Unusual Things to Do in Taranaki: Offbeat Adventures

Taranaki is a destination that has something for everyone. A place where you can climb mountains, explore waterfalls, stroll through vibrant towns, embrace local culture, unveil hidden gems, and indulge in some of the most delicious food and drink experiences around. In this blog, we will take you on a journey to discover the unusual things to do in Taranaki. We’ll show you how to venture into the heart of Taranaki by scaling the heights of Mount Taranaki or exploring the captivating Dawson Falls. We’ll also help you experience the vibrancy of New Plymouth by taking a leisurely stroll along the Coastal Walkway or discovering art at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre. You’ll get to know more about the local culture by learning about Whangamomona’s self-proclaimed republic or visiting Holden Museum. And last but not least, we’ll unveil some hidden gems like Pukekura Park and Cape Egmont Lighthouse that are sure to leave you spellbound. Join us as we embark on a unique adventure in Taranaki that’s sure to make your trip unforgettable.


Venturing into the Heart of Taranaki

Explore the stunning coastline of Taranaki, with its breathtaking views that stretch as far as the eye can see. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Egmont National Park, home to the iconic Mount Taranaki, an awe-inspiring sight that dominates the landscape. The park offers numerous trails and walks, allowing you to fully experience its natural wonders. A visit to the unique Tawhiti Museum is a must, where you can explore the history and culture of the region through its fascinating displays. Take a scenic drive along the Forgotten World Highway, winding your way through picturesque landscapes that will leave you in awe. And don’t miss the charming town of Stratford, nestled at the foot of Mount Taranaki, offering a delightful blend of cultural attractions and natural beauty.

Scaling the Heights of Mount Taranaki

Embark on an exhilarating hike up Mount Taranaki, surrounded by lush forests and breathtaking vistas. From the summit, marvel at the extraordinary views that capture the essence of New Zealand’s natural beauty. Challenge yourself with the thrilling trek to Dawson Falls, a hidden gem nestled within the national park. Explore the rugged landscapes and volcanic terrain that make Mount Taranaki a must-visit destination. Immerse yourself in the diverse flora and fauna of Egmont National Park, capturing unforgettable moments along the way. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature enthusiast, scaling the heights of Mount Taranaki is an adventure you don’t want to miss. Venture beyond the ordinary and discover the extraordinary.

Scaling the Heights of Mount Taranaki

The Captivating Dawson Falls

Nestled within the lush forests of Egmont National Park, the captivating Dawson Falls awaits your discovery. This majestic waterfall offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Take a leisurely stroll along the scenic Dawson Falls Walkway and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. As you meander through the picturesque surroundings, find the perfect spot for a delightful picnic, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Be sure to capture breathtaking photographs of the cascading water and moss-covered rocks, encapsulating the mesmerizing allure of Dawson Falls. Unwind and rejuvenate in the peaceful ambiance of this natural wonder, letting the serenity wash over you.

The Captivating Dawson Falls

Experiencing the Vibrancy of New Plymouth

Immerse yourself in the vibrancy of New Plymouth as you embark on a leisurely walk along the Coastal Walkway, where you’ll be treated to magnificent views of the coastline and the majestic Mt. Taranaki. Delve into the world of contemporary art and exhibitions at the renowned Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Explore the vibrant café culture, indulging in delicious cuisine and local delicacies that will tantalize your taste buds. Don’t miss out on a visit to Pukekura Park, a botanical haven with stunning gardens, tranquil lakes, and a mesmerizing display of lights during the Festival of Lights. And don’t forget to marvel at the iconic Paritutu Rock, a volcanic formation offering panoramic vistas of the city and coast. Venture into the heart of New Plymouth and let its vibrancy captivate your senses.

A Leisurely Stroll along the Coastal Walkway

Embark on a delightful journey along the scenic Coastal Walkway, treating yourself to panoramic views of New Plymouth’s captivating coastline. Immerse yourself in the invigorating sea breeze as you pass by prominent landmarks and public art installations that adorn this picturesque pathway. Be sure to capture the breathtaking beauty of the scenery and iconic attractions, such as the mesmerizing Wind Wand, which makes for perfect Instagram-worthy shots. As the sun sets, experience the magic of a leisurely stroll along the Coastal Walkway, creating unforgettable memories against the backdrop of a sky painted with vibrant colors. Don’t miss the opportunity to uncover hidden gems like Wilkies Pools, natural rock pools where you can take a refreshing dip during low tide. Explore this great place at your own pace, allowing the Coastal Walkway to immerse you in its beauty and tranquility.

Discovering Art at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre

Immerse yourself in contemporary art at the renowned Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth. Explore the innovative works of artist Len Lye, renowned for his kinetic sculptures and experimental films. Engage with thought-provoking exhibitions that challenge traditional notions of art, offering a fresh perspective on creativity. Gain a deeper understanding of the exhibits by attending workshops or guided tours. The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is a vibrant hub of artistic expression and a must-visit for art enthusiasts. In addition to this gallery, New Plymouth boasts a thriving art scene with various galleries and public art installations, making it a great place to explore and discover the diverse range of artistic talent.

Embracing the Local Culture

Uncover the captivating story of Whangamomona, a unique self-proclaimed republic that boasts its own distinct identity, while immersing yourself in the rich heritage and history of Taranaki at the Holden Museum. Explore the Hillsborough Holden Museum, which houses an impressive collection of classic cars and automotive memorabilia that will transport you back in time. Take a detour to the Stratford Pioneer Village and experience the early days of New Zealand, stepping into the shoes of those who lived there. And don’t miss out on the vibrant cultural events and festivals that proudly showcase the diversity of Taranaki. Venture into the heart of this region, embrace its local culture, and create lasting memories.

The Story of Whangamomona: New Zealand’s Self-Proclaimed Republic

Discover the fascinating history of Whangamomona, a charming town that boldly declared itself an independent republic. Immerse yourself in the annual Republic Day celebrations, where festivities and quirky traditions unite the community. As you explore this self-proclaimed republic, you’ll encounter the eccentric locals who proudly preserve its unique identity. Don’t miss the opportunity to uncover the stunning landscapes and hidden treasures that make Whangamomona a must-visit destination. From the warm hospitality to the strong community spirit, this captivating republic invites you to experience something truly extraordinary. So venture off the beaten path and embrace the story of Whangamomona, where history, culture, and natural beauty collide.

A Visit to the Holden Museum

Step into the captivating world of classic cars and automotive history at the Holden Museum. Immerse yourself in the nostalgia of bygone eras as you explore the meticulously restored vintage vehicles that showcase the evolution of Holden. Discover rare and iconic models that have become part of New Zealand’s automotive heritage. Engage with passionate collectors and enthusiasts who eagerly share their knowledge and love for these timeless machines. Marvel at the captivating displays, allowing yourself to be transported back in time. The Holden Museum is a treasure trove of automotive history and a must-visit for any car enthusiast or history buff. Experience the magic of this unique museum and uncover the stories behind these remarkable vehicles.

A Visit to the Holden Museum

Unveiling the Hidden Gems of Taranaki

Unveiling the Hidden Gems of Taranaki will take you on a journey off the beaten path, where you can uncover the region’s best-kept secrets. Venture to Elephant Rock, a natural rock formation that offers breathtaking coastal views. Along Surf Highway, you’ll find pristine beaches with world-class surf breaks. Indulge in the local culinary scene, savoring farm-to-table cuisine and fresh seafood at charming cafes. Explore the enchanting Pukeiti Rhododendron Park, a botanical paradise filled with vibrant flowers and tranquil walking trails. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the region’s public gardens, where you can admire colorful displays of flora and fauna. Discover these hidden gems in Taranaki, a place that Lonely Planet calls a must-visit destination.

The Scenic Splendor of Pukekura Park

Take a leisurely stroll through Pukekura Park’s lush gardens and picturesque landscapes. Discover the park’s tranquil lakes and charming bridges, which add to its scenic beauty. Nature lovers will be mesmerized by the vibrant flora and fauna that thrive within the park, making it a true paradise. Make sure not to miss the Taranaki Festival of Lights, where stunning light displays transform the park into a magical wonderland. And for a truly idyllic experience, pack a picnic and enjoy the park’s serene surroundings. Pukekura Park is a hidden gem in Taranaki, offering a unique and unforgettable adventure amidst nature’s splendor.

Pukekura Park

The Historic Cape Egmont Lighthouse

Perched on the rugged coastline, the historic Cape Egmont Lighthouse awaits your visit. Behold stunning views of the Tasman Sea and the surrounding landscape from this iconic landmark. Discover the fascinating history of this lighthouse, which played a vital role in maritime navigation. Embark on a leisurely walk along the coastal walkway to reach the lighthouse, immersing yourself in the beauty of New Zealand’s coast along the way. As you stand in awe of this historical gem, take a moment to embrace the tranquility that surrounds it. The Cape Egmont Lighthouse is a testament to both the engineering marvels of its time and the natural splendor of Taranaki.

A Gastronomic Adventure in Taranaki

Indulge in Taranaki’s semi-permanent food trucks, offering delectable culinary delights from around the world. Savor the flavors of locally-sourced ingredients and fresh seafood to experience the vibrant food culture of Taranaki. Embark on a gastronomic journey like no other, unleashing your taste buds to unique dining experiences. Explore the delights of the semi-permanent food trucks, where you can indulge in a wide variety of mouthwatering dishes. For a truly memorable experience, treat yourself to a gin-tasting masterclass at Juno Gin. With its carefully curated selection of botanicals, Juno Gin offers a sensory adventure for gin enthusiasts. Whether you’re a food lover or a connoisseur of drinks, Taranaki promises to satisfy your cravings and leave you wanting more.

The Delights of the Semi-Permanent Food Trucks

Discovering the hidden culinary gems of Taranaki is a delightful adventure that awaits at the semi-permanent food truck locations. These mobile eateries offer a diverse range of international cuisines, allowing you to indulge in flavors from around the world. Whether it’s a fresh seafood feast or a mouthwatering dish prepared with locally-sourced ingredients, there’s something for every palate. The casual dining experience in a vibrant and lively atmosphere adds to the charm. By supporting these local businesses, you not only satisfy your taste buds but also contribute to the unique food scene that makes Taranaki so special. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try these delicious and innovative dishes that will leave you craving for more.

A Gin-Tasting Masterclass at Juno Gin

Immerse yourself in the world of craft gin at Juno Gin, where you can enhance your knowledge and appreciation of this classic spirit with a gin-tasting masterclass. At Juno Gin, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the art of distillation and the botanicals used in their signature gins. During the masterclass, you’ll sample a variety of handcrafted gins, each with its own unique flavor profile. Discover the secrets behind creating the perfect gin and tonic as you explore the different combinations of ingredients. Whether you’re a gin enthusiast or simply curious about the process, the gin-tasting masterclass at Juno Gin is a great experience to add to your itinerary in Taranaki.

Why is Taranaki a Must-Visit for Every Traveler?

Discover the allure of Taranaki with its unique attractions. Explore contemporary art at the Len Lye Centre, marvel at the beauty of Pukekura Park’s flora and fauna, hike up Mount Taranaki for breathtaking views, and immerse yourself in New Plymouth’s vibrant art scene. Uncover this hidden gem!

The Thrill of Surf Highway 45

Embark on an exhilarating journey along Surf Highway 45, a paradise for surf enthusiasts. Catch waves at renowned spots like Stent Road and Kumara Patch. Experience the thrill of the ocean and embrace the surf lifestyle. Take in stunning coastal views as you drive along this iconic highway. Explore charming seaside towns and immerse yourself in the laid-back beach culture. Don’t forget to detour to Mt Taranaki on a clear day for breathtaking views. Grab a coffee at a local café and soak up the atmosphere. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a couple of hours by the beach. Surf Highway 45 is truly a great place to venture for a unique adventure.

 Surf Highway 45

A Peek into the Past at Tawhiti Museum, Hawera

Step into the captivating world of Tawhiti Museum in Hawera and embark on a journey through time. This museum offers immersive exhibits that showcase the rich history and heritage of the Taranaki region. As you wander through the museum, you’ll be amazed by the lifelike sculptures and intricately crafted dioramas that bring the past to life. Learn about the pioneers who played a significant role in the development of the region and gain a deeper understanding of Taranaki’s cultural heritage. Tawhiti Museum is a great place to spend a couple of hours, especially on a clear day. So, make sure to add this unique experience to your list of unusual things to do in Taranaki.

Tawhiti Museum

The Serene Beauty of Pukeiti Gardens

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Pukeiti Gardens, where lush landscapes and stunning flora create a serene oasis. As you wander through the well-maintained gardens, you’ll be captivated by the diverse range of plant species on display. Every step offers the opportunity to capture Instagram-worthy moments amidst vibrant colors and fragrant blooms. Take a leisurely stroll along the scenic walks, allowing nature’s beauty to envelop you. Pukeiti Gardens provides a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, offering a tranquil escape for a couple of hours or an entire afternoon. Lose yourself in this hidden gem nestled in the heart of Taranaki, and discover why it’s considered one of the best things to do in the region.


In conclusion, Taranaki offers a plethora of unique and offbeat experiences that are sure to leave a lasting impression on any traveler. From scaling the heights of Mount Taranaki and exploring the captivating Dawson Falls, to experiencing the vibrancy of New Plymouth with its coastal walkway and art galleries, there is something for everyone in this charming region. Don’t miss out on embracing the local culture, whether it’s learning about the self-proclaimed republic of Whangamomona or visiting the Holden Museum. Unveil the hidden gems of Taranaki at Pukekura Park and Cape Egmont Lighthouse, and indulge in a gastronomic adventure with the semi-permanent food trucks and a gin-tasting masterclass at Juno Gin. With its thrilling surf highway, fascinating Tawhiti Museum, and serene Pukeiti Gardens, Taranaki is truly a must-visit destination for every traveler seeking a unique adventure

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