The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand
Taranaki, New Zealand

Kids in Taranaki, New Zealand

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Festival of Lights

New Plymouth


The already lovely Pukekura is transformed into a magical night-time wonderland for two months every summer and is the splendid backdrop for an extensive programme of musical and theatrical entertainment. Amid fluorescent pebble paths, majestically glowing trees and shimmering waterfalls there are romantic, illuminated wooden rowing-boats, thousands of lighting displays, face-painting, a talking giant, fire-poi dancers and parades – more than enough to captivate the young and the not-quite-so-young.

  • Prices: Anually from mid-December until early February.
  • Contact: Pukekura Park, New Plymouth
  • Web:
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Tawhiti Museum



Bruce and Lorrie at Te Popo Gardens send all their guests here, and nobody has ever been disappointed. It comes as no surprise that this is often rated as New Zealand’s finest private museum. South Taranaki history is presented in really lively and informative ways, using life-sized figures, scale models, light and sound effects and, of course, artefacts. Displays are constantly being improved, making them more interactive and appealing to younger (and older!) visitors.

  • Prices: $10 adults, $2 children. Normally open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 10 am - 4 pm; winter season June, July and August open Sundays only 10 am - 4pm; summer season January open every day 10 am - 4 pm.
  • Contact: 401 Ohangai Road, Hawera
  • Tel: 06-278-6837; and freephone 0800 921 921 in NZ
  • Fax: 06-278-6837
  • Email:
  • Web:
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Taranaki Highlights

  • Walk, climb, ski or just stare in amazement at the splendour of Mt Taranaki. There's a nice driving route that circles the volcano allowing you to photograph it from all angles.
  • On your way round, you'll get the opportunity to veer off the road towards the beaches of Oakura and Ounake (both world-class surfing and wind-surfing spots).
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