Taranaki might be a slightly less known region in New Zealand, unless you're a keen surfer or windsurfer. The landscape is dominated by the perfectly shaped volcanic cone which is Mt Taranaki, or Mt Egmont. At 2500m not only does it entirely dominate the landscape, but it also creates its own climate. On any given day, the winds may be reaching gale force on one side of the mountain, while on the other side you may be relaxing on the beach without a sigh of wind, such is the impact of the mountain.
In winter you may ski down the mountain in the morning, and in summer there are a number of excellent hiking opportunities, including hikes to the summit or right around the mountain.
Surf Highway 45 offers word class surf and windsurfing conditions and the black iron sandy beaches are wild and beautiful and aplenty.
Things you shouldn't miss Taranaki
- A road trip of Surf Highway 45 with the imposing Mt Taranaki in the background.
- One of the hikes in Egmont National Park, in particular the Pouakai Crossing, a fresh alternative for the busy Tongariro Crossing.
- A visit to the Len Lye art centre, an unmissable experience and labelled Taranaki's answer to the world famous Guggenheim in New York.
- If timing is right, catch the Festival of Light in summer or the World of Music and dance festival WOMAD
- Surfing one of the many world class breaks on Surf Highway 45.
- The Forgotten World Highway, an incredibly memorable driving journey.