Taranaki is located halfway between Auckland and Wellington on the western coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
It is easily accessed by air using Air New Zealand’s domestic service and by road via major state highways, including New Zealand’s oldest heritage trail – The Forgotten World Highway SH43.
Taranaki is a short direct flight from the many cities throughout New Zealand. Air New Zealand has daily connections to New Plymouth Airport from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Approximate flight times:
Auckland to New Plymouth - 50 min
Wellington to New Plymouth - 50 min
Christchurch to New Plymouth - 90 min
Taranaki is a scenic drive from many parts of the country, accessible from the north and south on State Highway 3, and from the east along the picturesque Forgotten World Highway (State Highway 43).
Once in Taranaki, Surf Highway 45 is a great touring route to discover coastal towns and surf breaks on the coastline between New Plymouth and Hāwera, with a direct inland route connecting the region’s major towns.
Regularly scheduled bus services operate both north and south from Taranaki, and within New Plymouth city.
Approximate drive times:
Auckland to New Plymouth: 4 hours 30 minutes
Hamilton to New Plymouth: 3 hours
Palmerston North to New Plymouth: 3 hours
Rotorua / Taupō to New Plymouth: 3 hours 30 minutes
Tauranga to New Plymouth: 4 hours
See the touring route guides for The Forgotten World Highway and Surf Highway 45 below.
The Waikato to Taranaki Way
There is so much to discover on the mighty road journey between Waikato and Taranaki. Download The Waikato to Taranaki Way (map) to enrich your driving journey between the two regions, and create an experience like no other.
The Waikato to Taranaki Way identifies all the great places to stop along the way, including ideas of exciting things to do outside of your vehicle. Explore some special places and discover views that will feed your soul. Learn some amazing stories and facts about the local areas. Unearth a hidden spot that you never knew about.
If you’re about to embark on a road trip between Waikato and Taranaki, download or print The Waikato to Taranaki Way before you hit the road, or grab yourself a copy from your local i-Site.
Coastal Arts Trail
Explore the art galleries, museums, and open studios of Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatū through the Coastal Arts Trail – an easy, self-driving art-lovers’ tour between the regions.
The art-lovers' journey takes you through an eclectic mix of public art, street art, galleries, and museums,from well-known institutions to hidden gems, away from the beaten track, you can expect a full range of art experiences throughout the three regions.
Cruise ships dock at Port Taranaki to the west of New Plymouth’s CBD, where passengers will be greeted with a warm welcome from the locals, and connected with shuttle buses to take you into New Plymouth’s CBD or on any pre-arranged excursions. Information staff are present at the bottom of the gangway to greet departing passengers, provide advice and answer queries.
The Forgotten World Cycle Trail, from Taumarunui to New Plymouth, is the first on-road addition to the New Zealand Cycle Trail.
It offers a challenging yet scenic 180km link between the central North Island and Taranaki via quiet country roads and a section of the Forgotten World Highway, with two unsealed sections and several large hills.
Accommodation and supplies are available at Whangamōmona, Purangi, and Lepperton (see our Where to Stay pages for more information). Allow two to three days to reach Taranaki from Taumarunui.
Kōpiko Aotearoa is a route across the North Island of New Zealand between East Cape and Taranaki.
Download Taranaki Brochures
Venture Taranaki, in collaboration with the region's i-SITEs, write and produce a number of publications and guidebooks to encourage visitors to experience the region's best.