Dreaming of Taradise

We loved T-Nax the first time around so much that we went for round two this summer!

If you still don’t know where I’m talking about because of my pet names, you are forgiven. Taradise, T-Nax, The Nax and ‘Naki are referring to the paradise that is Taranaki.

It is often mixed up with the likes of Tauranga, Takanini and Taupo. But Taranaki is actually a region of its own snuggled between mountain, sky and sea on the wild west coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

Taranaki, while it’s the obvious sticky-outy bit of the island, is often by-passed because it’s five hours from anywhere. There is no reason to ever pass through it unless you were intending to go to Taranaki specifically.

Its windy, twisty roads stop the weak-hearted from making it into the region. But for those who succeed the trek, you’ll be greeted with skiing in the winter, surfing in the summer and vibrant festivals all year round.

It’s New Zealand’s best kept secret. It’s the ultimate adventure playground.

This time around we did a little more sight-seeing outside of the city of New Plymouth. We visited Cape Egmont Lighthouse, which was on somebody’s private farm land. The residents watched us from their kitchen window while we took photos of the scenery, before we tip-toed back up their driveway to our car. (We were allowed to go there, I promise!)

I’d recommend taking the drive to see it if it’s a clear day because the view is stunning! It’s the western-most point of the North Island, with a view of the ocean and a view of the mountain. Amazing!

We also picked a brilliant Air Bnb this time around. It had a spa pool, a trampoline and a tremendous sea view.

We went to the Light Festival, which I thought was going to be lame and filled with pensioners, but it was actually fantastic! It was a pleasant walk through the massive park, which surrounds a huge lake in the centre of the city (you’d never know you were in the city!). There were lots of young families, but it wasn’t crowded. We bought hot chocolates and ice cream and went for a stroll. Highly recommend!

I didn’t get any photos of the lights because they’re much better in person. But here is the lake with people in boats, and the mountainous backdrop.

Taranaki was covered in the most vibrant red Pohutukawa trees that I had ever seen. They’re my favourite tree anyway, but didn’t realise how bright they could bloom until we visited Taranaki.

One evening we went to a fantastic restaurant called Social Kitchen. It’s a little more on the pricey side but the food and atmosphere is incredible! You have to book about a month in advance though. (Sorry – had too much fun and didn’t take any pics!)

On the morning we left, we had a marvellous breakfast created by my maaaaaaaan:

It was so sad to leave. 🙁 But we’re coming back in February! Hoorah!