Top ten activities to do in New Plymouth

Planning on visiting New Plymouth in the near future? Known as the Energy City, New Plymouth is a bustling hive of activity located on the west coast of the North Island. Only 5 hours’ drive from Wellington, New Plymouth is the perfect year-round holiday destination. We’ve put together a list of ten of the Taranaki region’s must do activities for you.

  • Coastal Walkway

Walk from Port Taranaki all the way to Bell Block on the paved Coastal Walkway. Winding along 12km of paved paths, you’ll see Len Lye’s famous Wind Wand sculpture, the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge and some of the popular surf beaches too.

  • Pukekura Park

A beautiful park which plays host to the summer Festival of Lights, Pukekura Park is a treasure trove of native trees, bush, lakes, a waterwheel and the famous red footbridges.

  • Govett Brewster Art Gallery or Len Lye Centre

The mirror-like architecture of this beautiful art gallery attracts visitors from around the world. With changing exhibitions inside, some of which feature the kinetic artist Len Lye, it’s well worth a visit.


Early each year, the WOMAD festival brings art and music lovers from around the globe to New Plymouth. The three-day event features an ever-changing array of musicians all here to delight you.

  • Mt Taranaki

Travel out to Mt Taranaki and explore some of the many short (and not so short) bush tracks around this dormant volcano. There’s also a ski field open during some of the winter months too.

  • Tawhiti Museum

About an hour south of New Plymouth, Tawhiti Museum is home to one man’s dream. Nigel Ogle created his museum to tell the tale of Taranaki’s history using models he has made himself.

  • Taranaki Garden Festival

Once a year, some of the most attractive private gardens around Taranaki open to visitors. Not only can you see around these properties on self-guided tours, but you can also chat with the owners to learn all their gardening secrets and tips too!

  • Forgotten Highway

Head down the Forgotten Highway to explore the country’s oldest heritage trail. See old Maori pa sites, take a hike into some of the plentiful native forests and check our old forgotten tunnels. Don’t forget to stop and check out the town which has passports for its residents – The Republic of Whangamomona!

  • Puke Ariki

New Plymouth’s museum is a wonderful place to learn about local history. Covering European settlement, early Maori settlers and the volcanic activity of Mt Taranaki, there’s plenty of knowledge waiting for you to learn here.

  • Surfing

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to surf, Taranaki is the place to visit! With surf beaches in New Plymouth, you’re never far from catching that next big wave. Or simply stroll down the iron sands and watch everyone else surfing instead.

A lovely region to visit year-round, Taranaki has plenty to offer! As long as you remember to bring your walking shoes, you’ll be just fine!