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Driving up Mount Taranaki
Favorite thing: When arriving at New Plymouth in the western tip of North Island, this snow capped conical volcano Mt. Taranaki (formerly Mt. Egmont) dominates the landscape.
Surprisingly it is an easy 10-15 minutes drive up to visitors center of this mountain for an amazing view of the sea and land below.
Fortunately, this volcano is not active and looks benignly over the surrounding plain.
Black beach of New Plymouth
Favorite thing: Facing the Tasman Sea on the north, west and south of Mount Taranaki, New Plymouth has easy access of beaches for sailing, swimming, surfing or sand castles.
Was surprised by the black sand beaches. Apparently from some volcanic rock that produced small black specks that blacken the sand of the beach.
Anyway, you cannot miss the beaches while in or driving through New Plymouth.
Amazing park in downtown New Plymouth
Favorite thing: Pukekura Park is a 52 hectares garden park right in downtown New Plymouth.
If is fun to stroll to view the amazing collection of native trees and ferns as well as a Japanese and Chinese garden. Great place to have a quick lunch.
Quite a number of row boats on the pond to enter a world of natural wonder right in the middle of town.
Favorite thing: While it is expected to see cow and sheep farms, it was a nice surprise to see ostrich farms at the foothills of Mt. Taranaki.
Have tasted tender ostrich meat before. Not sure if I can stomach an entire ostrich egg omelete nor care for ostrich feather pillow.
Anyway, cows and sheep are not native to New Zealand. Ostriches are from Africa.
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North Island Travel Guide
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