Taranaki Region Guide
Taranaki, on the North Island's west coast, juts into the Tasman Sea and is half way between Auckland and Wellington.
Mount Taranaki is ever-present in this region - a huge, dramatic volcanic cone with a snowy top. In winter, Mount Taranaki becomes a place to ski.
Maori legend tells of a conflict between the volcanoes of the central North Island - Tongariro won leaving the other mountains to retreat, Taranaki went west towards the setting sun and carved out the Whanganui river as he went.
Hiking is the thing to do here. Lush rainforest covers the foothills of the mountain, but the landscape changes the higher you go, the forest on Mount Taranaki's middle slopes is sometimes known as 'Goblin Forest' because of the gnarled shape of the trees and the thick swathes of trailing moss.
The area around the sunny city of New Plymouth is well-known for its black sand surfing beaches and glorious parks and gardens. New Plymouth also has an artsy side - it’s home to the acclaimed Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Zealand's only contemporary art museum with a permanent collection.