Get to Know the Cruise Locations
New Plymouth is a vibrant and contemporary city, known for its sunny climate, art galleries, picturesque parks, black sand beaches, decadent dining, award-winning craft breweries, and family-friendly fun.
Stroll along the iconic Coastal Walkway, stretching for 13km along New Plymouth’s seafront with public sculptures, family-friendly beaches, and many cultural points of interest to discover along the way. The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre is a must-visit, with its spectacular architectural design, inspiring contemporary art, and kinetic displays from famed artist, Len Lye.
Check out Hillsborough Holden Museum with its outdoor luge and mini putt course, take a wildlife boat cruise on Chaddy’s Charters, or explore the glorious gardens and easy walking trails at Tūpare or Pukekura Park.
Cruise the famed Surf Highway 45 around the Taranaki coastline to the town of Ōpunake. Here you will find world-class surf breaks, scenic picnic spots, welcoming cafes and a thriving arts community.
Add in a quick 5-minute trip to Pihama to visit the Pihama Lavendar Studio Gallery, which runs monthly markets on a Sunday.
Catch a flick at the 1920s inspired and lovingly restored Everybody’s Theatre, and grab a bite at either Sugar Juice Cafe or Arty Tarts, both along the main road. Venture along the Clifftop Garden and Ōpunake Loop Trail, or take the kids to the epic Ōpunake Beach playground.
Waitara, situated in the northern region of Taranaki on New Zealand’s North Island, claims the distinction of being the largest town in North Taranaki. It holds a special place in history, being among the earliest areas in the region to be inhabited by Māori, giving rise to its collection of significant heritage sites.
This town, conveniently accessible just off State Highway 3, enjoys the presence of the Waitara River flowing through its heart. The river offers ample opportunities for recreational activities such as fishing, boating, kayaking, and white-water rafting, while bridge swinging adds an adventurous dimension to the river experience.
The name “Waitara” is commonly interpreted as “mountain stream,” yet Māori legend suggests its original meaning was “Whai-tara,” signifying the “path of the dart.” An interesting historical note: In 1867, the settlement bore the name Raleigh, in honor of Sir Walter Raleigh. However, in 1904, it reclaimed its original name with the establishment of the borough of Waitara.
The town of Inglewood has a range of retail options and delicious cafes, along with some unique attractions. Visit Fun Ho! Toy Museum for a walk down toy memory lane, Stoney Oaks Wildlife Park for a hands-on animal experience, or stop in at Little Liberty Creamery for delicious plant-based ice-creams and frozen desserts.
Lying at the heart of Taranaki beneath the eastern slopes of Taranaki Maunga is the Shakespearean-themed town of Stratford. Go for a wander around town and admire the glockenspiel standing proud in the town centre – it is one-of-a-kind in New Zealand – with Shakespeare’s most famous star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, emerging for the balcony scene four times a day. The glockenspiel performs for approximately 5 minutes, after the hour chimes at 10am, 1pm, 3pm and 7pm.
There are a some notable contemporary arts activities in Stratford too, including the Percy Thomson Art Gallery and the stylish Fenton Street Arts Collective, which is a gallery, gin distillery, and espresso bar all in one.
Stratford is the gateway to Maunga Taranaki (Mount Taranaki), head up to explore some of the more accessible walking trails including the Kamahi Loop Track which leads through enchanting forests to dramatic waterfalls. Be sure to always check the conditions before you go.
You’re spoilt for choice for things to do in Hāwera. The crowning jewel is award-winning Tawhiti Museum and Tawhiti Museum underground boat experience. After your dose of local history, check out the local food scene at The Burnt Place or Upside Down Eatery. Head for the outdoors at King Edward Park, Naumai Park, or Goodson Dell. Or if you’d rather build up a sweat, climb all 215 stairs of the Hāwera Water Tower. Want to discover more local art? Try Quirky Fox or Lysaght Watt Gallery. Or for a unique experience, completely like no other, make an appointment to visit KD’s Elvis Presley Private Museum.