Sample Itineraries

How Taranaki can fit into your North Island Itinerary

Just a 40-minute flight from Auckland and Wellington, and 90-minutes from Christchurch, Taranaki is very
accessible with two airlines arriving at New Plymouth Airport several times daily.

Taranaki can be easily added to popular driving routes. The roads to Taranaki are driver-friendly scenic highways with not too much distance between activities, making it perfect for both FIT and group tours.

Here are some examples of how Taranaki could fit in to a North Island itinerary.

GREEN - NORTH ISLAND EXPLORER ROUTE (1 WEEK - DRIVE)

Day 1: Arrive in Auckland, stay one night and explore Auckland’s products
Day 2: Drive to Hamilton (1.5 hours) and then spend the day at Hobbiton (40 mins from Hamilton)
Day 3: Explore the Waitomo Caves (1 hour) and then on to New Plymouth (2.5 hours)
Day 4: Enjoy the many adventures in New Plymouth
Day 5: Drive to Stratford and on to ride the rail carts with Forgotten World Adventures to Taumarunui.
Day 6: Enjoy Ruapehu and drive to Rotorua for the night (2.5 hours).
Day 7: Morning activity in Rotorua, return to Auckland

RED - WEST COAST TRAIL (3 DAYS - DRIVE)

Day 1: Fly or drive to Rotorua, stay one night and explore Rotorua’s products
Day 2: Drive to New Plymouth (3.5 hours) and select one of our day-long or a morning and afternoon activity (ie Len Lye Centre and a guided short walk on Mount Taranaki)
Or Drive to Taumarunui (2 hours) and then ride the rails to Douglas before driving to Taranaki
Day 3: Drive to Auckland via Waitomo Caves

How Taranaki can fit into your New Zealand itinerary.

GREEN - NORTH AND SOUTH ISLAND IN 10 DAYS, DRIVE AND FLY

Day 1: Arrive in Auckland, stay one night
Day 2: Drive to Hamilton (1.5 hours) and experience Hobbiton (40 mins from Hamilton)
Day 3: Explore Rotorua (1.5 hours from Hamilton)
Day 4: Drive to Taumarunui (2 hours) and then ride the rail carts with Forgotten World Adventures to Douglas and drive to Statford (15 mins). Stay in Stratford
Day 5: Spend the day exploring New Plymouth (45 mins from Stratford)
Day 6: Fly to Christchurch and spend the day in the city
Day 7: Drive to Lake Tekapo (3 hours) and spend evening watching the stars
Day 8: Discover the magic of Wanaka (2.5 hours)
Day 9: Spend the day in Queenstown (1 hour)
Day 10: Continue exploring Queenstown and then fly to Auckland

RED - NORTH AND SOUTH ISLAND IN 10 DAYS, DRIVE ONLY

Day 1: Arrive in Auckland, stay one night
Day 2: Drive to Hamilton (1.5 hours) and experience Hobbiton (40 mins from Hamilton) before heading to
Rotorua (1 hour)
Day 3: Explore the Waitomo Caves (2 hours) and then on to New Plymouth (2.5 hours)
Day 4: Enjoy the many adventures in New Plymouth
Day 5: Drive to Wellington and have lunch in Whanganui on the way (5 hours total)
Day 6: Ferry to Picton and drive to Nelson for the night (2 hours)
Day 7: Head to Kaikoura (3 hours) to try crayfish and see dolphins
Day 8: Experience Christchurch (2.5 hours)
Day 9: Drive to Lake Tekapo (3 hours) and spend evening watching the stars
Day 10: Spend the day in Queenstown (3.5 hours) and fly back to Auckland in the evening

And when you arrive in Taranaki, we have a lot to offer

Here is where you will find sample itineraries, fitting to certain themes, aimed to inspire you visit.

If you are considering visiting Taranaki, please let the team at Venture Taranaki know because we can construct a personalised itinerary for you to suit your needs. 

Taranaki Family Sample Itinerary

With so many family-friendly activities and accommodation options available, more and more families are deciding to head to Taranaki for the holidays. Come and see what everyone has been talking about.

Day One:
  • Explore New Plymouth’s award-winning coastal walkway in unforgettable style by hiring a Wind Wanderer four person bicycle.
  • Discover the rich history of Taranaki at Puke Ariki (museum, library and i-SITE) before heading off to explore the landscapes where it happened.
  • Feed the ducks at Pukekura Park, check out the fountains, enjoy the playground and hire a row boat in summer to paddle your way around the lake.
  • Take a splash at one of Taranaki’s many patrolled beaches in summer or at a public pool throughout the year.

Day Two:
  • Sail through Taranaki history at Traders and Whalers and then investigate miniature sculptures and realistic models at next-door Tawhiti Museum.
  • Get a strike at Bowlarama or check out the imaginative pirate and underwater themed, glow in the dark mini putt golf course.
  • Visit the 3,000 historic toys on display at Fun Ho! Toy Museum
  • Discover the lifestyles of Taranaki’s pioneering settlers at Pioneer Village.
If you have more time, don’t miss:
  • Taranaki has more than its fair share of zoos. Amongst other animals, Brooklands Zoo has monkeys, Pouakai Zoo has lions and tigers and Stoney Oaks Wildlife Park gives you a hands-on experience with many animals.
  • Enjoy super-sized scoops of icecream at Iona Dairy – a classic Taranaki childhood favourite!
  • Head to VolCaNoView for great views of Mt Taranaki for the adults and pedal karts for the kids.

Taranaki Explorer’s Retreat Sample Itinerary

Picturesque Mt Taranaki and the sparkling Tasman Sea make Taranaki an outdoor playground with lot to explore. Here are a few ideas to start you dreaming about your next Taranaki adventure.

Day One:

  • Dawson Falls is a stunning 18 metre high waterfall that you come across if you walk for ten minutes from the Dawson Falls Visitor Centre.
  • Take the plunge in Wilkies Pools, a series of natural plunge pools where you can swim in pristine alpine water.
  • While you’re in Egmont National Park, make sure to check out our Walker’s Guide to choose your pick from over 200km of walking tracks.
  • At the end of a hard day, treat yourself to some relaxation at the Taranaki Mineral Pools, drawing heated mineral water from deep underground. 
Day Two:
  • Learn how to surf Taranaki’s famous waves in New Plymouth with Daisy Day Surf School or in Oakura with Tarawave Surf School.
  • Explore the surf breaks, art studios, historic sites, spectacular scenery and coastal walks dotted along Surf Highway 45. Make a whole day of it and break up your activities by trying out the cosy cafes and restaurants dotted around the coast. 
If you have more time, don’t miss:
  • The Whitecliffs Walkway in North Taranaki is a local favourite. Take a scenic journey through open farmland and dramatic coastal forest to experience sea and mountain views.
  • Forgotten World Adventures offers rail cart rides on the disestablished tracks that run between Douglas and Taumarunui. Ride the rails in a golf cart or for more of an adventure, head off on the rail bikes.

Taranaki Arts and Culture Sample Itinerary

With arts attractions like the esteemed Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and new Len Lye Centre and Tawhiti Museum, Taranaki is becoming a destination for creatives and history buffs.

Day One:

  • Drive to Stratford and visit the Percy Thomson Gallery. Providing an ever-changing display of local, national and international art, it was voted a Must Do by locals.
  • While in Stratford, discover the lifestyles of Taranaki’s pioneering settlers at Pioneer Village.
  • Keep driving south where you can sail through Taranaki history at Traders and Whalers and then investigate miniature sculptures and realistic models at next-door Tawhiti Museum.
  • In South Taranaki, there’s a number of quirky museums and galleries worth visiting from a glass art studio, a giant horse ornament collection and a country music hall of fame. You can see all of the options in our Museums and Galleries brochure..
Day Two:
  • Discover the rich history of Taranaki at Puke Ariki (museum, library and i-SITE) before heading off to explore the landscapes where it happened.
  • Be blown away by the shiny building and loud art within the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/ Len Lye Centre.
  • Check out the public art in New Plymouth, from Len Lye’s Wind Wand on the Coastal Walkway to Michael Smithers’ Aotearoa in Pukekura Park.
If you have more time, don’t miss:
  • Taranaki is a source of true inspiration for many talented local artists. Both the Oakura Arts Trail and the Taranaki Arts Trail happen at different times of the year where local artists open their private workshops and art spaces to the public.

Taranaki Wildlife Sample Itinerary

From lions and tigers to kiwi rehabilitation centres, there’s plenty for every wild child to explore.

Day One:

  • Visit the monkeys, bird aviary, otters and farm animals at Brooklands Zoo in New Plymouth.
  • Jump on Chaddy’s Charters and visit the Sugar Loaf Islands – home to seal colonies and a marine reserve.
  • Pouakai Zoo has an extensive range of exotic wildlife. If you get there at about lunchtime, you might even be able to help feed the lions and tigers!
  • Puke Ariki Museum has a fantastic exhibition about the native and endangered Kokako and the protection programme run by DOC to save the species. 
Day Two:
  • Head to Lake Rotokare in Eltham to see a stunning 230 hectare, predator-free environment rich in native flora and fauna. You might even spot a kiwi or a long-tailed bat.
  • Inglewood’s Stoney Oaks Wildlife Park is a great place to take the kids. Feed the animals and get up, close and personal with a range of friendly animals in a beautiful farm wildlife park setting.
  • The East Taranaki Environment Trust has been growing Taranaki’s kiwi population since 2005 and currently has over 500 kiwi in its 13,000 hectares of land in Purangi. Take a guided walk through the grounds or book in a kiwi listening for a unique evening activity.