The Best of Taranaki

“Tucked away on the central west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, the Taranaki region is both overlooked and under-appreciated. But for more intrepid travellers, the area dubbed ‘the ‘Naki’ is definitely worth a detour,” writes Brett Atkinson in an article for Lonely Planet.

  • Art and Nature

“Art and nature complement each other in New Plymouth,” writes Atkinson. Wind Wand, “a towering kinetic sculpture designed by New Zealand artist Len Lye”, arcs and sways in staunch breezes surging in from the Tasman Sea, while the mirror-clad folds of the recently opened Len Lye Centre shimmer with southern hemisphere sunshine and shape-shifting clouds.” “Adjoining the Len Lye Centre is the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, renowned as one of New Zealand’s best regional art galleries.”

  • Outdoor Adventures And Foodie Treats

The Pouakai Crossing, the route around the perfect volcanic cone of Mt Taranaki, “is an Instagram-worthy contender for the country’s finest one-day walk,” writes Atkinson. New Plymouth also offers an excellent dining scene. Atkinson recommends “The Hour Glass, one of the country’s best craft beer bars” or “Mike’s Brewery – before tucking into robust charcoal-grilled dishes at Social Kitchen.”

  • Roadtripping Surf Highway 45

“Get some Kiwi tunes on your playlist before embarking on this 105km semi-circular route from New Plymouth to Hawera,” writes Atkinson. On the way stop at Oakura to see the world’s biggest surfboard outside Butler’s Reef Hotel or at “the black sand- and driftwood-adorned Ahu Ahu beach”, which is the “last resting place of the SS Gairloch.” Another Taranaki landmark can be spotted southwest of Warea: “A huge boulder daubed with orange paint that announces the route to legendary surf break, Stent Rd.”

Atkinson recommends to “take a turning down Cape Rd near Pungarehu for a rolling landscape of gassy and bizarre lahar mounds” and to stop at Opunake – a town dotted with heritage buildings and colourful murals. In Hawera the “Tawhiti Museum tells the story of traders, whalers and NZ’s indigenous Māori people”. Climb “the 215 steps of Hawera’s water tower for glimpses of Mt Taranaki’s graceful volcanic cone and the surf-fringed coastline prescribing this surprising region.”

Article Source: Lonely Planet, Brett Atkinson, October 2016

Image Source: Wikipedia

Tags: Govett-Brewster Art Gallery  Len Lye Centre  Lonely Planet  New Plymouth  Pouakai Crossing  Surf Highway 45  Taranaki  

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