Explore New Plymouth, New Zealand: Top Things to Do

Welcome to New Plymouth, the land of fairies. This beautiful city located on the West Coast of New Zealand’s North Island is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and culture enthusiasts alike. From its natural wonders to cultural gems, there is something for every traveler in New Plymouth. In this blog, we will take you on a journey through the top things to do in this stunning city. You will discover the invigorating New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, the majestic Mount Taranaki, and the breathtaking Pukekura Park. We will also introduce you to the intriguing Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Len Lye Centre and the historical Puke Ariki Museum. And if you are a foodie, then we have got you covered with our list of delightful cafes in town. Plus, we will also suggest some nearby attractions that are worth exploring while you’re here. So pack your bags and get ready to experience the magic of New Plymouth, named by Lonely Planet as one of the best regions to visit in 2017!

Welcome to New Plymouth: The Land of the Fairies

New Plymouth

Experience the magical landscapes and rich culture of New Plymouth, New Zealand. This enchanting city is a must-visit destination for fairy tale lovers. Discover captivating attractions and hidden gems that make New Plymouth truly unique. Immerse yourself in unforgettable moments, creating memories in the land of the fairies. From the stunning surf breaks to the breathtaking sunset views, New Plymouth offers something for everyone. Explore the vibrant city and indulge in the best things it has to offer.

The Natural Wonders of New Plymouth

Uncover the natural wonders that await you in New Plymouth, New Zealand. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway as you stroll along its scenic path. Marvel at the majestic Mount Taranaki, a stunning backdrop to the city, and be captivated by its grandeur. Experience the rough waves and stunning views at the picturesque Back Beach, perfect for surf enthusiasts. For a peaceful escape into nature, visit the tranquil oasis of Pukekura Park, where you can enjoy its serene ambiance and lush greenery. Another must-visit attraction is Paritutu Rock, a remnant of an ancient volcanic crater. Located near Port Taranaki, it can be reached on the Coastal Walkway or by a short drive. You can climb the rock for views of the port, Sugarloaf Islands, Back Beach, and Mt Taranaki (on a clear day), but it’s not for those scared of heights.

The Invigorating New Plymouth Coastal Walkway

Stretching over 13 kilometres along the picturesque coast of New Plymouth, the invigorating New Plymouth Coastal Walkway is a must-see attraction. As you embark on this coastal adventure, you’ll be treated to stunning views of Mount Taranaki and beautiful beaches. The walkway offers something for everyone, whether you prefer walking, jogging, cycling, or skating. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Len Lye Centre, a contemporary art museum located along the walkway, or to stop by the Wind Wand, a landmark sculpture standing at its end. The Coastal Walkway is a free and fun way to see nearly 13 kilometers of the stunning coastline. Cyclists, runners, and walkers share this pathway along the water’s edge. The trial itself is very manageable and a lovely way to spend some time in the sunshine.

Coastal Walkway

The Majestic Mount Taranaki

Located in the Egmont National Park, Mount Taranaki quickly became one of our favorites in New Zealand. It offers breathtaking views and is an active volcano that resembles Mt Fuji. Hiking and climbing are popular activities here, with trails suitable for all skill levels. Surrounding the majestic peak are lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and scenic drives waiting to be explored. Before embarking on an adventure, it’s essential to check weather conditions and prepare accordingly. Mount Taranaki is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts seeking awe-inspiring landscapes and unforgettable experiences.

The Majestic Mount Taranaki

The Stunning Back Beach

Located in New Plymouth, the stunning Back Beach is a hidden gem that offers breathtaking views of the Tasman Sea. This picturesque beach is a popular spot for surfers, thanks to its consistent waves and relaxed atmosphere. It’s also perfect for exploration and immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the area. Don’t miss the nearby attractions, such as the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge and the Len Lye Centre. Whether you seek adventure or a peaceful retreat, the Back Beach, located along Taranaki’s Surf Highway 45, is a must-visit during your time in New Plymouth.

The Stunning Back Beach

The Breathtaking Pukekura Park

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Pukekura Park, a stunning 128-year-old public park spanning 52 hectares in New Plymouth. This picturesque park is home to a serene lake, enchanting walking trails, and a variety of gardens including a charming fernery, a tranquil Japanese garden, and opportunities for a short walk. Don’t miss the vibrant Festival of Lights held during the summer months, where you can witness breathtaking light displays and enjoy live performances. Pukekura Park is a beloved destination for picnics, family outings, and nature walks – a must-visit spot in New Plymouth.

Pukekura Park

The Cultural Gems of New Plymouth

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of New Plymouth, New Zealand. Discover intriguing exhibitions and kinetic sculptures at the Len Lye Centre. Uncover the history and stories of Taranaki at the Puke Ariki Museum. Experience the vibrant arts and culture scene through local galleries and events. Indulge in culinary delights and vibrant nightlife in the heart of the city. New Plymouth offers an array of cultural gems to explore and enjoy.

The Intriguing Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is renowned for its contemporary art exhibitions and collections. At the Len Lye Centre, visitors can explore the innovative works of Len Lye, a pioneer in kinetic sculpture and experimental film. The center also offers a cinema showcasing a wide range of films, from classics to contemporary releases. Additionally, the gallery and center host workshops and events for visitors to participate in. Don’t miss the chance to admire the unique architecture of the building, with its curved walls and striking metallic exterior.

The Historical Puke Ariki Museum

The Historical Puke Ariki Museum in New Plymouth is a captivating destination that offers visitors a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the Taranaki region in New Zealand. With its modern and interactive exhibits, the museum showcases the natural environment, Maori culture, and local history. It also houses a research library, genealogy center, and art gallery, providing a comprehensive exploration of the region’s heritage. On a rainy day, the Historical Puke Ariki Museum is a great way to kill a few hours while learning about the local area. It’s also a fantastic activity for families and those with young ones, as many of the exhibits are interactive. Puke Ariki Museum hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year, making it an engaging and educational experience for all. Located in the heart of the city, admission to the museum is free, making it easily accessible for everyone. Discover the fascinating stories and immerse yourself in the history of New Plymouth at the Puke Ariki Museum.

Puke Ariki Museum

The Iconic White Hart Hotel

The iconic White Hart Hotel stands as a historic landmark in New Plymouth, having been built in 1886. Recently renovated, it now boasts a boutique hotel experience with 28 luxurious rooms. The hotel offers an array of upscale amenities, including a rooftop bar and restaurant, spa services, and a fitness center. Situated in the heart of New Plymouth’s vibrant arts and cultural district, this iconic hotel is a testament to the city’s rich history and charm. Visitors can delve into its past and architectural marvels through guided tours. The hotel also caters to events and conferences with its spacious meeting rooms and event spaces.

The Taste of New Plymouth

Delight your taste buds with the diverse culinary offerings in New Plymouth. Experience a blend of local and international flavors at the city’s charming cafes and restaurants. Indulge in fresh seafood dishes sourced from the nearby coastal waters. Sample exquisite wines from the region’s renowned vineyards. Savor the unique Maori cuisine, a delicious fusion of traditional and contemporary flavors.

The Delightful Cafes of New Plymouth

New Plymouth, located on the North Island of New Zealand, is home to a thriving café scene that is sure to delight foodies and coffee enthusiasts alike. The city is known for its artisan coffee and trendy café culture, offering a wide range of unique and independent options to choose from. Some of the must-visit cafes include Ozone Coffee Roasters, Monica’s Eatery, and Arborio. Whether you’re looking for specialty beverages or food options like vegan or gluten-free choices, these cafes have got you covered. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in one of the city’s many outdoor seating areas, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere that makes New Plymouth’s café scene so delightful.

Beyond New Plymouth: Experiencing Taranaki

Venture beyond New Plymouth to experience the natural beauty of the Taranaki region. Immerse yourself in the serene surroundings of Lake Mangamahoe and marvel at the picturesque waterfalls near Dawson Falls Visitor Centre. Embark on a thrilling hiking adventure in Egmont National Park, home to stunning scenery and diverse wildlife. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the vibrant city life in New Plymouth’s neighboring towns, where you can discover unique shops, delicious food, and friendly locals. Experience the best of both worlds as you venture beyond New Plymouth into the captivating Taranaki region.

The Serene Lake Mangamahoe

Nestled amidst lush forests and offering breathtaking views of Mount Taranaki, Lake Mangamahoe in New Plymouth, New Zealand is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. A stroll around the lake or a hike along one of its scenic trails is a must-do for nature lovers. From hiking and mountain biking to fishing and picnicking, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in this picturesque spot. Just a short drive away from New Plymouth, Lake Mangamahoe is a serene destination that should not be missed.

The Picturesque Waterfalls from Dawson Falls Visitor Centre

Visit the iconic Len Lye Centre with its unique architecture. Take a scenic stroll along the Coastal Walkway, a 12.7 km pathway that hugs the coast. Immerse yourself in nature at Pukekura Park, a stunning public park featuring botanical gardens, lakes, and a majestic fountain. Explore contemporary art at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, showcasing the works of Len Lye. Embark on a trip to Mount Taranaki for breathtaking views and hiking trails. Discover the region’s history at the Taranaki Pioneer Village. Enjoy the picturesque waterfalls near Dawson Falls Visitor Centre. For budget accommodation, try Ariki Backpackers which has private rooms and dorms. It’s very close to the Coastal Walkway and you can rent bikes there.

How to Reach New Plymouth?

To reach New Plymouth, you have multiple options. Daily flights from major cities in New Zealand make it easily accessible by air. If you prefer a scenic road trip, the city is well-connected by road. Public transportation like buses and trains are available too. The nearest international airport is in Wellington, offering connections to New Plymouth. Arrange for airport transfers or rent a car to explore the city and its surroundings at your own pace. Christchurch is another major city in New Zealand that offers flights to New Plymouth, making it a convenient option for travelers coming from the South Island.

Where to Stay in New Plymouth?

Looking for accommodation options in New Plymouth? There’s something for everyone, from luxury hotels with top-notch amenities to cozy bed and breakfast establishments. You can also opt for self-catering apartments or centrally located hotels near popular attractions. Choose what suits your preferences and budget.

Best Time to Visit New Plymouth?

The ideal time to explore New Plymouth is during the summer months of December to February. With pleasant weather, longer daylight hours, and vibrant festivals, it’s perfect for outdoor activities. Spring (September to November) showcases blooming gardens, while autumn (March to May) offers beautiful foliage and milder temperatures.

What Makes New Plymouth Unique?

New Plymouth stands out with its blend of natural beauty and urban charm. Experience the breathtaking coastal walkway, vibrant street art scene, and rich Maori culture. Don’t miss the renowned Len Lye Centre showcasing the works of a famous kinetic sculptor.

Planning Your Itinerary: Are You Ready to Explore New Plymouth?

Create an exciting itinerary to explore the wonders of New Plymouth. Visit must-see attractions, allocate time for beautiful parks like Pukekura Park, and delve into history at the Puke Ariki Museum. Don’t miss the mesmerizing Festival of Lights and indulge in thrilling outdoor activities for an adventure-filled trip.


In conclusion, New Plymouth offers a perfect blend of natural wonders, cultural gems, and culinary delights, making it an ideal destination for all types of travelers. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the majestic Mount Taranaki or tranquility in the picturesque Lake Mangamahoe, New Plymouth has something to offer for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the invigorating Coastal Walkway or indulge in the delightful cafes that dot the city. With its rich history, fascinating museums, and iconic landmarks, New Plymouth is sure to leave you captivated. So, plan your itinerary, book your stay, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the enchanting landscapes and vibrant culture of New Plymouth.

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