Waterfront & Coastline
A visit to Pukekura Park is a must-do while in New Plymouth - leave plenty of time to wander the gracious grounds that surround a lake and head towards Brooklands Park. There is a beautiful fernery and greenhouse to explore, and also Brooklands Zoo - a free zoo with monkeys, birds, farmyard animals and reptiles.
One of the most wonderful additions to New Plymouth in recent years is its amazing Coastal Walkway. This beautiful award-winning track stretches 12.7 kilometres from Pioneer Park at Port Taranaki all the way to the eastern side of Bell Block Beach. You don’t have to do it all of course, and there are a number of spots to access the walkway - it’s ideal for cycling, walking, skating, running and enjoying the views of the dramatic west coast. There are parks, beaches, cafes, sports clubs, bridges, sculptures and plenty of other interesting spots along the way. If you’re still feeling energetic head to Paritutu Rock - it’s a short drive or a walk to the carpark at the base, then follow some stairs and it’s an exciting climb up steep rocks using chains and ladders to take you to the top. You’ll be rewarded with excellent views of the Sugar Loaf Islands and the coast stretching in both directions.
One of the main reasons people flock to Taranaki is its beaches and the excellent barrels those beaches provide - surfing. Taranaki is home to Surf Highway 45 and to some of Aotearoa’s beat surf breaks. Fitzroy beach is handy to the city and has a good break for beginners with some great waves when there is an offshore wind. Further along the coast is Ahu Ahu, a very popular break, the Kumera Patch, which some consider to be the best lefthand break in the area, and a more laidback easy riding wave at Weld Road.