Flying in at 7am, we headed straight to the coast to have a stroll along the New Plymouth coastal walkway, a 10km track that takes in views of Mt Egmont, the infamous wind wand and rugged coastline.
The first hike on my list was up to Wilkies Pools. An easy, half hour track took us through 'Goblin Forest' until we came upon crystal clear, aquamarine pools that were perfect for plunging. Despite being pretty chilly, it was hard to resist the allure of these beautiful swimming holes, with their backdrop of the Mount.
Here’s where you get that classic reflection shot of Mt Egmont. A circular walk is perfect for anyone of moderate fitness levels, and is definitely worth a visit.
Right in the city lies the impressive Pukekura Park: 52 hectares of native and exotic plants, walking trails, and water features. The home of the annual WOMAD festival, this is also great to catch during the festival of lights at the start of summer.
If Len Lye isn’t your thing (and to be honest, his kinetic art was not for me) take a wander down Egmont Street and the surrounding area in the centre of town. There’s some pretty impressive street art to marvel at.
This quirky café has a distinctly retro vibe, with everything from the waitresses to the furniture channelling ‘50s chic. On top of this, the food and drink is fantastic, and is best enjoyed in one of their trademark booths.
This 105km stretch along the west coast sports some pretty impressive beaches. Taking a picnic down and having a wee nap in the car, as the waves crashed outside, was definitely one of the trip highlights.
There are plenty of watering holes in New Plymouth, but our personal favourites were Snug and Prohibition. Snug is, as its name would suggest, perfect for cold and wet afternoons when you just want to feel cosy (plus, great Japanese food), while Prohibition is decidedly cool with its tattoo design wall hangings and killer cocktails.
Wet and chilly weather on the west coast can make you feel a little worse for wear. We headed to Taranaki Mineral Pools, where mineral water straight from the source promises to cure you of all your aches and pains. A private bath for two is reasonably priced and comes with sauna session, so is the perfect place to warm up on a windy day.
With great cabinet food and restaurant menu, we made this our final stop on the way back to New Plymouth airfield. With pretty views of the Sugar Loaf Islands and the Port – this is great come rain or shine.