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New Plymouth Taranaki, Events and Activities

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1. Puke Ariki

The treasure trove of Taranaki’s history and culture, Puke Ariki is a world-class knowledge centre where library, museum and visitor information are combined to tell the stories of Taranaki - past, present and future. Setting an international benchmark in the delivery of information and heritage services, Puke Ariki has a number of exhibitions on throughout the year, and has a variety of displays, collections, and interactive technology on permanent display. A combined museum, library and information centre, Puke Ariki sets out to inspire creativity by showing stunning exhibitions that highlight Taranaki’s past, present and future. Taranaki is a region steeped in history and Puke Ariki (Hill of Chiefs) stands on an original pa site of the great Maori Chief, Te Rangi Apiti Rua around 1700. The pa was deserted and approximately 100 years later it became the landing place for colonial settlers. Puke Ariki is located opposite Len Lye’s Wind Wand in central New Plymouth. There are a number of galleries featuring contemporary exhibitions, Taranaki past life, Taranaki geology, flora and fauna, Maori collections (Taonga) and theatre featuring short films on Taranaki life. Puke Ariki is a must see for your Taranaki experience.

2. Taranaki Garden Festivals

The Taranaki Rhododendron and Garden Festival invite you to experience the most stunning range of gardens and events in New Zealand – a festival like no other. The hospitality of Taranaki’s garden owners is what makes this event so unique. Every year visitors flock from all over New Zealand and overseas to the festival where they are encouraged to take the time to wander through the beautiful gardens and take part in many of the festival’s events. Festival gardeners show the care and dedication that only those who love growing things can provide. In 2007 the festival boasted an amazing 49 gardens, of which 17 were gardens of national or regional significance, which is the most of any region in New Zealand and something that the festival is very proud of! The events programme included the innovative Landscape Design Project by French design company L’Atelier, a glamorous twilight Garden Party, the Garden Speaker Series, Jazz & Wine in gardens, the popular Two for One day, Trees For Babies plus many more events, some of which are created especially for children and families. The Taranaki Rhododendron & Garden Festival is happening from 30th October - 8th November 2015.

3. Pukekura Park

This 52ha inner-city park is a jewel. Stretching along a river valley from the centre of New Plymouth to near the city’s southern boundary, Pukekura Park is a Garden of National Significance that combines formal gardens with walks through native bush. Visitors to the park can enjoy the internationally regarded Fernery and Display Houses, visit Brooklands Zoo, check out the Japanese Hillside and Kunming Garden, and take a row boat onto the main lake. The park’s beautiful sportsground has been named one of the top small cricket grounds in the world by Wisden, while the natural outdoor amphitheatre of the TSB Bowl of Brooklands has attracted well-known performers over the years. And from mid-December to early February every year, Pukekura Park is transformed into an illuminated wonderland each night with the TSB Bank Festival of Lights. This free event includes nighttime entertainment and daytime activities for all ages, and is so popular that it has been voted onto the coveted Mayfair spot of New Zealand Monopoly!

4. New Plymouth Coastal Walkway

This award-winning walkway stretches almost the entire length of New Plymouth, and gives visitors a close-up experience of the Tasman Sea. Walkers, runners, cyclists and skaters can travel its 7km length from the mouth of the Waiwhakaiho River in the east to Ngamotu Beach in the west, passing in front of the city’s CBD along the way. The eastern end takes walkers through a series of sand dunes, then on to Fitzroy Beach then East End Beach with its adjacent reserve and skate park. The central section of the walkway is the site of the biennial Te Kupenga Stone Symposium, with artists carving their sculptures in full public view. Adjacent to this is the central deck which features the 45m-high Len Lye kinetic sculpture, Wind Wand. On its way westward the Coastal Walkway travels in front of the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre and down to the Lee Breakwater before ending at the family-friendly Ngamotu Beach. Mobility scooters are available for hire (for free) from the aquatic centre – just call New Plymouth District Council on 06-759 6060 to book. Refreshments and ‘Wind Wanderer’ pedal carts are available at the central deck, next to the Wind Wand.

5. TSB Bank Festival of Lights

Since 1993 the TSB Bank Festival of Lights has been wowing hundreds of thousands of visitors each year with an awesome mix of events, entertainment and of course a spectacular lighting display set against the backdrop of Pukekura Park. At night, fluorescent pebble paths sparkle beneath excited feet, majestic trees and plants glow, and waterfalls and lakes shimmer and shine beneath thousands of lighting displays. But it's the features such as the talking giant, fire poi dancers or the parades that captivate the young and the not so young. Structures such as the park's water wheel, fountains and historic band rotunda are flooded with lights, while illuminated wooden rowboats offer a romantic boating opportunity like no other. So if you're looking for fun entertainment in the summer then visit Pukekura Park and immerse yourself in the magical and mystical wonderland of the TSB Bank Festival of Lights.


What's On in New Plymouth, Taranaki?

Pukekura Raceway Christmas at the Races

4 Dec 2014 (Thu)

Pukekura Raceway, Rogan Street, New Plymouth

Want a seriously good Christmas party this festive season? Get your crew on-course for Christmas at the Races! There are a range of hospitality packages to suit any group’s size, style and budget. Book in, sit back and take credit for your best social soiree yet. Too easy!
Want a seriously good Christmas party this festive season?
Get your crew on-course for Christmas at the Races! There are a range of hospitality packages to suit any group’s size, style and budget.
Book in, sit back and take credit for your best social soiree yet. Too easy!

Christmas At the Proms

5 Dec 2014 (Fri)

City West Church, 62c Poplar Grove, Whalers Gate, New Plymouth

Both Christmas and the Last Night of the Proms are synonymous with some of the world’s best loved songs and more than their share of fun and frivolity.
Combining music from these two great festivals into a gala concert, full of famous Christmas carols and songs, flag waving classics like Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia, the Best of British Ballads, Gilbert and Sullivan, skits and jokes with even an appearance from Santa Claus and his little elves.
Music, madness, magic and mayhem makes for a marvelous way to celebrate the Christmas season.

Racing - Carnivalize Tour

13 Dec 2014 (Sat)

The Mayfair, 69-73 Devon St West, New Plymouth

‘Racing’ is a rock and roll band.
Their sound is otherworldly and mind bending. Rhythms that chant and melodies that hover allow them to take the straight rock and roll music they love and take it somewhere new, somewhere entirely theirs. It could be described as hypnotic, groove based, rock and roll with touches of English big beat.
Formed from various Auckland bands Edward Knowles and Sven Pettersen (The Checks) Izaac Houston (Space Creeps) and Daniel Barrett (Sherpa) the boys have been building towards an album over the last year.
‘Carnivalize’ is their first offering, a song about transforming into a heightened version of yourself. Check it out and enjoy the madness.

TSB Bank Festival of Lights

14 Dec 2014 (Sun) - 24 Jan 2015 (Sat)

Pukekura Park

This year the TSB Bank Festival of Lights commences on Sunday 14 December and finishes on Saturday 24 January 2015.
The on-stage night entertainment starts on Boxing Day, Friday 26 December through to the end of the festival and will include a wide range of local and national performances. Summer Scene is the daytime activities and events programme for children and families that includes scavenger hunts, beach digs, fun sporting events and magician shows. Twilight Movies in the Park is a magical experience, bring your blanket and pillow to the Boat Shed Lawn for a comfy spot under the stars amongst the wonderland of illuminated trees.

The Lighting Features are the jewels in the park and change year on year however the sleeping giant, the jelly fish and the black light area are popular festival favourites.

Dragon, The Feelers, The Exponents - Clash Of The Titans

26 Dec 2014 (Fri)

Butlers Reef Hotel, Butler's Reef, Oakura, New Plymouth

What a group...Dragon, the Exponents and the Feelers!
Eccles Entertainment proudly present a sensational start to the Summer Holiday Season;
Heavyweight hit makers Dragon will belt out classic hits from across their 40 year history; This Time, April Sun In Cuba, Rain, Are You Old Enough?, Sunshine, Celebration; the list goes on and on. Dragon’s upcoming album ‘Roses’ will be released and available from the shows. Featuring Dragon founding member Todd Hunter and NZ chart topper Mark Williams, these guys don’t hold any punches when it comes to performing live. “We are really looking forward to the ‘Clash Of Titans’ tour playing with The Feelers and The Exponents. Should be much fun” – Todd Hunter, September 2014
Originally hailing from the South Island; The Exponents are renowned for dancing their opponents around the ring, blasting out everyone’s favourite songs; Victoria, Airway Spies, Erotic, Sex & Agriculture, Why Does Love Do This To Me? and many more. Jordan and the boys are sounding sensational; The Exponents are seriously ready to rock n roll.

Gypsy Fair Original

10 Jan 2015 (Sat) - 11 Jan 2015 (Sun)

Merrilands School, 7 Kauri Street, Merrilands, New Plymouth

Happy New Year Taranaki! The Original Gypsy Fair will be returning to your beautiful region for two shows this summer.
The popular famous fair that comes to New Plymouth only once a year, featuring thirty Gypsy families in interesting house-trucks and buses. Come check out these fabulous homes.
Wooden crafts, tarot reading, palm reading, leather, crystals, herbal products, LuckyStar coffee, funky clothes, silver jewellery, food, candyfloss, glass blowing, merry go round, hip accessories, tattooing and piercing, hand painted craft, fork art, face painting and lots, lots more.
We are proud to announce our new musican, the very talented Ralph Bennett-Eades.

Sting & Paul Simon

31 Jan 2015 (Sat)

TSB Bowl of Brooklands

Sting & Paul Simon are bringing their 'On Stage Together Tour' to the TSB Bowl of Brooklands in January 2015. The duo will perform some of their classics hits for one night only on Saturday 31 January.
If you are lucky enough to snap up a ticket, be sure to book your accommodation so you don't miss out!

Upcoming Events in New Plymouth

Check out all upcoming events in New Plymouth at the Eventfinda website.
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