Discover an alpine and national park wonderland, rolling green fields, a beautiful coast and enough Maori and colonial history to fill a library.

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Each of the region's three districts provides a unique perspective on Taranaki's past, present and future. And Egmont National Park with Mt Taranaki at its heart is a world unto itself. So explore--There's so much more to Taranaki than you might think.

Egmont National Park
Egmont National Park is New Zealand's most accessible and third smallest (now 33,500-hectares) national park. The 200,000 annual visitors to Taranaki's biggest playground should remember that despite its tranquil appearance, it is still a wild place. Don't be tempted to wander off on a hot summer day in just a pair of shorts and T-shirt because this mountain can drop several degrees and start raining and/or snowing at the drop of a hat.

The summit is climbed dozens of times every year and a local mountaineering club holds an annual open-day summit climb. In 1839, Geologist Ernst Dieffenbach and whaler Mr Heberley were the first Europeans, and perhaps the first humans, to summit the mountain as Maori would not climb the higher slopes as they considered them tapu (sacred).

From Dawson Falls, there's a maze of walks on offer, but perhaps the most popular is to Wilkies Pools, a series of eroded rock pools connected with gentle waterfalls. East Egmont, accessed through Stratford, offers the mountain skifield as well as the short Kamahi walk through the Goblin Forest, with branches bearded in grey-green moss. North Egmont's seven metres of rainfall for the last two years makes it the wettest place in New Zealand. Lucy's Gully offers a fabulous picnic area among gigantic redwoods and access into the Kaitake Range.

SUMMER - December - February

The warm weather starts as early as September, though summer does not officially begin until 1 Dec. This is the time to explore the many beaches and rivers of the region, or venture onto Mt Taranaki for dips in crystal clear pools and stunning views of the central North Island volcanoes. Temperatures generally reach the low to mid-twenties.

AUTUMN - March - May
Taranaki is riddled with walkways - through the lush green pastures of our prime dairy country, the spectacular flora of Mt Taranaki or along the solitary Taranaki coastline. Or take a drive along the Forgotten World Highway to Mt Damper Falls - the highest waterfall in the North Island. Enjoy a cuppa at Kaieto Cafe, which affords spectacular views of the rugged hill country, or join in a game of pool with the locals at the fabled Whangamomona Hotel. Air temperatures are still generally mild (around 18 degrees) at this time of year.

WINTER - June - August
Snow covers the magnificent Mt Taranaki and the clean, crisp air makes it a joy to view. Take a day to drive right around the mountain and admire it from every angle. As you drive you can explore Taranaki's rich cultural history at various historic pa sites and private museums then reward yourself with a steaming cappuccino in front of a roaring fire. There are also Round the Mountain Art trails and Antique trails to follow.

Or drive right on to the mountain on one of three sealed access roads, for some fun in the snow.

SPRING - September - November
Taranaki gardens are at their best during the Taranaki Rhododendron Festival from October - November. The rich volcanic soils and high sunshine hours make for colourful, textured plants in a wide variety.

More info on Taranaki - visit www.taranakinz.org

Select to locate a Taranaki venue

Taranaki Venues - Wanganui Venues - New Plymouth Venues

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