Getting here

Taranaki is poised halfway between Auckland and Wellington on the western coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

It is easily accessed by air dusing Air New Zealand’s domestic service and by road via major state highways and New Zealand’s oldest heritage trail – The Forgotten World Highway SH43.

Taranaki location map

By Air

Taranaki is just a short direct flight from the many cities throughout New Zealand.

Air New Zealand services connect New Plymouth Airport to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch each week.

Approximate flight times:
Auckland to New Plymouth - 45 mins
Wellington to New Plymouth - 50 mins
Christchurch to New Plymouth - 1hr 25 mins.

By Road

Taranaki can be accessed from the north and south on State Highway 3 and from the east along the scenic Forgotten World Highway (State Highway 43).

Once in Taranaki, Surf Highway 45 is a great touring route used to discover coastal towns and surf breaks on the Taranaki coastline between New Plymouth and Hawera, with a direct inland route connecting the region’s major towns.

Regular scheduled bus services operate both north and south from Taranaki, and within New Plymouth city.
Approximate drive times:

Destination - Approx. Time

Auckland to New Plymouth - 4hrs 30mins
Hamilton to New Plymouth - 3hrs
Rotorua to New Plymouth - 3hrs 45mins
Taupo to New Plymouth - 3hrs 40mins

View or download the Touring Route Guides to SH43 - The Forgotten Wortld Highway - and SH45 - The Surf Highway - below.

Forgotten World Highway guide

A guide to New Zealand's oldest official touring route
View Online Download

Surf Highway 45 Guide

Your guide to Taranaki's Surf Highway 45 touring route
View Online Download
New Plymouth Cycle Trail

By Bicycle

The Forgotten World Cycle Trail, from Taumarunui to New Plymouth, is the first on-road addition to the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

It offers a challenging yet scenic 180km link between the central North Island and Taranaki via quiet country roads and a section of the Forgotten World Highway and features two unsealed sections and several large hills.

Accommodation and supplies are available at Whangamomona, Purangi and Lepperton (see the accommodation part of our website for more information).

Allow 2-3 days to reach Taranaki from Taumarunui.

Lifestyle Toolkit

The Taranaki Lifestyle Toolkit has been developed to help you discover what living and working in Taranaki is like, and what an amazing career and lifestyle you can achieve here. Download a copy, or view online.