Taranaki is a true gem of New Zealand, offering a captivating blend of natural wonders and rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re looking to conquer epic hikes or immerse yourself in the region’s history, Taranaki has plenty of things to do. With the freedom and comfort of a 4 berth campervan rental from Kia Ora Campers, you can explore Taranaki at your own pace and create unforgettable memories along the way.

We’ve rounded up the top 10 must-do activities in this stunning region. So, hop in your Kia Ora Camper, and let’s dive into the best that Taranaki has to offer!

1. Hike Mount Taranaki

By far the most iconic Taranaki attraction, we first have Mount Taranaki. This almost perfect volcanic cone is an absolute stunner, with plenty of different hiking trails to choose from. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can tackle the challenging summit climb, but make sure you come prepared. The views from the top over the Egmont National Park are truly out of this world.

For those after something a little more relaxed, the Dawson Falls and Wilkies Pools walks offer a chance to soak in the stunning scenery without too much effort. And the Pouakai Crossing is a great middle ground, giving you epic mountain vistas without the hardcore summit climb.

2. Visit Puke Ariki

Be sure to head to Puke Ariki in New Plymouth, a modern museum-library combo. It has a treasure trove of Māori and colonial artefacts, so you can dive into the region’s rich history and culture. The interactive displays make it a fun and engaging visit for all ages, and they’ve always got temporary exhibitions on, so every time you visit, it’s a brand new experience.

3. Surf Highway 45

If you’re a surf fan, cruise the 105km Surf Highway 45 and trace Taranaki’s stunning coastline. Short side roads lead to legendary black-sand surf spots like Graveyard, Kumara Patch, and Dump. This drive is a surfer’s dream, with pumping waves around every bend. But it’s not just about the surf. Quaint towns, boutique galleries, and great cafes dot the route, making it a scenic and well-rounded coastal adventure.

4. Explore the Forgotten World Highway

This next one is a real hidden gem: the Forgotten World Highway, or State Highway 43. It’s a 150 km journey through some of the most stunning and historic landscapes you’ll ever see. You’ll wind through the rugged Strathmore Saddle, with jaw-dropping views of Mount Taranaki and Mount Ruapehu. And be sure to stop in the quirky town of Whangamomona, which even declared itself a republic!

5. Stroll through Pukekura Park

Pukekura Park is a 52-hectare botanical oasis. Wander through the exotic plants, lakes, and walking trails, and if you’re there in the summer, don’t miss the incredible Festival of Lights, which transforms the park into a magical, illuminated wonderland. You can even go for a boat ride on the lake or check out the fernery and display houses.

6. Visit Tawhiti Museum

Next, we’ve got the Tawhiti Museum, like nothing you’ve ever seen. It was created by an artist named Nigel Ogle, and it brings history to life through incredibly realistic, life-sized models and dioramas. You’ll get a detailed and artistic glimpse into Taranaki’s past, from the Bush Railway to the Traders and Whalers exhibit. It’s a truly immersive historical experience.

Taranaki attractions - Cape Egmont Lighthouse

7. Experience the Coastal Walkway

No visit to Taranaki would be complete without exploring the award-winning Coastal Walkway. This stunning path stretches from Port Taranaki all the way to Bell Block Beach, offering breathtaking views and cool art installations along the way. Whether you bike, jog, or just take a leisurely stroll, you’re in for a real treat. Make sure you stop and check out the iconic Wind Wand sculpture and the gorgeous Te Rewa Rewa Bridge.

8. Discover Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre is a must-visit for all you art lovers out there. It’s a hub for contemporary art and culture, with ever-changing exhibits and installations. And the building itself is a work of art, with its stunning, reflective stainless steel facade.

9. Visit Taranaki Cathedral

Step back in time at the Taranaki Cathedral, also known as St Mary’s Church. This place is steeped in history and colonial architecture, with its stunning stained-glass windows and serene gardens. It’s the perfect spot for a moment of quiet contemplation and appreciation for the region’s heritage.

10. Check Out Cape Egmont Lighthouse

Last but not least, let’s head to the Cape Egmont Lighthouse, one of the oldest in New Zealand. The drive offers breathtaking coastal views, and the lighthouse makes for a gorgeous photo op, especially at sunset, with Mount Taranaki as the backdrop. It’s a great way to learn about the region’s maritime history and soak in those incredible ocean vistas.

Discover what Taranaki has to Offer

From heart-pumping hikes to cultural immersion and serene strolls, you won’t be short of things to do in Taranaki. With your trusty Kia Ora Camper, you can explore it all at your own pace and create memories that’ll last a lifetime.

Get in touch with Kia Ora Campers today to organise your campervan hire from Dunedin, Auckland or any of our other locations.