Discover winter magic in Taranaki. From the snow-capped peak of Taranaki Maunga to rich cultural experiences, captivating art festivals and events, and cosy retreats.

Here’s your ultimate guide to a winter getaway, like no other.

A wonderland of Winter Events

Warm up your winter with our sizzling event-line up packed with spectacular light shows, live entertainment, arts and culture, and decadent foodie trails and dining delights. Winter Fest brings a winter wonderland of comedy, music, theatre, and words to Taranaki from 6 – 16 June, you won't want to miss this bi-annual arts festival that celebrates exceptional homegrown talent, and a kaleidoscopic mix of performance genres.

The award-winning TSB Festival of Lights Winter Pop-Up is set to return over Matariki/Puanga weekend from 27 - 30 June, illuminating central Ngāmotu New Plymouth and the Coastal Walkway with stunning lighting displays and free live entertainment each night.

Foodies will love Taste and Tales, featuring a selection of delicious taste trails that take you behind the scenes at some of our region’s top food and beverage producers. Choose your trail and head off on a guided tour to meet the makers, hear their stories, and taste their produce. 

Credit: Charlotte Curd

Uncover the vibrant arts scene

Art enthusiast? Don’t look past Percy Thomson Gallery in Stratford, a diverse space showcasing a rotating collection of inspiring exhibitions from local and national artists. The iconic Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre is a must-visit, home to cutting-edge contemporary art and the internationally acclaimed kinetic displays and film works of Len Lye.

If you’re looking to get off the beaten track, spend the day following the multi-region Coastal Arts Trail. This self-drive scenic journey will guide you to unique galleries, museums, street art, open studios, and creative rural communities along the West Coast of the North Island and through Whanganui, and Manawatū – do as little or as much as you like, leave with a full cup, and some new additions to your collection.

Watch ‘The Mountain’

Head to the cinema to catch The Mountain, a new heartfelt drama about three children on a mission to find healing under the watchful eye of Taranaki Maunga, as they discover the magic of friendship and the true spirit of adventure.

The whole family will love this new movie that was shot at locations all around the region and is the directorial debut of New Zealand actor Rachel House. Why not experience it in one of the regions original cinemas? In Stratford you’ll find Kings Theatre, who were the first theatre in the Southern Hemisphere to play the ‘talkies’ films, or head around the coast to Ōpunake, where you’ll find Everybody’s Theatre, featuring couch seating for a viewing experience like no other.

Once you’ve watched the film and are feeling inspired, explore some of the film locations with this easy guide.

Taranaki Maunga

Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a family looking for fun in the snow, Taranaki Maunga offers something for everyone. The little-known Manganui Ski Field is a local favourite, featuring a range of open bowls, gentle intermediate and steeper runs for skiers and snowboarders, along with space for families to enjoy sledding in the snow. 

Taranaki Maunga also offers tracks and trails galore, ranging from short accessible walks to more challenging hikes. Head up to the Dawson Falls Visitor Centre to access family-friendly walks like the Wilkies Pool Loop which leads through magical alpine forests to picturesque waterfalls and pristine lava-formed alpine pools.  Remember to always check the weather conditions, and dress appropriately before you go. Find more up to date information on the DOC website.  

Want to explore the breathtaking scenery by air? Skywork Helicopters offer spectacular scenic flights around the region, allowing you to sit back and relax while flying over beautiful locations best viewed from the air, and listening to the experienced pilot’s commentary.

Distillery Tours

Warm up with an intimate tasting and distillery tour at the boutique Juno Gin, where you can discover the art of botanicals and the distilling process, while sipping on delicious cocktails in their bespoke tasting room.

For something a little bit different, head to Fenton Street Distillery, one of the smallest distilleries in New Zealand. Set in a heritage building, this unique space is an art gallery, espresso bar, and distillery all in one, specialising in hand-crafted small batches of gin.

Looking for more? Discover our vibrant array of award-winning breweries and cosy wine bars to enjoy an evening night-cap. Head to Known Unknown’s House Wine Bar, Three Sisters Brewery, Shining Peak, or the Vineyard Bistro at Okurukuru.

Cosy Stays

You’re spoilt for choice when looking for a winter retreat. Enjoy breathtaking mountain views and decadent fireside meals at the luxury Ngāti Ruanui Stratford Mountain House, nestled on the slopes of Mount Taranaki, and surrounded by tracks and trails and pristine native bush.

Head to the Platinum Lodge for a peaceful escape, with its onsite day spa and easy connections to Taranaki Maunga for outdoor adventures.  Relax at a luxury cabin stay like The Unwind or River Belle Glamping, nestled among farmland with soothing sounds of native birdlife.


Mountain Biking at Lake Mangamahoe

Whatever your adventure or skill level, an exhilarating mountain bike trail awaits you at the Lake Mangamahoe Mountain Bike Park. The extensive park offers over 30km of trails catering from beginner-friendly through to double-black advanced, all set against stunning natural scenery.

Families can explore popular trails like Kiwi Kids or the Fantail, while more extreme thrill seekers will love ‘Track the Ripper’, plus discover the New Plymouth Mountain Bike Clubs' regular events and trainings.

Indulge in decadent winter flavours

Come for the winter adventures and stay for the decadent flavours. Start the day at Emma Lou’s for a nourishing breakfast and macaron to go, or get your caffeine fix at Ozone Coffee Roasters or Proof and Stock. Pick up baked delights from The Baking Company in Stratford with its range of delicious slices, tarts, and savouries all freshly made each day.

Indulge in a delicious shared dining experience at Social Kitchen or a mulled wine at the West End Precinct,  enjoy a soul-warming meal at Wild Pear Kitchen or The Burnt Place, or head around Surf Highway 45 to Slippery Bills, a new offering at The Ōkato, perfect for a more casual affair.

Taranaki has something to suit all tastes with a humming dining scene that features fresh seasonal produce.

Relax and rejuvenate

Unwind at the Flotation Sanctuary, these tranquil Epsom salt float pods offer a unique weightless experience where you can drift away and relax both the mind and body. The Flotation Sanctuary also offers infrared saunas, an oxygen bar, and cryo-compression systems to aid recovery and promote healing.

Soothe the senses at the Taranaki Thermal Spa, or discover traditional Rongoā Māori healing at Mihi’s Place, offering a range of traditional and contemporary healing treatments to release tension and enjoy some much needed me-time.

If you’re an active relaxer, why not take a swing at one of our many well-known golf courses. There’s a range of courses to suit all levels and preferences, from off the beaten path courses like Waverley Golf Club, to the central Ngāmotu Links, one of New Zealand’s golfing jewels.

Looking for more family fun inspiration?