A November 2000 trip
to Taranaki by auskiwi
Quote: Ah, New Plymouth, this is the home of my parents and family and my past stomping ground. The mountain, shrouded in clouds or mist, and the beaches, with their black volcanic sands, are always there to greet me on my countless journeys back there.
A walk up Parratutu, near the port area, is great exercise and you will be rewarded with a great view of the city, mountain and Tasman Sea.
Pukeiti is famous for its gardens and flowering shurbs.
Pukekura Park with its magnificant gardens, lake and bush settings, provides an escape from the surburban life, not that it's too hectic here. There is an outdoor concert arena situated within the parks limits and a small zoo.
Not far from Pukekura Park is a Model Train Park which has small replicas of steam trains and for a small price the children, both big and small can go for rides.
The beaches, with black sand and big waves, provide surfers with some top surf spots all year round.
This cities highlights are its outdoor activities.
If not there is public transportation, buses mainly, to the more popular destinations, but these are few and far between. The buses for the suburbs depart from Liardet Street. There is a taxi rink located in Liardet Street.
The mountain provides hikers with plenty of trails that are clearly marked. The markings are complete with the length of time it will take to hike the trail.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 30, 2006
738 Surf Highway 45
Omata, New Zealand
+64 6 751 0787
19 Onaero Beach Road
Onaero , New Zealand
+64 6 752 3609
This is a free activity, but if you wish, there are boat trips, leaving from the port, that will take you out to the rocks just off the coast called Seal Rocks, where most of the seals can be found. Unfortunately I don't know the price of these trips.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 12, 2002
The old sea break, Port Taranaki
Taranaki, New Zealand
The walkway is completely concreted and is suitable for skate boarders, roller skaters, push bike riders and walkers alike. On an overcast or sunny day, this is a great way to get a bit of fresh air and some gentle exercise. You don't have to walk the whole track as there are plenty of entry and exit points along the length of it. These points are clearly indicated with bright yellow signs at the side of the road with the words "Coastal Walkway". Some of these points have items or points of interest. A couple of these being:
1/ The starting point, Bell Block and Fitzroy, are popular surf and swimming beaches as is East End - the next district past Fitzroy.2/ At the Fitzroy end you will find the new Te Rewa Rewa Bridge which spans the Waiwhakaiho River near the mouth. The bridge has won some international award and when you look across the bridge, approaching from the Bell Block direction, the bridge looks like it is wrapping around Mount Taranaki in the distance.3/ The centre of town. This is where you will find the Wind Wand and, in summer, the stone sculptures competition. At this location you can also visit the Museum, Richmond House and the shops4/ The swimming baths at Kararoa, which also has a playground and rock pools5/ The port, where you exit the track, there is a souvenir shop and an arts and crafts shop for you to have a look at. The are also a number of nice cafes/restaurants which include fresh seafood and other delights on their menus.
I am unsure of the exact distance, but would say that it would be somewhere between 6 and 7 kilometers.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 12, 2002
Fitzroy to Port Taranaki Walkway
Coast line from Fitzroy to the Port
Taranaki, New Zealand
Through these gates is the Pukekura park Oval, where in the summer you can sit on the grass terraces and watch the occassional game of Cricket or Athletics. You will have to pay an admission fee if it's a club game of cricket.
If you keep following the road around the oval, you will come to an entrance into the park that leads you to the smaller of the two lakes on the park's property. This lake has a beautiful fountain that, when you pay $1, will give a wonderful water display. At Christmas, the fountain is decorated with colored lights.
There is a walking track that will take you around the lake, and there are several tracks that will take you to the other areas of the parks.
In one direction, you can take a short track to the largest of the two lakes. At this lake there is a kiosk where you can get something to eat and/or drink, a dock where you can hire a boat for a couple of hours and row around the lake, and there is also a waterfall which is beautifully decorated at Christmas.
If you follow the paths around this lake, through the beautiful gardens, and taking time to wander through the greenhouses if you wish, you will find yourself at Brooklands Bowl, where there is a concert stage. You can come here to laze on the grass and watch a concert when there's one on. At Christmas they also have Carols by Candlelight. You will have to pay for a ticket to get entrance into the area for a concert.
From here, if you climb the steep hill, you will arrival at another one of the Park's Entrances, The Brooklands Bowl entrance. Near this entrance is the small zoo which is great for kids. The zoo has otters, monkeys, birds and a farm animal section, where the kids can pet the baby animals. The zoo has no admission fee, but has a donation box at the entrance.
Not far from the zoo's entrance is a Gable House, where art shows and exhibitions are held. The artists are frequently local, and the artwork usually depicts local scenery and people.
The park is very popular for wedding photos and for garden weddings, especially on a beautiful sunny day.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 20, 2002
Taranaki, New Zealand
Attraction | "Walkways"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 31, 2006
New Plymouth Walkways
New Plymouth District
Taranaki, New Zealand
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 3, 2006
Attraction | "New Plymouth Library/Café/Museum/Visitor Informati"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 6, 2006
Puke Ariki Museum and Library
1 Ariki Street, Private Bag 2025
New Plymouth, Taranaki 4342
64 (6) 759 6060
Attraction | "St. Marys Church"
St. Mary's Church
37 Vivian Street
New Plymouth, New Zealand
+64 (6) 758 3111
My friend, Sharon, who I met while travelling around Europe, lives in the small harbour town called Whangarei Heads. She has just recently campleted a design course and has a job at Vortex, A designer studio, located at Whangarei Wharf. She was working and has done some great things with clay and weaving as she is part Maori and has been very influenced by their arts and crafts.
Unfortunately I didn't get to see much on this trip but Whangarei has many things to offer, as I have found out on previous trips there.
An Old Pioneer Village, which is located opposite Pompallier College, on the outskirts of town heading to Maunu.
The on the inner harbour wharf side there are some fantastic craft shops in which are handicrafts, original fabric designs, Maori Traditional Craftwork, Glass blowing, Jewery and porcelin dolls. Great for a browse around.
Being near the water Whangarei is surrounded by many great sndy beaches, both within the harbour and along the coastline. Some of those beaches are:
Langs Beach, Waipu Cove and Ruakaka Beach to the South.
Matapouri, Whale Bay, Woolleys Beach and Naungaroo to the North.
Whangarei Heads and other smaller beaches within the harbour.
From Whangarei you can also venture to the beautiful Bay of Islands which is home to Keri Keri, Paihia, Russell and Waitangi.
At Keri Keri you can tour around a reconstruction of a Maori Pa and take in the Old Stone Store House which was built by the first settlers.
Russell has some old homes that were erected by the first settlers. Russell can be reached by car, via a car ferry, or by boat.
Paihia has many great restaurants, hotels and shops for the tourists. A Old Ship that houses a Museum is also alongside the main road as you cross the bridge heading from Paihia to Waitangi. It contains shipping memories of the first settlers and is well worth a visit.
At Waitangi you can tour around the site where the Treaty of Waitangi, a peace settlement signed by the first Europeons and the Maoris, was signed. There is a Maori Meeting House there, the Governors original house and a shed that contains a Maori Canoe.
During winter, the mountain has plenty of snow at the top, but the snow hardly ever comes below the ranges.
The mountain only has one ski field, and therefore is only really popular with the locals and people visiting the area at the time. The ski field can only be reached from the Stratford side of the mountain and there is only one road up to the Stratford Mountain House. At the mountain house you have to park your car and hike in the rest of the way on a narrow pathway that will take you around the small gorge to the ski field. I haven't been around here as I have an aversion to heights.
The Stratford Mountain House has recently changed ownership and has been upgraded. The local Maori tribe now owns and operates the place and they're doing a great job. The food is very nice and there a limited number of motel style rooms.
The mountain house is an information office where you can find all sorts of information about the mountain and the history of the area. From here you can find out about the small cabins and hunting lodges that are scattered around.
There are also other roads, from other directions around the mountain, that take you up to various points of interest, like Dawson Fall's Waterfall, and to many walkways. Dawson Falls also has lodge type accommodation - it is somewhat limited in the number of persons it can accommodate.
The mountain is also a popular place for hikers to go in the warmer seasons, as there are plenty of hiking tracks, through beautiful native bush, to waterfalls and up the slopes.
Wanganui is approximately a 2 hour drive south of New Plymouth, and is situated on the Wanganui River, not far from the ocean. It is one of the original old river towns and therefore has many historic houses and businesses.
On the Wanganui River you can travel by an old, refurbished, steamer boat, to a tourist shopping area on the banks, futher up the river. There is a porcelin doll shop, a souvenir shop and a cafe on the river bank. You can then get back on the boat for the return trip. This is a very pleasant way to spend an hour or so.
Another popular place to go in Wanganui, especially for kids, is a large playing park, situated on the opposite side of the river from the main town. This park has a Model Train track and people can pay a couple of dollars to have a ride on a small replica of a steam train. There are picnic benches for eating lunch or dinner, there are swings, slides, climbing gyms and seesaws for the kids and there are quiet areas for adults to read books or just relax.
There are also a number of great antique shops in the main shopping area, that are very reasonably priced, for those who are interested.