Taranaki - Like No Other!

The Taranaki region of New Zealand is located on the west coast of the North Island. This region is perhaps most famously known as the location of the magnificent Mount Taranaki, which is also known as Mount Egmont. This is the second tallest mountain on the North Island and is in the shape of an almost perfect cone. Around the mountain, rests Egmont National Park, a stunning natural wonderland that beckons visitors to discover it. Taranaki is the perfect place to experience nature at its best and get a taste of true Maori culture.

Campervanning around Taranaki is the best way to explore all the sights, sounds and smells that are present within the region. Campervans New Zealand will allow you to drive around the bays in the area, the North Taranaki Bight and the South Taranaki Bight. These beautiful ocean bays enclose the region and are located at separate ends of the area. While driving around in your campervan you will pass so much amazing scenery and experience so much magnificent coastline that you simply won't be able to help yourself and will have to get out and take a look.

While driving around you will also come across the many stylish towns and cities that essentially form the Taranaki region. The most notable of these would have to be New Plymouth, constituting about half of the population of the region and acting as the main city centre in the area. Other quaint towns in the region include Inglewood and Waitara in the North, and Hawera, Stratford and Eltham in the south. The presence of Mount Taranaki is felt within all of these communities and there is also a strong Maori history embedded into their history and heritage.

Inglewood

The unique town of Inglewood is located 16 kilometres south-east of New Plymouth and is situated on State Highway 3. As you are travelling you will find that most of the region's towns are located on this route, which will essentially make your driving experience easier and more straight forward. Inglewood, as with the other towns in the region, is relatively close to Mount Taranaki, and it acts as a pleasant backdrop for the town, creating a natural atmosphere.

Inglewood is home to New Zealand's National Toy Museum, which makes it the perfect place to take the kids for the day. "Fun Ho!" is located on the main street of town and is home to some of the country's oldest and most classic toys. This isn't just a fun day out for the kids: it's a great day out for the whole family!

Waitara

Nestled on a river in the northern part of the Taranaki region is the quaint township of Waitara. Waitara is also located just off State Highway 3 and sits just 15 kilometres north-east of New Plymouth. The name Waitara, in Maori, translates into "mountain stream" and this seems relevant as the town is popular spot for river fishing, boating and white water rafting.

Hawera

Also located on State Highway 3, near the south coast of the South Taranaki Bight is the beautiful community of Hawera. This town is also positioned just off State Highway 45, which is more commonly known as Surf Highway 45, for the numerous surf beaches that are located along the way. Hawera is home to the largest dairy farm complex in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the Tawhiti Museum, which is most famously known for it hand crafted, life-sized wax sculptures that depict scenes of local history and heritage.

Stratford

When driving in the central part of Taranaki, the only town that you come across will be Stratford. This pleasant abode lies beneath the eastern slopes of Mount Taranaki and is home to the ring plain around the mountain, the Patea River Catchment and the eastern hill country. Stratford is also regarded as the gateway to the Egmont National Park in the west and the Whanganui National Park in the east. Therefore, it is the perfect base for exploration of these natural wonderlands.

Eltham

The town of Eltham thrives, with a main industry of cheese production. Visit one of the local cheese factories and get a taste of some of the most delicious cheese you can find. Eltham is the gateway to some of the country's most stunning lakes, including Lake Rotokare, a scenic, natural lake, surrounded by native bush, and the man-made, Lake Rotorangi. These lakes are perfect for fishing, canoeing, sailing and kayaking and are the perfect excuse to get back in touch with nature.

A campervan holiday in Taranaki will offer rememberable experiences and with a town practically around every corner, you will never be left without somewhere or something to explore. Having a campervan in this area really is the way to go, as you will probably change your mind where you wish to stay multiple times and with a campervan you are guaranteed a place to sleep. The Taranaki region of New Zealand is unique and diverse, with a strong Maori presence which will give you a true sense of this great country!

Christine Barton


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