways, museums, parks and reserves, 

theatres and stadiums, which are located throughout the region.

 Walking and cycling

In 2010, New Plymouth became one of New Zealand’s two 

Walking and Cycling Model Communities, which has resulted 

in an expansive network of cycle trails, amenities, walkways 

and events to make it easy to leave the car at home. Facilities 

include a newly established ‘bike pod’ in central New Plymouth 

which provides secure lockers where workers can leave their 

bikes for the day.

 Public bus services

There is a regular schedule of buses servicing most areas of 

New Plymouth and Taranaki. CityLink weekday commuter 

services run on nine routes within urban New Plymouth, as well 

as between New Plymouth and Waitara, and New Plymouth 

and Oakura. School buses also operate within the District at 

appropriate times. SouthLink operate a weekly bus service to 

outlying towns.

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 Transport networks

Taranaki is just far enough away from the rest of the world to 

retain its special character and charm. However this doesn’t 

mean it isn’t well connected. With its unique position in the 

middle of the North Island plus a variety of excellent transport 

networks, access to Auckland, Wellington and further afield 

is quick, easy and efficient. Whether you choose to take a 

stunningly scenic drive, hop on a regular commuter flight or 

bus, the rest of the world is within easy reach.


Port Taranaki is one of the region’s best assets. It boasts the 

only deep-water harbour on New Zealand’s west coast and 

has ample capability for importing and exporting all manner 

of goods, from wind turbines to LPG, oil rig components to 

industrial machinery, and milk to locally grown produce.


New Plymouth Airport, located on the 

north side of the city, is home to award-

winning café Airspresso, and connects 

Taranaki to the rest of New Zealand and 

the international airports that will take you overseas. 

Serviced by Air New Zealand Link, it’s only a 45 minute 

direct flight to or from Auckland or Wellington, and 85 

minutes to or from Christchurch. 


Taranaki’s many attractions are just a few hours’ drive 

away from other tourist spots in New Zealand. Roads are 

generally of a good standard and are constantly being 

upgraded. There is also a regular bus service in and out 

of Taranaki and you can drive to Auckland or Wellington 

in just 4.5 hours. Rental cars from a number of reputable 

companies can be arranged from the main centres or at 

New Plymouth Airport. 

By air, land or sea, Taranaki is a 

highly accessible region – but is 

also ‘just far enough away’.

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Taranaki has a wide range of commercial accommodation to 

choose from if you’re initially here on a short term basis – from 

high-rise international hotel chains and good-value motels to 

up-market boutique hotels, beautiful bed & breakfasts, pristine 

campgrounds and top quality hostels. You’ll be able to stay 

along the coast, up the mountain, in the heart of the city or in 

wonderful rural isolation.


Business assistance

Doing business in Taranaki

Taranaki is home to a thriving business community. If you are 

thinking of setting up or relocating a business to the region, 

there is a wide range of support to help you get off to a 

great start.

Venture Taranaki Trust is Taranaki’s Regional Development 

Agency. Incorporated as a charitable trust, Venture Taranaki 

works with individuals, businesses, clusters and industries to 

help grow Taranaki. Venture Taranaki is also the link to many 

government services and programmes and is the steward of 

the Taranaki regional brand – used extensively to identify and 

promote local businesses. The economic development team 

helps businesses to succeed from the initial start up phase 

through to growth on an international scale. New Zealand is 

ranked as the easiest place in the world to start a business.

Our team is well equipped with the knowledge and tools to help 

you whatever stage your business is at.

To inspire you to think of different ways to start or grow your 

business, we have highlighted the following available resources 

and tools:

•  Business Capability

•  Business Investment

•  Business Mentoring

•  Business Start-up

•  Business Support

•  Export Assistance

•  Massey University Partnership

•  Newsletters, reports and social media

•  Regional Intelligence

•  Research and Development

•  Sector Support

•  Talent attraction, retention, growth and inspiration

For our full list of business services take a look at our Business 

Toolkit, online and in hard copy, or contact us at 

9 Robe St, PO Box 670, New Plymouth 4340

Phone: 06 759 5150 


Venture Taranaki Trust, the Regional Development Agency, offers a 

range of tools and services to help businesses from inception through 

to global expansion.

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National and international conventions and conferences are 

regularly held in Taranaki, and there are many venue sizes and 

locations available. The Taranaki Convention Bureau, a division 

of Venture Taranaki, helps organisations and companies keen 

to host events in the region by offering impartial advice and 



 The economy

Taranaki’s economy has been a strong performer over the last 

decade and is forecast to grow faster than the national economy 

over the next 20 years. The province has been largely insulated 

from global fluctuations by the strong natural and physical 

resources of the region’s two cornerstone industries, black gold 

– oil and gas – and white gold – dairy and food production. 

Taranaki is the centre of New Zealand’s oil, natural gas and 

petrochemical industries with all of New Zealand’s producing 

oil and gas fields being located onshore and offshore in the 

Taranaki Basin. The sector supports a range of ancillary 

industries, including niche engineering, manufacturing, planning 

and design that form part of an extensive supply chain meeting 

the many requirements of the main oil and gas companies. 

The region’s robust dairy industry is also an important part 

of Taranaki’s economy with almost four billion litres of milk 

processed annually. Ensuring the milk keeps flowing is a strong 

rural support sector, spanning everything from pasture and herd 

management to the processing and exporting of associated 

dairy products and technologies. Agriculture production 

produces 11 percent of the region’s GDP, while food processing 

(mostly dairy and meat) contributes a further 10 percent.

Taranaki’s pioneering spirit is legendary and the region’s 

businesses have grown from these core industries into a diverse 

range of sectors, gaining an enviable reputation for innovation 

along the way. Today, Taranaki does everything, from crafting 

some of the best stainless steel in the world to developing 

cutting-edge technologies for the earthmoving industry or 

manufacturing hotcakes for the global market.

The region’s key industries are:

•  Business & Professional Services

•  Dairy & Agriculture

•  Education

•  Engineering

•  Food & Beverage Processing

•  Health

•  Horticulture

•  Manufacturing

•  Oil & Gas supply & service

•  Tourism and Hospitality.

For more information on industries go to page 32.

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 Finding a home 

Taranaki offers a wide variety of affordable housing ranging 

from apartment living in city and town centres, traditional 

bungalows on private sections to farms and lifestyle blocks in 

the countryside. With the affordability of housing in the region, 

along with the time you’ll save in commuting, Taranaki gives you 

lifestyle choices ‘like no other’.

With a spacious, safe living environment, Taranaki is a great 

place to call home. If you would like to find somewhere to live, 

contact a local real estate agent or check out their websites for 

more details.

If you choose to make New Plymouth your home, no matter 

what suburb you live in, you will be just minutes away from the 

city centre. It’s likely to take you no more than 10 minutes to 

commute to work each day.

Hawera, Stratford, Inglewood, Waitara, Oakura, Opunake, 

Urenui and many of the other towns throughout Taranaki 

provide an inviting alternative to city living. In these smaller 

communities, you will find homes on spacious sections and 

lifestyle blocks with sea and/or mountain views. and


There is a variety of rental housing available in New Plymouth 

and in all towns around the region. If you are moving from 

overseas, it is recommended that you rent first before buying so 

that you can learn more about the market and where you would 

like to settle before purchasing a home. Talk to a local real 

estate agent for more information on what’s available.


Buying a house is generally a straightforward and simple 

process. The average time it takes for settlement to go through 

once an offer has been accepted is 30 days, and there is no 

ability for other people to ‘gazump’ you. A great way to get a 

feel for the market is to attend ‘open homes’ at the weekends. 

For information on the buying process, residency rules and 

arranging a mortgage talk to your local bank manager or lawyer. 

For a list of lawyers, go to Page 29. 

 Real estate information (property law)

Living in Taranaki

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With a spacious, safe living environment, 

and a wide choice of housing, Taranaki 

is a great place to call home. 

 Schools and education 

There is a wide variety of education providers 

in the region, from early childcare through to 

tertiary institutions. Our schools provide a 

safe, friendly and positive environment where 

students are actively encouraged to reach  

their full potential by highly qualified, 

dedicated staff.

Quality education begins at one of Taranaki’s high-level 

preschool facilities which include kindergartens, play centres, 

Montessori pre-school, child care centres, Kohanga Reo, home-

based family day care and nanny placement services.

Most primary and intermediate schools offer low teacher to 

pupil ratios and secondary students have the choice of enrolling 

in a school that suits their needs. Whether it is co-educational 

or single sex, boarding or day, religious or secular, our schools 

are renowned for their academic, sporting and cultural 


Sector specific training is provided by Industry Training 

Organisations (ITO’s), and tertiary education by the 

Western Institute of Technology in Taranaki (WITT) and 

Pacific International Hotel Management School (PIHMS). 

Apprenticeships are managed and promoted by a number 

of different organisations and some larger companies 

provide internships or graduate programmes as part of their 

recruitment programmes.

Taranaki is now part of the global Kiwi Advanced Research & 

Education Network (KAREN) which provides ultra-high speed 

1GB broadband to researchers and education providers.

Taranaki offers a range of excellent facilities where students are taught 

by highly qualified, dedicated staff. 

 Educational options

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The Taranaki District Health Board is the key health provider 

in the region. Taranaki Base Hospital provides first-class 

emergency, intensive and medical care to the community 

through an extensive range of specialist surgeons and doctors 

covering mental health to pain management, paediatrics to 

physiotherapy and everything in between.

Top class diagnostic equipment is available at the Hospital 

and for those looking to start or extend their family, a modern 

birthing facility, maternity ward and neonatal unit are also on 

offer. An ambulance service is operated by the Health Board 

and is aligned with other rescue services.

Taranaki is well served by general practitioners, surgical 

specialists and nurses. There are many supporting primary 

health organisations offering a variety of services and 

personnel, including health promotion workers, dieticians and 

midwives. South Taranaki is well serviced by a modern hospital 

in Hawera, medical centres in Opunake, Hawera and Patea, and 

GP services in Manaia and Eltham. 

 Accident Compensation 

Corporation (ACC)

ACC is a government-funded scheme that covers the cost of 

treatment and recovery for accidents and emergencies, both 

in and out of the workplace. Additional health insurance is 

recommended for those treatments that fall outside of ACC in 

order to take advantage of shorter waiting lists. 

 Ancillary services

There are pharmacies in all towns, and a large number 

of excellent dentists, physiotherapists and psychologists 

available, so there is no need to worry about your health when 

you are in Taranaki – you will be well taken care of. To find one 


The Taranaki Hospice, Te Rangimarie, also 

offers on-site palliative care in New Plymouth 

and at-home throughout the region.

Taranaki Base Hospital has recently undergone a multi million dollar 

upgrade and provides first-class emergency, intensive and medical 

care for the whole region.

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 Restaurants, Cafés and Bars

Take a leisurely wander down any of Taranaki’s main streets, 

and you’ll be amazed at the selection of local and international 

flavours on offer. From steaming coffee and french pastries to 

delicate whitebait fritters, and hot Indian curries to aromatic 

Asian fare, there’s something for everyone in Taranaki.

Treat your palate to fresh ocean catch at a downtown bistro, 

relish a latte in a cosy café, or gaze out to sea in an upmarket 

gourmet restaurant.

There is a well-established coffee culture in the 

region, with talented baristas making coffee in 

cafés right around the mountain. Three local 

roasters provide delicious beans to many of 

these cafés. This has led to a highly developed 

coffee community, providing an excellent cup 

of coffee.

For those who appreciate something a little stronger, there are 

traditional country pubs that offer a glimpse into rural New 

Zealand, modern wine bars and nightclubs that add flavour to a 

night out, a few boutique wineries and an organic brewery.

To find out what to eat and where, visit

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 Festivals and events

Taranaki has become known as an events capital and punches 

well above its weight in terms of attracting international 

superstars. The region is lucky to have the TSB Bowl of 

Brooklands, a natural amphitheatre housed in Pukekura Park,  

a 50-hectare park in the centre of New Plymouth city. 

This world-class venue has attracted many famous 

international artists including REM, UB40, Sir Elton John, Jack 

Johnson, Simply Red, Fleetwood Mac, Lionel Ritchie, Sting, 

Paul Simon, and John Farnham, as well as hosting the annual 

WOMAD and Tropfest festivals.

The TSB Stadium is another event venue, where the likes of 

Slash, INXS, The Beach Boys and Westlife have all performed  

in recent years.


The highlight of the year for many Taranaki people is when 

WOMAD comes to town. The three-day World of Music, Arts 

and Dance turns the TSB Bowl of Brooklands and surrounding 

Brooklands Park into a hive of cultural harmony. Incredibly 

talented musicians from all over the world and New Zealand, 

six stages, a global village of art and crafts, a kids’ zone, multi-

ethnic food stalls, relaxing bars serving New Zealand’s best 

beer and wine and an on-site marae all transform this beautiful 

park into an international extravaganza in March each year, it’s a 

must do!

Garden festivals

Every spring, dozens of Taranaki’s best 

gardeners open their hearts and homes to 

visitors and locals during the annual Taranaki 

garden festivals.

For ten days at the start of November, the 

region buzzes with people admiring topiary 

hedges, clever plantings, blooming roses and rhododendrons 

which are part of the Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular.

. Alongside this, the Taranaki Fringe Garden 

Festival offers another selection of earthy creations for people 

to view.

TSB Festival of Lights

Every summer, Taranaki people talk about “going to see the 

lights”. They are referring to the TSB Bank Festival of Lights at 

Pukekura Park, where trees lining the paths and lakes are strung 

with lights, turning the park into an enchanting fairyland.

A sleeping giant, nativity scenes, a coloured fountain and 

waterfall, and a walk under ultra-violet lights all help to make 

this annual event magical. The festival also offers night after 

night of concerts and free entertainment on lawns amidst the 

illuminated bush and is one of Taranaki’s star attractions.

Taranaki has become known as an events capital of New Zealand. 

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Farmers’ Markets

Farmers’ Market Taranaki is a weekly event where local 

growers and producers meet local customers and visitors to 

the province. The market aims to provide fresh healthy local 

produce at fair prices, create an environment where smaller 

local businesses can sell directly to customers, be a place 

where friends can meet, and allow consumers to discuss their 

queries directly with producers.

There is also a popular monthly Seaside Market offering a range 

of arts, craft, locally grown produce and homewares, check out 

Facebook for more information.


Taranaki has staged the AmeriCARna festival which celebrates 

all things American, numerous times. For a week in February 

hundreds of hot rod and classic car enthusiasts parade around 

the region and provide locals with the opportunity to get up 

close and personal to their prized vehicles.

Taranaki International Festival of the Arts

The Taranaki International Festival of the Arts happens every 

two years. This is a time for people to indulge in music, 

comedy, drama, dance, writing and circus performances. Over 

the years, this festival has provided an astounding range of 

acts, from Slava’s Snowshow to Cirque Éloize, Eddi Reader to 

New Zealand’s own Topp Twins. It has twice brought in the 

Spiegeltent Salon Perdu for cabaret and comedy acts and one 

year built a temporary ice-rink in the centre of New Plymouth. 

As well as city-based acts, there are also heartland tours to 

Taranaki’s smaller communities and marae.

 Other festivals and events

International film festivals, the Taranaki Wine & Food Festival, 

alternative music and even tattoo festivals are events that have 

been, or continue to be, held in Taranaki.

To find out more about 

what’s on in Taranaki go to...

To buy tickets for  

events go to...

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Taranaki has a vibrant arts scene.

 A centre for the arts

Taranaki has a vibrant arts scene. The perfect 

figure of Mount Taranaki has been a recurring 

theme in New Zealand’s art history and its 

creative influence extends right around the 

region, through studios, galleries and public 

art in the form of outdoor exhibition spaces 

and sculpture, the latter best seen at the biennial Te Kupenga 

Stone Sculpture Symposium on New Plymouth’s foreshore.

But the jewel in Taranaki’s creative crown is undoubtedly the 

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, recognised as one of the leading 

contemporary art galleries in Australasia. 

Along with an extensive collection of works by the likes of Don 

Driver, Ralph Hotere and Michael Smither, the Govett-Brewster 

Art Gallery showcases cutting-edge visual art from around the 

Pacific Rim and beyond. It is also home to the collected works 

and archives of Len Lye, an internationally renowned kinetic 

sculptor, painter and film pioneer.

Attached to the Govett-Brewster is the newly built and modern 

Len Lye Centre which features works in a variety of media from 

acclaimed artist Len Lye


. Also close by is Kina NZ Design + Art Space, which 

holds monthly exhibitions of New Zealand and Taranaki art.

In Stratford, The Percy Thomson Gallery has ongoing exhibitions 

of work from New Zealand artists and community art groups

, as does Inglewood’s 

Fritz Reuter Gallery, Hawera’s Lysaght Watt Gallery and Eltham’s 

PTO Gallery.

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 A multitude of sports 

Sport is a large focus in Taranaki. Not only does the region 

host top-class sporting events, it also encourages people to 

get active through providing a variety of high-quality sports 

facilities, clubs and grounds. 


New Plymouth’s picturesque cricket ground at Pukekura Park 

received international honours in 2007, when prestigious 

publisher Wisden named it as one of the six greatest cricket 

grounds in the world.

Another one of the region’s premier venues is Yarrow Stadium, 

judged the third best place in the world to watch a rugby match 

by New Zealand Rugby World Magazine. The Stadium regularly 

hosts major rugby and sporting events, including three Rugby 

World Cup 2011 matches and six FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015 

matches including a round of 16 final.

New Plymouth is also the location for the TSB Stadium, a 

multipurpose centre that caters for a diverse range of events 

including sports, shows and concerts, exhibitions and trade 

shows, dinners, conventions and community events. The 

Stadium is located adjacent to the Pukekura Raceway, where 

races are held on a regular basis throughout the year.

Opened in 2002, The TET Multi Sports Centre in Stratford, 

central Taranaki, is a modern facility offering both indoor 

and outdoor sports, such as volleyball, netball and hockey, 

including a fully licensed bar and restaurant and large 

conference facilities.

The TET Stadium in Inglewood also provides modern rugby, 

squash and conference facilities and features a world class 

Mondo all-weather running track.

The TSB Hub is a sports, recreation and events facility for the 

entire South Taranaki district, based around Hick’s Park in 

Hawera. It provides a comfortable, spacious venue for indoor 

leisure activities and operates as a modern conference, events 

and function centre as well as a meeting space for a variety 

of community clubs and organisations. It also links to the 

neighbouring 800-student Hawera High School and the nearby 

Powerco Aquatic Centre. In 2010 and 2011, the TSB Hub hosted 

the Davis Cup, an international tennis tournament and the 

world’s largest annual team competition in sport.

Taranaki was proud to host five international teams 

across three matches for the Rugby World Cup in 2011, 

and six FIFA U20’s games in 2015. 

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- 16 -

 Something for everyone

Taranaki’s fantastic landscape and highly developed 

infrastructure provide a myriad of opportunities for everyone  

to participate in a wide range of activities. 

There is an array of all-weather surfaces for athletics, tennis 

and hockey. Netball is a huge sport and is played throughout 

Taranaki, as is football, which in New Zealand is commonly 

called soccer. In winter, a snow-clad Mount Taranaki provides  

a steep playground for skiers and snowboarders.

Apart from joining a club you can also take part in the many 

annual sporting events that fill up Taranaki’s calendar.  

There are roundthe-mountain cycle races and walks

, fun runs, a triathlon series

, a mountain-to-surf marathon, half-

marathon, half ironman, tennis tournaments and surf life-saving 

competitions to name but a few. 

Cycling, both road and off-road, has a growing community in 

the region. For mountain bike enthusiasts, Lake Mangamahoe 

mountain bike trails have numerous accessible trails for 

riders of all levels. For road cyclists, there is a network 

of urban cycle ways and a multimillion dollar velodrome 

and closed road circuit just north of New Plymouth city.


Swimmers can train all-year-round in aquatic centres 

throughout Taranaki. There are indoor heated pools in New 

Plymouth, Bell Block, Stratford and Hawera as well as a number 

of outdoor pools throughout the region. The New Plymouth 

Aquatic Centre features both heated indoor and outdoor pools, 

a wave machine, water slides and a fitness centre, along with a 

spa pool and sauna.


Between a snow-capped mountain and a sparkling surf coast, there’s a 

sport or activity waiting for everyone in Taranaki.

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And then of course there is  

the sea. 

The region’s numerous beaches provide hours of family fun 

and a great swimming option during the summer months with 

three of New Plymouth’s beaches, Oakura, East End and Fitzroy 

becoming the first ‘blue flag’ accredited beaches in Oceania, 

an international standard for water quality, environmental 

sustainability and education. The beaches are kept safe by both 

volunteer and professional lifeguards, many of whom are stars 

on the national lifesaving competition scene.

Taranaki is also known as a surfers’ paradise, 

good enough to lure the world’s best board 

riders as well as produce them.


Every April the best women surfers on Earth 

grace our shores for an ASP World Tour event.

 Among the surfers is Taranaki’s 

own Paige Hareb, the first Kiwi woman to qualify for the tour.

Other popular activities along the coast include windsurfing, 

kite surfing, waterskiing, canoeing, fishing and kayaking.

Taranaki’s own Paige Hareb 

became the first New Zealand 

woman to qualify for the ASP 

World Tour held in New Plymouth 

in 2010. 

Is golf your game?


If so, you will be spoilt for choice because Taranaki boasts 

more courses per person than anywhere else in New Zealand.

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 Parks and gardens

Taranaki has been labelled the ‘Garden of New Zealand’ since 

pioneering times – and for good reason. Rich volcanic soils, a 

mild climate, high sunshine hours and plenty of rain combine 

to create conditions that cultivate a huge range of plants within 

this temperate environment.

The region now boasts one 6-star, six 5-star, nine 4-star and two 

3-star gardens. Some of the most famous are the public Pukeiti 

Rhododendron Trust, Pukekura Park, Brooklands, Tupare and 

Hollard gardens. Pukeiti is a world-class 360-hectare rainforest 

garden featuring 10,000 rhododendrons. Among this collection 

are 500 of the 800 known rhododendron varieties, as well as 

15,000 hybrids.

Pukekura Park in the leafy heart of New Plymouth, covers 

about 50 hectares and contains a diverse range of landscapes, 

including exotic trees, formal gardens, lakes and walking trails 

through native bush. The park includes the Fernery and Display 

Houses, a lakeside teahouse, historic band stand, world-

famous cricket ground, an illuminated waterfall and fountain, 

plus a children’s playground,


The park merges into the adjacent garden estate area 

of Brooklands, home to the acclaimed TSB Bank Bowl of 

Brooklands and Brooklands Zoo.


Between Pukeiti and Pukekura Park, Taranaki offers a huge 

range of parks and gardens from the formal to the familiar.

Hollard Gardens,

 in the  

heart of Taranaki’s dairying country, and Tupare,,

 sculpted from a hill overlooking 

the Waiwhakaiho river, are national treasures. Private garden  

Te Kainga Marire

 is Taranaki’s 

only 6-star garden, as judged by the NZ Gardens Trust. 

Taranaki has been labelled the ‘Garden of New Zealand’ since 

pioneering times – for good reason. Rich volcanic soils, a mild 

climate, high sunshine hours and plenty of rain, combine to 

create perfect conditions for cultivating a huge range of plants.

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One of the province’s best kept secrets is its network of walking 

trails. Covering every corner of the region, and all levels of 

fitness, these tracks enable visitors and locals to venture deep 

into the heart of the unique natural environment.

Taranaki boasts the iconic Mount Taranaki, a spectacular 

national park, three marine reserves, black sand beaches 

pounding with great surf and wonderful lakes. Walking tracks 

and pathways provide visitors with a link between these many 

attractions, and a unique perspective of the dramatic Taranaki 

landscape. Trails offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of 

urban life and a chance to discover some of the region’s many 

areas of historical interest and natural beauty.

A regional jewel is the 13km-long New Plymouth Coastal 

Walkway that snakes along the city’s foreshore. This 

picturesque promenade has won a whole raft of awards, 

including the UN-backed LivCom 2008 Environmentally 

Sustainable Projects Award.


Along the Walkway also resides the eye-catching and iconic 

Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, a shared pedestrian and cycling bridge 

over the city’s Waiwhakaiho River that has won an impressive 

number of international design awards including ‘Best Bridge in 

the World 2011’.

The best way to experience 

Taranaki is on foot.

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