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New Plymouth Sights and Landmarks Guide, New Zealand

There are definitely plenty of things that you can see and visit in New Plymouth, and the Wind Wand is one of them.  This is a unique artwork that towers to 45 meters and is a focal point of the city's coastal walkway, which was created by Len Lye who was a renowned kinetic sculptor.

Pukekura Park is a great place to have a relaxing day.  It is located in the heart of the city and has 49 ha of hidden dells, bridges, waterfalls, lakes, fern gullies, and native forests.  You can hire a row boat, have a picnic, or walk on the paths.  During the summer, the park is the host of the Festival of Lights.

Mount Taranaki is a very popular sight to see and the name means Gliding Peak, which ties the mountain to the legend about how it came to be where it is.  Mount Taranaki has a snowy cone that is its focal point for many types of adventure, such as hiking to the top with a professional guide.  Organized climbs to the summit can be done during February. There is also a heritage trail that runs around the mountain.  This trail can be completed in 2 hours, but you can spread it over a whole day.  From June to August, visitors also have the chance to go skiing.

The New Plymouth Opera House is a great venue that you can go to, which is the host of operas and many other kinds of performances.  It is graced by beautiful gardens and historic buildings.  The city is also the home of some of the finest gardens and parks in the country, as well as the Rhododendron Festival that is held in October and November.

Egmont National Park

The Egmont National Park was developed by a special parliament act during 1900.  It protects the big volcano, as well as two other volcanoes that are older, the Pouakai and Kaitake.  Taranaki is linked to the mountains in the central plateau.  As the legend goes, Taranaki lived among the other volcanoes once, which are the Ngauruhoe, Ruapehu, and Tongariro.  When Taranaki flirted with a hill called Pihanga, the Tongariro volcano erupted because it was jealous. This made Taranaki flee to the west, which gouged out the Whanganui River.

The forest in the middle of the mountain is known as the Goblin Forest sometimes, due to the thick trailing moss swathes and gnarled trees. The Ahukawakawa Swamp is botanically interesting as well, with its broad variety of plants that have survived in very low temperatures and acidic soils.  The park also has three points of entry, which are Pembroke Road, Egmont Road, and Manaia Road.


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