About Taranaki

About Taranaki

Taranaki has recently been judged home to the best place to live in New Zealand (North & South Magazine) and the best small city in the world (Liveable Communities Awards).

Taranaki is on the west coast of the North Island, located halfway between the main centres of Auckland and Wellington.  At its heart stands Mount Taranaki, a natural playground and proud regional icon, while nestled on the coast, the progressive capital city of the region – New Plymouth, was judged New Zealand’s Top Town by influential North & South magazine.

The region’s dynamic surf, masses of parks and gardens, iconic walkways, major events calendar, mountain playground and top quality restaurants, cafes and bars, make it a great place to live and visit.

The Districts

Taranaki is home to 107,500 people, most of whom live in the coastal city of New Plymouth. The region is split into three districts: New Plymouth to the north with a population of about 70,000; Stratford in central Taranaki servicing about 9,000 people; and South Taranaki, including the main centre of Hawera, with a population of 26,000.

Climate and Weather

Taranaki boasts a temperate climate with high sunshine hours and abundant rainfall, which combine to make it lush, green and fertile. Temperatures are pleasant and mild all year round, making it an ideal place for outdoor activities. Average winter temperatures range between 6°C and 14°C, and summer temperatures a comfortable 13°C to 22°C, with the highest temperature recorded as 30°C. On average New Plymouth receives 2,182 hours of sunshine annually, the third highest in New Zealand and equal with Gisborne on the East Coast.

History & Culture

Many of the stories about Taranaki’s past are told at Puke Ariki, a world-class interactive museum, library and information centre in New Plymouth. Its galleries explore the region’s natural, geological and human interest stories, and a dynamic exhibition and events programme puts the spotlight on specific aspects of the region’s culture.

In South Taranaki, near Hawera, is the renowned Tawhiti museum created by artist Nigel Ogle. It relays Taranaki’s heritage through life-size and scale models of Taranaki people and places, all of which are created on-site.

The museum of South Taranaki – Aotea Utanganui- in Patea, and Taranaki Pioneer Village near Stratford also offer fascinating historical insights and are two of many museums scattered throughout the region which bring Taranaki’s past to life.

[Content Credit: Information on this page from Venture Taranaki]