With New Plymouth as our home base, we went out to explore the Taranaki region further. There are three things you must do:
Hike Mt. Taranaki via the Mangorei Track.
Rather than spending our entire day hiking the Pouakai Crossing as we had originally planned, we decided to do a shorter hike to the Pouakai Hut for the famed view of Mt. Taranaki. All I can say is, thank goodness we did! David had a bad fever for the hike, and so it was a miserable few hours for him. For the averagely fit person not wishing to challenge themselves on an all-day trek, the Mangorei Track to the Pouakai Hut is perfect.
Let it be known though, the entire route consists of steps. Yes, you heard me correctly, that means stairs, stairs, and more stairs! I’m still not sure whether I had a love or hate relationship with those stairs. I didn’t particularly struggle on this route by any means, and it still gave way to a beautiful view of Mt. Taranaki from up close!
Eat At The Good Home.
After nursing David back to health for the rest of the afternoon, we realized we were starved and decided to have dinner at The Good Home, located directly beneath Ariki Backpackers. While we had originally planned to dine in, unfortunately I had to grab us takeout as David wasn’t in great shape. The Good Home, however, most definitely didn’t disappoint! They were able to make a delicious vegan pizza for David, and a pumpkin fettuccine for me. Our hearty meal hit the spot! With a variety of options, this restaurant is not to be missed.
We woke up early the next morning to tackle two more sights in the Taranaki region.
Te Rewa Rewa Bridge.
For a more unique view of Mt. Taranaki, head to the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, which beautifully frames the mountain on a clear day. Unfortunately it was a bit cloudy when we arrived, but it was cool nonetheless.
Since David loves waterfalls, we decided it would only make sense to go to Dawson Falls. Give yourself ample time to complete the walks starting from the Dawson Falls Visitor Center. If you're just visiting the falls themselves though, you will only need a few minutes.
What I didn’t realize was that, not only is there a nice waterfall, but many hiking routes and viewpoints of Mt. Taranaki too.
Overall, the Taranaki region should not be missed. The mountain can be viewed from all different angles, and truly enhances both the driving and hiking experience. Be sure to stay in New Plymouth for a few days, as it is the perfect place from which to venture. While I didn’t get to experience everything in the area that I had hoped, I know that I’ll be back sometime in the future to continue my explorations.
**Special thanks to Air New Zealand, Venture Taranaki, Ariki Backpackers, The Good Home, and Lucy Athletic Wear for sponsoring our journey. As always, all opinions are my own. Photographs taken by David M Gallo Photography.