YOUR GUIDE TO LIVING IN TARANAKI,
A NEW ZEALAND REGION LIKE NO OTHER
The region and districts
The landscape, climate & weather
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
Restaurants, cafés & bars
Festivals & events
A centre for the arts
A multitude of sports
Something for everyone
Parks & gardens
Mountain to surf
State Highway touring routes
Venture Taranaki is a public good initiative founded by:
Moving to Taranaki, New Zealand
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
Elsewhere around the globe
Venture Taranaki recommends the use, advice and assistance of professional services such as licensed immigration advisors, accountants and lawyers to
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.liveandwork.taranaki.info
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
Welcome to Taranaki’s
elcome & Contents
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
Every day people take the opportunity to cycle, walk, run
and skate on New Plymouth’s multi-award-winning walkway
beside the Tasman Sea.
- 2 -
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.
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
Stratford in central Taranaki servicing about
; 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,
- 3 -
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
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.
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.
- 4 -
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.
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
- 6 -
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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
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
• 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.
- 8 -
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
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
• Food & Beverage Processing
• Oil & Gas supply & service
• Tourism and Hospitality.
For more information on industries go to page 32.
- 9 -
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
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 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
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
Living in Taranaki
- 10 -
With a spacious, safe living environment,
is a great place to call home.
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,
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
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.
- 11 -
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.
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.
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.
- 12 -
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
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
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
- 13 -
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
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
Every spring, dozens of Taranaki’s best
gardeners open their hearts and homes to
visitors and locals during the annual Taranaki
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
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.
- 14 -
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...
- 15 -
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
- 16 -
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
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
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.
- 17 -
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.
- 18 -
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
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
Is golf your game?
If so, you will be spoilt for choice because Taranaki boasts
- 19 -
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
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.
heart of Taranaki’s dairying country, and Tupare,
sculpted from a hill overlooking
the Waiwhakaiho river, are national treasures. Private garden
Te Kainga Marire
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.
- 20 -
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.