As you travel around the Western North Island region, look for the sign you can trust. i-SITE is New Zealand's official network of visitor centres.
Taranaki has a population of 104,000, with 70,000 residing in the region’s main centre of New Plymouth City.
Taranaki’s climate is very temperate in both temperature and weather. Temperatures range from an average high of 16 degrees Celsius in the winter, to the mid-20s or higher in the summer, with long balmy nights and crisp winter mornings.
The region’s cultural mix is varied, given its migrant history over several hundred years. Cultures range from Maori, English, Polish, Swiss, Dutch, Chinese, Indian and New Zealand European.
Taranaki is famous for 2518m Mt Taranaki, Egmont National Park, top New Zealand surf breaks, ten out of 31 New Zealand Gardens of National Significance, artists, heritage attractions (Puke Ariki, Tawhiti Museum), New Zealand’s first themed touring route of Forgotten World Highway 43, and Surf Highway 45
Taranaki is centred nearly bang on halfway between Auckland and Wellington on the North Island’s western seaboard.
By car or motorhome:
- SH3 from the north, via Te Kuiti
- SH3 from the south, via Wanganui
- Auckland to New Plymouth (spectacular route through Waitomo, Awakino Gorge and Mt Messenger) – five hours.
- Wellington to New Plymouth (through lush South Taranaki countryside dotted with oilrigs and horse studs) – four-and-a-half hours.
If you are travelling to Taranaki, the following are tips to enjoy your specific driving routes:
Forgotten World Highway 43 from Stratford to Taumarunui – please note that there are no petrol stations along this highway, so you will have to refuel your motorhome in Stratford or Taumarunui. There are 12km of unsealed road on this route.
Surf Highway 45 from New Plymouth to Hawera – please note that access to some of the surf beaches is over private land. Please ensure you lock your vehicle before heading to the beach, and take your rubbish home with you. Toilets are available at Fitzroy Beach, East End Beach, Oakura Beach, Weld Rd, Rocky Point (Rocky Rights and Rocky Lefts), Stent Rd, Opunake Beach and Ohawe. It is recommended that visitors unused to surfing should visit Oakura Beach, AhuAhu Rd, Weld Rd, Stent Rd and Opunake Beach.
- Dame Melvina Major (opera singer)
- Dalvanius Prime (singer)
- Midge Marsden (singer)
- Victoria Girling-Butcher (singer)
- Katie Wolfe (actor)
- Melanie Lynskey (actor)
- Ian Rey (actor)
- Joyce Young (potter/artist)
- Margaret Scott (painter)
- Peter Lambert (painter)
- Michael Smither (painter)
- John McLean (painter)
- Dale Copeland (artist)
- Chris Fuller (surf artist)
- Deryn Hinch (Australian broadcaster)
- David Hill (children’s writer)
- Kieran Crowley (rugby)
- David Loveridge (rugby)
- Graham Mourie (rugby)
- Grant Fox (rugby)
- Michael Campbell (golf)
- Grant Moorhead (golf)
- Michael Walker (jockey)
- Adine Harper (netball)