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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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Taranaki Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

779 Folder Collection
Eric Wang published on October 11, 2017
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