Taranaki, River Region – The Wild West Coast
Taranaki is a place of stunning natural beauty and the place to renew your
spirit. Meander along winding river gorges and quiet highways under the gaze of
the Mount Taranaki, the perfect cone-shaped mountain that dominates this region.
There are two well-known and recognised drives that offer visitors scenery in
The Forgotten World Highway, is one of the most secluded roads, and New
Zealand's first heritage trail. Forgotten is its name, but this route is really
a journey of remembrance. From the top of the ragged Strathmore Saddle you'll
see the three volcanoes of Tongariro National Park to the east and the
snow-topped cone of Mount Taranaki to the west. The Whangamomona Saddle provides
a spectacular view of native beech and Podocarp forest - if you have time, park
and enjoy the three-hour circular walk that begins here.
The Surf Highway 45, is a 105 kilometre stretch, that hugs the coastline between
New Plymouth and Hawera. The Highway links the regions urban centres with
legendary surf spots, with names such as Back Beach, Kumara Patch, Graveyard and
The Dump, just to name a few. But waves aren't the only reason to follow this
touring route - Egmont National Park is always within reach, with a
comprehensive network of tracks to take you up and around Mount Taranaki. You'll
be in the perfect position to study the botanical changes from surf to summit.