Taranaki is about a 5-hour drive from Auckland and it is named after a volcanic mountain that dominates this region’s skyline. Set against world-class skiing, endless hiking tracks, and pristine surf breaks, creativity and nature are intimately entwined in this region. Art is everywhere in this region from its jaw-dropping landscape to the art trails and bridges.
New Plymouth is Taranaki’s main city, and it is widely known for its contemporary art. Start your adventures at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and the adjoining Len Lye Center. Len Lye was an experimental filmmaker and a maverick kinetics sculptor whose work is deeply embedded in this town’s identity. One of his famous works is the 157-foot kinetic sculpture Wind Wand.
The Coastal Walkway is a promenade that links the city center to many of its black sand beaches and beautiful parks. At the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, art meets nature again. It is an award whining bridge that evokes the enormous wave power and it spans the Waiwhakaiho River.
Mount Taranaki is never far from sight regardless of where you are in New Plymouth. Discover a diversity of marine life or climb to the top of the Paritutu Rock at the Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Reserve. Right in the city’s heart is the Pukekura Park, here light becomes the artist because it reflects off the lake’s.
The Bowl of Brooklands was once a natural amphitheater but it now of the finest concert venues in New Zealand. It is also home to the Poet’s Bridge, the Brooklands Zoo and the famous WOMAD festival. A deep respect for the past and conservation is also evident in the various museums in New Plymouth. One of such is the Pure Ariki. Explore the city ever changing the program of events and the interactive exhibits that delves into the history of the region.
A visit to Taranaki is not complete without visiting Mt. Taranaki. Cape Egmont Lighthouse stands on the westernmost point of the Taranaki coast. This cape has been protecting ships since 1881.
If you love riding and hiking drive north to Lake Mangamahoe. The series of surf break along this coast has led to the formation of the dramatic rock known as Elephant Rock and the Three Sisters. The longer you stay in Taranaki with its epic outdoor adventures, powerful artistic legacy, and spectacular scenery, the more you realize that arts and nature are closely linked, and it is often impossible to know the difference.