Taranaki is best known for Mount Taranaki that dominates the sky line on the wild west coast of New Zealand, many people come here just to climb the mountain peak, but there is much more to Taranaki than mountain climbing.
The Taranaki Region is home to the Egmont National Park which was created way back in 1881 as a forest reserve but changed to a national park in 1900, the park provides some of the most diverse walking tracks in the region.
One of the most challenging walks is the Mountain Circuit this trail is around 52 kms in length, the walk passes through forests and rivers with stunning alpine scenery, the Mountain Circuit is for experienced trampers and best walked in the summer time when the snow has retreated.
A much shorter walk is the Curtis Falls Track which takes you through a gorge carved out by the Manganui River, the trail is around 2 hours return from the carpark with some stunning views.
For surfers there are many surf breaks along the wild west coast beaches of Taranaki, during the summer months the beaches are popular for swimming and other outdoor activities like fishing.
The Cape Egmont Lighthouse is a great place to visit built in the 1800s in London the lighthouse was first shipped to wellington but the area was not suitable here and the lighthouse was dismantled and shipped to Taranaki in 1881 where it still stands today.
Skiers are catered for during the winter months on Mount Taranaki with the only ski field on the mountain, the Manganui Ski Area is popular during the season drawing people in from all parts of New Zealand.
There are many other activities available in Taranaki there are two heritage gardens open to the public, the Hollard Gardens established in the 1920s by Bernie Hollard and the Tupare Gardens developed by Sir Russell Matthews and family back in 1932 well worth a look for garden lovers.