Tour Taranaki on Foot

Taranaki offers many walks that will take you to some of the region’s most scenic destinations, through its rich heritage and stories, and up, around or along its icons.

Urban excursions

A great place to start any Taranaki walking adventure is on one of easily accessible urban trails that weave through our towns.

The New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, which spans the city’s waterfront for 13km from Port Taranaki to Bell Block, has won countless awards, and as you pass artworks, cool coffee stops and surf beaches, you’ll see why.

Leading off the Coastal Walkway the Te Henui, Huatoki and Mangaotuku walkways open up other parts of the city and its parks, gardens, swimming spots and more.

Stratford, Inglewood, Waitara, Patea and Opunake also offer some great walks that go beyond the urban environs to showcase aspects of the local landscape and history.

For more adventure

Sitting sentinel at the heart of the region, the 2518m peak of Mount Taranaki is hard to miss. The surrounding Egmont National Park boasts hundreds of kilometres of diverse walking tracks, from easy board-walked strolls the whole family can enjoy to more intrepid single and multi-day walks with spectacular views.

The sparkling waterfalls of Willkies Pools and the mystical Goblin Forest are easily accessible excursions onto the southern slopes – while the Kamahi and Potaema offer family-friendly adventures from Stratford.

For the more intrepid, the Pouakai Crossing, across the Ahukawakawa wetland and Pouakai Ranges offers a spectacular 8-hour single day walk, though with two huts en-route can also make a good overnight tramp.

The pinnacle though is the 8-14 hour climb to the mountain’s sacred summit. While not to be taken lightly – the weather can change very rapidly and the terrain spans loose scoria in summer and perilous ice in winter – it’s easy to see why this climb is on many a bucket list. The best way to tackle it is with an experienced local guide or on one of the open climbs held over the summer months.

From mountain to sea

Between the mountain and the coast there are many more excursions that will take you deep into the region’s landscape. The Lake Rotokare Scenic Reserve, inland from Eltham, offers a 90-minute lakeside loop through a 212ha predator-proof enclosure, while the Lake Rotorangi walkway begins by crossing the dam at the head of New Zealand’s longest man-made lake.

Whitecliffs Walkway spans the coast in the northern reaches of the region, and there are many more walks through the region’s spectacular parks and gardens – start with Pukeiti, Pukekura Park, Tupare and Hollard Gardens, and explore from there.