Local Experiences

Taranaki is rich in tourism and has much to offer visitors to the region. From the magnificent Mount Taranaki to the rugged black sand beaches. Internationally recognised Parks and Gardens, Museums & Heritage, Adventure, Sport & Recreation, Arts & Culture, Walks, Cycleways and Hiking.

There truly is something for everyone.

Tawhiti Museum

Tawhiti Museum started out as a hobby and small private collection and has grown rapidly with public demand to become the focus of an impressive visual history of South Taranaki. With seven separate tourism awards to its credit Tawhiti Museum is widely acclaimed as the best private museum in the country! All the displays – including the life size figures created from moulds cast from real people – are designed and built on the premises. For more information about Tawhiti Museum go to www.tawhitimuseum.co.nz

Elvis Presley Memorial Room

This collection of Elvis memorabilia, regarded as one of the most extensive in Australasia, contains thousands of rare and expensive recordings, souvenirs and memorabilia. Visitors to the museum have come from as far abroad as Japan, USA and Holland and the museum has featured in many magazines and on several different television shows. As this is a private collection, an appointment should be made to view the record room. Phone Kevin on 0274 982 or 06 278 7624.

Mount Taranaki

Egmont National Park is the most accessible National Park in New Zealand. It protects the huge volcano Taranaki (or Mount Egmont, as it also known). The park has a huge variety of walks in a range of habitats, from a few minutes in length (e.g. Kamahi Track 15 minutes) to several days (Pouakai Circuit 3 days). Most can be enjoyed on a single day. Climbing to the summit is a popular activity in the summer months but is recommended for fit and healthy adventurers as it takes 5 hours to ascend and 3 hours to descend. Summit climbs are best attempted with a guide. For more information, go to egmontvc@doc.govt.nz

Local Cycleways

South Taranaki contour is reasonably flat and one of the best ways to experience the spectacular scenery is by bicycle. The Puawai Street Off Road Mountain Bike Track (Coming soon) is just on the doorstep of Tairoa Lodge and will provide an accessible off road mountain bike track for children and families to practise their mountain biking skills. The track is of natural ground and grass. The loop is from the end of Puawai Street, with access over the Puawai Street Reserve, through a gully and then back to the entrance point. The Mountain Bike Track is approximately 3 km long. For further information, go to www.southtaranaki.com

Hawera Water Tower

Climb the 215 steps of the 55 metre tower to get a stunning view of the town and surroundings. Access to the water tower is obtained from the i-SITE Information Centre, which is located right beside the water tower, on High Street, Hawera. For more information, go to www.southtaranaki.com

Len Lye Centre

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is New Zealand’s first and only museum of contemporary art. The latest edition to the Govett-Brewster – the Len Lye Centre – is New Zealand’s first institution dedicated to a single artist. The Len Lye Centre is an international destination for experimental film and kinetic art. It houses the collection and archive of Len Lye, one of the most original artists of the twentieth century. Pioneer filmmaker, sculptor, painter and poet, his extraordinary body of work gives us a unique view into Modernism and offers a rich vein for inspiration and insight. For further information, go to www.govettbrewster.com/lenlye/centre

Dawson Falls

There is a veritable maze of tracks around the Dawson Falls area, including the walk to Wilkies Pools, a series of eroded rock pools connected with gentle waterfalls. For more information, go to egmontvc@doc.govt.nz

King Edward Park

An Edwardian park located close to Hawera’s commercial heartbeat, the beautiful King Edward Park holds a current 4-star rating from the New Zealand Gardens Trust and has been deemed Hawera’s special secret. The park and its plant collections have for more than a century been a source of recreation and pride for the South Taranaki community. For more information, visit www.southtaranaki.com

Hollard Gardens

Hidden paths, expansive lawns and swamp gardens are all part of the wonderful showcase of colour and horticulture drama that is Hollard Gardens. This garden of National significance features an extensive collection of trees, rhododendrons, shrubs and perennials gathered over the past 77 years. For more information, visit www.trc.govt.nz/hollard-home/

Lake Rotokare

Lake Rotokare is a place of national significance and has a walk of 4.2 km which begins in bush and is surrounded by a predator proof fence. This fence has created a pest-free sanctuary which provides diverse habitats ranging from the lake itself to the wetlands, swamp forest and bush. Boating, water skiing and kayaking are popular pursuits on the lake. For more information on Lake Rotokare go to www.rotokare.org.nz

Lake Rotorangi Walkway

Lake Rotorangi is New Zealand’s longest man-made lake and has two public boat ramps with access for water skiers and wake boarders. Although man-made, Lake Rotorangi is fed by natural springs and has developed a unique natural character and appeal so that it is now considered a landscape to be protected. Enjoy the 1.5 km circuit walk which takes 40 minutes and brings you back to your entry point. This is just one of many walkways in South Taranaki. For more information, go to www.southtaranaki.com

Scenic Helicopter Flights

Scenic Helicopter Flights over the top of Mt Taranaki and around the province. View the majestic mountain from a unique prospective. For more information, email beck@heli.co.nz