Taranaki is centrally located halfway between Auckland and Wellington on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Daily flights connect the region to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and the region is an easy scenic drive from Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Rotorua and Taupo.
Taranaki offers a stunningly scenic destination even before you reach the region. From the moment you catch your first glimpse of mythical Taranaki Maunga/Mt Taranaki, to the point you dip your toes in the surf, the full mountain to sea spectrum is available. Between these extremes sits a lush landscape filled with artist studios, outdoor adventures and much more. That’s not to mention the stunning parks and gardens, contemporary artworks and the stunning Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, eclectic range of museums and opportunities to get outside and active around the conference programme. You’ll be blown away by how much there is to see in Taranaki.
Taranaki offers an impressively diverse range of business event options. New Plymouth in particular is proving increasingly popular with small- and medium-sized events seeking a different destination, well-appointed facilities and a memorable experience to support the main event. From a contemporary art gallery, a classically inspired theatre or a beautiful natural amphitheatre, there is a range of unique locations on offer, supported by a range of accommodation options and Qualmarked transport providers throughout the region.
Taranaki boasts a surprisingly sophisticated accommodation offering, right around the mountain, with properties ranging from large well-appointed hotels to more grass-roots options, all well-located and more than likely with mountain views. A handful of modern, 4-star plus hotels offer single-site accommodation, dining and conference facilities, while a wide range of motels and serviced apartments offer additional flexibility. For a unique experience, try beachfront glamping, a heritage hotel, or back-country lodge.
In 2017, Taranaki was judged the world’s second best regional destination by influential global travel guide Lonely Planet. The award picked on two aspects of the region’s tourism offering, both of which are just as accessible to conference and event delegates.
The first is the Pouakai Crossing, a spectacular one-day walk across the slopes of Taranaki Maunga that spans goblin forests, alpine environments and mirror lakes offering postcard-perfect reflections of the summit. The crossing or many smaller walks on the mountain can be incorporated into a conference programme, but there are countless more accessible outdoor adventures on offer to balance out the time spent in a conference room, from the lush Pukekura Park to New Plymouth’s award-winning Coastal Walkway or head out of New Plymouth to experience the Forgotten World Highway or Surf Highway 45.
New Plymouth’s architecturally amazing Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre also attracted Lonely Planet’s attention, as much for its stainless-steel façade as the dynamic contemporary art within. This too is the tip of the proverbial iceberg, with public sculptures, vibrant street art, eclectic museums and much more offering a uniquely cultural component to any visit to the region.
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