In New Zealand, Taranaki is a true undiscovered gem. Uncrowded surf beaches, breathtaking views of the volcanoes and forests, lush gardens, thought-provoking museums and art galleries, genuine Kiwi towns… The Taranaki region of the North Island is where you can find all of this! Discover how by checking out this list of the top things to do in Taranaki, like climbing in the mountain (mt) or camping, and the weather there.
Things To Do In Taranaki
Come and pitch your tent beneath the watchful gaze of the imposing, snow-capped Mt. Taranaki. For families, groups, and backpackers on a tight budget, Taranaki’s campgrounds and vacation parks are perfect. Camp in a Taranaki campground while leisurely gazing out at Mt Taranaki from your camp chair to fully experience great New Zealand outdoors.
Climb to the Summit of Mt Taranaki
Mt Taranaki is one of the best climbing places in New Zealand. Finding volcanic and alpine landscapes while ascending Mt. Taranaki’s summit rewards hikers with breathtaking views. We wish we were making things up! Naturally, unless you’re an expert alpine hiker, you can only access the summit hike between December and April.
Visit Puke Ariki
Taranaki is renowned for having beautiful landscapes as well as being a historically and culturally significant area. The local museum, Puke Ariki, is a great place to begin learning all about it. This New Plymouth museum is open to the public. It has fascinating and engaging exhibits on the Maori history of this area, the formation of the island’s volcanic landscape, and its pioneering past.
Try Out Dam Dropping
One of New Zealand’s best-kept secrets when it comes to high-adrenaline pursuits is dam-dropping. However, taking a kayak or water sled down the 8m (26ft) Normanby Dam is a much-loved Taranaki activity for both locals and visitors. You won’t hear the tourism operators raving about this locally invented activity like you would hear about skydiving and bungy jumping.
Cross Te Rewa Rewa Bridge
The unusual Te Rewa Rewa Bridge’s placement across the Waiwhakaiho River and alignment with Mt. Taranaki perfectly frame the volcano in the distance. The Coastal Walkway, another suggested walk along New Plymouth’s waterfront, includes the bridge. On either side of the river mouth are some fantastic surf breaks that are close by.
Explore the Forgotten World Highway
The mysterious and remote Forgotten World Highway in the Taranaki region offers yet another fantastic road trip opportunity. Explore the Republic of Whangamomona, the breathtaking Tangarakau Gorge, rugged tunnels, waterfalls, and other highlights along New Zealand’s oldest heritage trail.
Opunake is one of Taranaki’s top beach communities. This town, which is halfway along Surf Highway 45, has a fantastic surf beach in addition to a lot of other interesting features. Visit the town for a drink in one of the adorable cafes or explore them all on the 7km (4-mile) Opunake Walkway.
Do Some Surfing
On the Taranaki coast, the surf is so excellent that a whole highway, Surf Highway 45, is devoted to the activity. There are countless surf beaches, but Fitzroy, Oakura, Kumara Patch, Stent Road, and Ohawe are some of the best.
Do you know 10 Awesome Places To Surf In New Zealand
Best Time To Visit And Climb Mount Taranaki
The best months for weather are thought to be the summer months, which run from the end of December to the beginning of March. You’ll typically experience warm weather and clear skies during the day, which makes for a pleasant day out and picture-perfect photos.
We do not advise climbing on Mount Taranaki during the winter months unless you are an experienced climber or are with a guide because the mountain is more dangerous than it appears. Because the mountain is typically colder and more heavily covered in snow and ice near the summit, this occurs from April to October.
Weather In Taranaki
On Mount Taranaki, the weather can be erratic, and you might get caught off guard. The most crucial thing to do before climbing the mountain is to be aware of the weather. Avoid ascending to the summit if there are dark clouds visible in the distance. Even in ideal circumstances, climbing a mountain can be challenging, and poor visibility and rain can make it dangerous. Keep an eye on the weather in Taranaki, and if you start to feel uneasy, it may be best to turn around and try another day again.
It is not advised to climb this mount after dark, particularly during the winter months, because it can be risky. You shouldn’t begin this track earlier than 11 a.m. because the return trip can take 8 to 10 hours; otherwise, you risk making your descent in the dark.
The best time to begin climbing Mt Taranaki is in the early morning (7-8 am) when the sun is not directly overhead if you are not trying to catch the sunrise. This will allow you to get the most out of this adventure. This will give you plenty of time to enjoy the summit’s view before returning home.