We came to New Plymouth to celebrate my birthday at the beginning of June this year. We wanted a nice dinner out, walks along the beach, coffee in town, and stunning views of the most perfectly formed volcano, Mount Taranaki. We were lucky enough to get this in spades!
Even though it was the middle of winter we struck great weather and it only turned to custard on the drive home… we also got sick. Unfortunately we brought covid home and spent the next few weeks in rolling isolation as it moved through the family. Crazy time because just a couple of weeks after my recovery we left New Zealand for a long awaited trip to Malaysia… more to come on this blog starting here.
There are a huge amount of activities, scenic places to visit and things to do in New Plymouth but we only had 3 days at Queen’s Birthday weekend. This turned out to be two half days and one whole day because of course the drive from Auckland takes about 5 hours including a stop for lunch.
So, the key was to prioritise.
We visited the following places:
- Kent Road
- Mount Taranaki / Egmont National Park and North Egmont Visitor Centre
- Lake Mangamahoe, Burgess Park
- Cape Egmont Lighthouse
- The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/The Len Lye Centre and Town Centre
Location: 128-106 Kent Road, Taranaki 4371
Parts of this road lines up with Mount Taranaki directly in the background and it has become a favourite Insta destination for the perfect shot. It was fun to try and recreate such an epic road shot, but slightly unnerving… checking for traffic all the time, lol!
Mount Taranaki / Egmont National Park and North Egmont Visitor Centre
Location: North Egmont Visitor Centre 2679 Egmont Road, New Plymouth 4386, New Zealand
This is a great place to come and have a coffee with great views of this dormant stratovolcano, then talk to the enthusiastic DOC staff who man the centre and pick up maps and track guides. They will also help with pointing you in the right direction according to your level of fitness and update you on weather conditions. Take a walk along the first track you come to heading towards the mountain and you will find a great viewing platform within the first 5 mins.
Download North Egmont Walks Map
Download Dawson Falls and East Egmont Walks Map
See information regarding lots more scenic walks here
Lake Mangamahoe, Burgess Park
Location: Lake Mangamahoe Road, Mount Taranaki Lookout
This is a man made dam and lake created in the 1930s as a water catchment for the district. It appears to be so natural and serene with the sound of geese, swans and ducks as they fly overhead or swim in the lake. The huge draw card is the magic views of Mount Taranaki in the background. We were so lucky to have a clear, sunny winter’s morning to get the best ever views.
Cape Egmont Lighthouse
Location: 377-379 Cape Road, Pungarehu 4685
It was getting late in the afternoon and we had to get a wiggle if we wanted to view the lighthouse as the sun set. It seemed a long drive from town because the road was unfamiliar but it turned out to be only 45mins. We were unsure of just exactly where we were going but we pressed on. This turned out to be a great decision because once we got there the views were fabulous and stunning!
The lonely drive out, a long metal road, some road works… then a tiny parking area… hop out of the car and walk along the pathway where you see a rugged black sandy beach with pounding waves and the orange sun sinking into the ocean… turn to the opposite direction and there is the pretty lighthouse with majestic Mount Taranaki in the background… very stunning and dramatic!
The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/The Len Lye Centre and Town Centre
Location: 42 Queen Street, New Plymouth Central, New Plymouth 4310
We came to the town centre after such a busy day sightseeing and viewed the art gallery and clock tower while on our way to the bar for a well earned beer before dinner out at a restaurant along the waterfront.
Turns out the restaurant was not fabulous and we both felt cold… however we enjoyed walking out at night and loved the city vibe. The art gallery was designed by New Zealand architect Andrew Patterson and the building is contemporary with a stainless steel façade just begging to be photographed. Unfortunately we did not have time to visit during the day to see the art works but it looks awesome and I would love to… next time.
I’m super pleased that you got all the way to the end and I hope you have enjoyed a good read with beautiful photos.
Thanks for visiting here.
Ngā mihi nui.
Note to self- things to do next time: