Best Things to Do in New Plymouth
As a kiwi, it’s a bit embarrassing to admit it took me until this year to make it to New Plymouth. It’s not that there are a lack of things to do in New Plymouth, it’s just never been on my way to anywhere and I don’t know anyone from there. But since I’m in the process of showing Max the whole country we decided to make a long weekend trip to check out the New Plymouth attractions.
Where to stay in New Plymouth
If you’re on a budget try the dorm rooms at Ariki Backpackers.
For a private room with a great breakfast have a look at Heta Road B&B.
If you’re splashing out try King and Queen Suites, which is next to our favorite little cafe Ozone Coffee Roasters.
There is a nice campground on the beach with tent spots or cabins available
Some of the best things to do in New Plymouth
THE LEN LYE CENTRE
The Len Lye Centre is an art gallery dedicated to a famous New Zealand born artist. After his death in 1980 much of his work was returned to New Zealand and is displayed in New Plymouth. The gallery is well worth checking out and also houses the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.
The exhibition is free for New Plymouth residents or $15 for everyone else and while it’s a must for art lovers, those travelling on a budget might opt to just be impressed by the building from the outside. A large metallic structure with waves running along the sides which catch the reflections of the historic building opposite, it’s an art exhibit in itself and certainly worth checking out while in New Plymouth.
HIKING IN EGMONT NATIONAL PARK
It’s hard not to consider hiking in New Plymouth with the great Mount Taranaki staring you right in the face. Luckily there are plenty of decent hiking trails around from day walks to overnight and multi-day treks.
We did the Pouakai Hut walk which takes about 4-5 hours return and takes you up through native bush to a stunningly located hut sitting just below the ridgeline. A few minutes further up from the hut you get the most amazing views of Mount Taranaki and can continue down the hill to the famous tarn for a reflection shot. This walk is the end of the full day Pouakai Crossing Trek which is part of the famous Pouakai Circuit .
VISIT THE CAFES
If you’re feeling like a break from all the amazing things to do in New Plymouth it might be time for a coffee break! Thankfully New Plymouth has a great café scene and any coffee lover will be spoilt for choice with options for every taste.
For a quick breakfast and amazing coffee we loved the crumpets with blue cheese, walnuts and honey washed down by perfect barista coffee at Ozone Coffee Roasters. There was also a great cabinet selection and friendly staff at Empire Tea & Coffee. If you’re further east towards the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge check out Federal Store or head to Chaos in the centre.
NEW PLYMOUTH COASTAL WALKWAY
The Coastal Walkway runs along the entire waterfront of New Plymouth from Paritutu Rock to the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge and is the perfect activity for a sunny Taranaki day. With a brisk sea breeze in you hair and a view out over the ocean you’ll be able to walk the length of the city and pass by locals and visitors as they enjoy the waterfront. There’s not a lot along the actual path but there’s plenty of opportunities to duck a couple of blocks over to a café or head to the Bach On Breakwater Cafe for coffee/brunch with a view.