Hawera is the main town of south Taranaki situated 70km from New Plymouth. Too often visitors are whizzing past on their way to the lights of New Plymouth. Hawera is home for a flourishing art scene with notable galleries worth a detour, quixotic museums and glorious natural spaces for visitors to soak up the neverending views of Mount Taranaki. The mountain dominates the landscape together with the rugged iron sand beaches is a study in contrasts offering photographers plenty of scope for the perfect moment to capture the shot.
HAWERA, SOUTHERN TARANAKI IS A VISITOR SURPRISE WITH STUNNING MUSEUMS AND A VERY SPECIAL PLACE WHERE SCHOOL CHILDREN CONTRIBUTE TO A WETLAND’S WELLBEING
What to do, highlights
- Gardens and parks to linger in from a search for possible goblins in Naumai Park to Goodson Dell and King Edward Park’s manicured lawns.
- Iconic town structure, Hawera Water Tower and other heritage buildings
- Leisurely strolls and walkways encompassing farmland and historic pa (village sites)
- Quirky museums dedicated to dead rock stars with blue suede shoes and a museum chock full of scale models of Taranaki, endless fascination for all age groups
- Wait for sunset to capture the glorious vistas of Mount Taranaki (in case it’s raining there is plenty to do otherwise)
FOUR FUN THINGS TO DO IN HAWERA IN A FEW HOURS
Just passing through here’s a taste of Hawera and it’s sure to draw you back for a second visit.
- Overcome vertigo and climb the iconic Hawera Water Tower
- Visit Elvis Presley, admire Kevin D Wasley’s blue suede shoes at Elvis’s shrine, Hawera style
- Visit stunning TAWHITI MUSEUM and immerse yourself in recreated Taranaki, scaled down of course. Hang out in the backroom studios to find out how dioramas and models were created
- Culture fixes are easy when you can linger in Lysaght Watt gallery. Perhaps support a local artist with a permanent memory
- Ohawe beach black sands, ocean scattered driftwood, shells and rugged coastline is a great place for a beach walk.
- Ohawe beach to Waihi Beach Coastal Walk is a walk governed by the tide. Plenty of beach foraying opportunities
- Nowell’s Lake is surrounded by the coastal sand dune belt. The lakeside has been planted with thousands of swan plants making the walk a late spring, summer favourite with locals intent on spotting the monarch butterflies.
- Te Ara Hīkoi ki te Arawhiti o Manawapou (the Manawapou Viaduct Walkway). follows the former Ingahape Rd through farmland to the historical Manawapou Viaduct.
- King Edward Park homage to English planting style is a beautiful introduction to the small town
PARKS AND GARDENS
King Edward Parklearn more
Goodson Delllearn more
Naumai Parklearn more
Nowell's Lakes Walkwayslearn more
Public gardens nearby include:
Puketarata Gardens and rhododendrons is synonymous yet the gardens are worth a visit year round
Tawhiti Museumlearn more
Museum of South Taranaki Aotea Utanganuilearn more
K.D’s Elvis Presley Museumlearn more
WHAT TO DO WITH KIDS
- Goodson Dell to find the goblins
- King Edward park for a picnic and check out the playground
- Tawhiti Museum to marvell at exhibits
- Newell Lake to see what the local school children have built
- Climb the Hawera water tower with Mum & Dad
While Hawera has the standard range of shops supporting the locals it is not a shopping destination. The pull of New Plymouth has discouraged the development of a vigorous retail sector.
HERITAGE SITES AND BUILDINGS
TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION
Community members and Park supporters came together to form ‘The Friends of Hawera’s Parks’, a charitable trust dedicated to the guardianship, care and promotion of King Edward Park, Naumai Park and Goodson Dell, Hāwera. Working closely with the South Taranaki District Council Parks’ team. The Friends amalgamated the previous individual organisations ‘The Friends of King Edward Park’, ‘The friends of Naumai Park’ and ‘The Goodson Guerrillas’.
Friends and other interested members of the community have the opportunity to take part in guided walks on which the history, botany, even the personalities associated with the parks may be explored, along with workshop events as different as rose pruning to tool sharpening, making hanging baskets for propagation. Giving back to the Park, regular Monday morning working bees see volunteers putting in an hour or two of weeding, painting or planting and having a lot of fun doing it. Follow them on Facebook on @FriendsofHaweraParks and contact them directly to enquire about membership.
Unique journeys, personal adventures.