Taranaki has been hailed as a rising international destination for 2017 after the travel publisher Lonely Planet ranked the region second in the world in its Best in Travel 2017 yearbook.
This fertile farming region on the North Island's western extremity is noted for its internationally significant gardens, major art collections and cultural events, and alpine-to-surf adventures.
A near-perfect volcanic cone, Mt Taranaki (2,518 metres or 8,261 feet) is a year-round outdoor destination offering more than 300 kilometres (186 miles) 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 is usually up somewhere. Surf Highway 45, a scenic coastal 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 rich history give a sense of the challenges faced by early Māori and Pakeha (European) settlers.