Taranaki, New Zealand
The Taranaki region of NZ is worth a visit if you have the time and energy. It is not exactly on any main routes, but is beautiful when you get there. Lush green grass and this lovely volcano, Mt Egmont. This is also our only oil and gas region. Some on land and some off shore.
Driving SH 3 from Hamilton to New Plymouth we reached Tasman Sea at Awakino. About 15 km's further along the road is the little settlement of Tongaporutu. On the southern side of the bridge over the river is Clifton Road and at the end a small car park.
With low tide it is possible to walk along the rocks to the beach to the Three Sisters (and Elephant Rock), impressive rock formations standing in the Tasman Sea, with great views to the White Cliffs and further away Mount Taranaki (if not in clouds).
We had bad luck and could not walk to the beach, but found on the north bank of the river a narrow road to a farmhouse. The owner allowed us to cross his land and after climbing fences and descending very steep stairs we had also a great view on The Three Sisters.
Taranaki Pioneer Village is a perfect destination for a rainy day (and there are a lot around Taranaki). This open air museum is situated just south of the town of Stratford along SH 3 from New Plymouth to Wanganui.
In the village are about 50 buildings, furnished and filled out in the 'pioneer' period of Taranaki. It is just fun to stroll along the houses and other buildings and to see how pioneers were living in New Zealand a long time ago.
Among the 50 buildings are a church, chemist's, photographer, doctor, dentist, an old hospital, courthouse and a homestead (with a kauri bath tub).
The museum has a café and a shop.
Taranaki Pioneer Village
Main Rd South, Stratford