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Top 7 things to do in New Plymouth

  • 3 minutes

Taranaki, North Island

New Plymouth spoils visitors with free things to do and experience. The best bit are coastal walks, quirky sculptures and stunning architecture housing art galleries and museums. Get the camera ready to capture lifetime memories of time spent in Taranaki, New Plymouth.

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, exhibition space for artist Len Lye's kinetic works, New Zealand
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
  1. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre

Location says it all with sweeping views of the coast, the Len Lye Centre / Museum / Visitor Centre has it wrapped up and delivered to visitors in a convenient package. Dedicated to a single artist the shimmering landmark is a world class attraction in a provincial town.

TIP

While there are admission fees to enter, for your selfie moment against the shimmering glass, is’ free.

  1. Puke Ariki

New Plymouth is certainly not short of cultural attractions and Puke Ariki is another fantastic example. Puke Ariki is a knowledge hub that includes a museum, library, research centre and general information site for visitors. All parts of it are great and complement each other extremely well. Whether it’s the natural history exhibition of the museum, the virtual reality experiences at the library or the archives and photographs of the research centre, you’ll find there’s something for everyone.

Puke Ariki library at New Plymouth in New Zealand
Puke Ariki library at New Plymouth
TIP

Free entry with a well stocked visitor centre making this a great place to pop into at the beginning of your New Plymouth exploration.

Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Pukekura Park
  1. New Plymouth, like no other is a garden city

  • Free entry into Pukekura Park with guided park walks, garden buggy tours and self-guided maps you can spend a day wandering the sprawling park
  • Turn a corner virtually anywhere in New Plymouth and Mt Taranaki, will peek from the clouds providing outstanding views of a perfectly formed symmetrical mountain dominating the Taranaki landscape
  • An outstanding annual garden festival with plenty of free sideshow events
  • A spectacular summer TSB Festival of Lights free entry
  1. Selfie locations and photo moments

Great photo locations with stunning visuals create memorable holiday moments. Check these places:

  • Te Rewa Rewa bridge with its soaring steel wings
  • Len Lye Centre, swirling silver building as a backdrop against the setting sun on the coast, including the wind wand
  • Paritutu Rock
  • Festival of Lights (summer)
  • Pukekura Park with its cultivated gardens and themed corners
  • Meeting of the Waters Reserve for natural forest scenery & swing bridge
Te Rewa Rewa bridge framing Mt Taranaki, New Zealand
Te Rewa Rewa bridge framing Mt Taranaki
Aerial view on Taranaki coastline with a small river and New Plymouth and Mount Taranaki on the background. Taranaki region, New Zealand
Aerial view on Taranaki coastline with a small river and New Plymouth and Mount Taranaki on the background
  1. New Plymouth Coastal walkway

A great way to stretch the legs in New Plymouth. For the active runner the 13km walkway is flat and easy. For strolling there are various exits and entrances with cyclists, families with strollers and dogs to keep you company. It’s definitely a local favourite and a chance to meet New Plymouth residents.

  1. Go for a road trip & discover where the best surfing spots are

Who says you need to surf. Watching people is a great holiday past time, it’s free and New Plymouth is a good place to hang out at the beach. Are you ready for fun? Gravel roads lead to quiet beaches where the pounding surf is a place of joy. Surf Highway 45 runs parallel to the sea with small towns offering entertainment away from the beach… read more Surf Highway 45: Taranaki things to do – Best Bits.

Opunake, kiwi town on Surf Highway 45 launches boats using a tractor, Taranaki, New Zealand
Opunake, kiwi town on Surf Highway 45 launches boats using a tractor, Taranaki, New Zealand
Bridge in Meeting of the Waters Scenic Reserve @DOC / Tamsen Walker
Bridge in Meeting of the Waters Scenic Reserve @DOC / Tamsen Walker
  1. Explore lesser known parks – Meeting of the Waters Reserve

Meeting of the Waters Reserve has pleasant walking trails between 20 – 45 minutes track through native bush where the Waiwhakaiho River splits in two. There are plenty of native trees to see including tawa, kahikatea, matai, rimu and totara and a suspension bridge to cross as well.

TIP

Free swimming hole for warm summer days. For families consider an impromptu picnic.

Getting to Top free things to do in New Plymouth

For more ideas about what to do and see in New Plymouth and the region Taranaki check out:

BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE

Best Bits travel guide is published by nzjane.com. Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.

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