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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?

Gin Wigmore - Blood to Bone Tour

1 Dec 2015 (Tue)

TSB Theatre - TSB Showplace, 92 Devon St West

One of New Zealand's biggest stars, Gin Wigmore, has announced a national tour showcasing her new critically acclaimed album Blood to Bone.
Gin has had a phenomenal year with her third album Blood to Bone hitting #1 in NZ, debuting at her highest chart position to date in Australia and receiving critical acclaim around the world! Fresh from selling out tours across the U.S, U.K, Australia and NZ earlier this year, Gin is returning home and will perform at the TSB Showplace!
Along with album success, Gin's unique vocals featured on Air New Zealand's latest major ad campaign with the song 'Tomorrow'.

Now based in LA, Gin has come a long way since winning the International Song Writing Competition at the age of 18. Her hugely successful 2009 debut Holy Smoke is 4x Platinum and the critically acclaimed blues-inspired follow up in 2011 titled, Gravel & Wine 2x Platinum in NZ. She is multiple NZ Music Award winner, with five awards under her belt and many more nominations. This live show is not to be missed.

Pukekura Raceway Christmas at the Races

3 Dec 2015 (Thu)

Pukekura Raceway, Rogan Street, New Plymouth

It's your one stop Christmas Party and it's returning to New Plymouth this year. Enjoy a day of superb thoroughbred racing, delicious Christmas themed food, and live entertainment. Choose a hospitality option to suit your group then sit back and relax knowing all the details have been taken care of.

7 Days Live Show

4 Dec 2015 (Fri)

TSB Theatre - TSB Showplace, 92 Devon St West

Unedited and unscripted, Kiwis can see the 7 Days crew in New Plymouth up close, in the flesh, but fully clothed, thank god!
Jeremy Corbett, Paul Ego, Dai Henwood, Urzila Carlson, Ben Hurley, Jeremy Elwood and Josh Thomson will hit the road bringing fans a hilarious dose of comedy gags that follow all that is popular, embarrassing and shocking in the news.

To kick off the night, each comedian will grace the stage, giving seven minutes of comedy gold, before unleashing a no-holds-barred game of 7 Days, including Yes Minister and a game of My Audience Member Could Draw That.

TSB Bank Festival of Lights

13 Dec 2015 (Sun) - 31 Jan 2016 (Sun)

Pukekura Park, Fillis Street, New Plymouth

The Festival is a must-do experience in Taranaki. -Each year the festival transforms Pukekura Park into a beautiful illuminated night-time wonderland.
Attracts over 100,000 visitors each year - locally, nationally and internationally.
-Over 1,000 lights are installed in the park, beautifully illuminating the trees and foliage surrounding the lakes.
-Summer Scene, the daytime event's programme for children and families, has 23 events this season. Sponsored by Tag Oil and Horizon Energy Services.
-On Stage, the night entertainment programme featuring nationally and international acts, has 47 performances this season. Supported by TSB Community Trust.
-Twilight movies, outdoor movies in the park is a magical experience under the stars. Bring a pillow and blanket to the Boat Shed Lawn.

A Gypsy Extravaganza

18 Dec 2015 (Fri) - 20 Dec 2015 (Sun)

Pukekura Raceway, Rogan Street

Roll up. Roll up. Roll up!
A Gypsy Extravaganza is a unique style of market stalls, arts and craft, food, musical entertainment and kids shows.
Arts, Crafts and interesting market stalls - Herbal remedies & natural perfumes, heaps of funky clothing including revamped and retro, jewellery like you've never seen before - Sliver, Beaded, Ethnic! Crystals, massage, poi & trick stix fun and more........

Christmas at the Bowl

20 Dec 2015 (Sun)

Christmas At The Bowl is guaranteed to be another outstanding community event with Jordan McFadyen (Artistic Director) sure there is something for everyone in the show at the iconic TSB Bowl of Brooklands on Sunday 20th December 2015.
Relying on fantastic sponsors and gold coin donations on the night this annual event is our own celebration of Christmas incorporating the largest variety show of the year, exceptional Taranaki talent and the renowned Powerco Fireworks display – a fun-filled family occasion for all to enjoy.
Gates open at 5.00pm and you are encouraged to bring along the family and your picnic dinner to really enjoy the atmosphere of the event. Food stalls will also be at the venue for your convenience. The Christmas At The Bowl app for iphone will have words to all the carols to download before the night.
Pre-show entertainment is provided by “Blistered Fingers” at 7.00pm with the Christmas At The Bowl Variety Spectacular from 8pm. NP Brass will be on stage to lead all your favourite Christmas carols during the evening and the big screen will ensure that every seat in the bowl can enjoy the stage performances.

UB40 Red Red Wine Vineyard Tour

10 Jan 2016 (Sun)

Sentry Hill Winery, 152 Cross Road

UB40, featuring the original members Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue, will be returning to New Zealand in early 2016 for their first ever vineyard tour.
One of New Zealand’s much loved festival acts, the Red Red Wine Vineyard Tour sees the band headline a series of concerts in some of the country’s most stunning locations and it will be swinging into New Plymouth’s Sentry Hill Winery on Sunday 10 January.
The original line-up of UB40 with Ali, Astro and Mickey enjoyed huge success over a period of 30 years from 1979 to 2008, with #1 albums, multiple gold and platinum selling albums, Grammy nominations, 4 worldwide #1 hits and over 70 million in sales. Now reunited again, they continue to take their smooth yet rootsy blend around the world and their live performances never fail to uplift the audience.

Okurukuru Wine & Beer Festival

30 Jan 2016 (Sat)

Okurukuru Winery

Enjoy the finest Craft Beer and selected wines while enjoying a stellar line-up of live music and the spectacular atmosphere of the Okurukuru Winery.

Sol3 Mio - 'On Another Note' Tour

5 Mar 2016 (Sat)

TSB Bowl of Brooklands, Pukekura Park

Tenor brothers Pene and Amitai Pati and their Baritone cousin Moses Mackay will present material from their new album along with favourites from their eponymous debut album and beloved classics, all delivered with their trademark wit and humour and the larger than life personalities that have seen them become superstars both home and abroad.
On Another Note continues the journey that Sol3 Mio have been on for the last four years, delving deeper into their operatic roots that are perfectly balanced by the trio’s contemporary style and unparalleled talent. The album is infused with the tales of their experiences as a group, having travelled the globe non-stop, and showcasing their growth as both performers and people.

Upcoming Events in New Plymouth

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