This fertile farming region is famed for its many internationally significant gardens, major arts collections and cultural events, and alpine to surf adventures.
An almost perfect volcanic cone, Mt Taranaki (2518m) is a year-round outdoor destination with more than 300km of walking tracks, winter skiing and snowboarding, and heritage gardens.
Taranaki has some of New Zealand’s best surf, and the south to north-facing coastline means the surf’s usually up somewhere. Surf Highway 45, a scenic coastline road between New Plymouth and Hawera, travels to the top surf spots.
From early Māori settlement to the land wars and passive resistance, frequent signs of Taranaki’s colourful history give a sense of the struggles and challenges faced by early Māori and Pakeha (European) settlers.