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New Plymouth Taranaki, Events and Activities



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?

Sol3 Mio

28 Feb 2015 (Sat)

TSB Bowl of Brooklands, Pukekura Park, New Plymouth

Don't miss the wonderful, uplifting voices of Sol3 Mio...
The fabulous Samoan trio, made up of tenor brothers Pene and Amitai Pati and their baritone cousin Moses Mackay, are back with new material along with favourites from their debut album, all with their trademark humour. Sol3 Mio performances are powerful, moving, mesmerizing and truly entertaining.

WOMAD 2015

13 Mar 2015 (Fri) - 15 Mar 2015 (Sun)

TSB Bowl of Brooklands

Be transported to another place with the world of Womad!
WOMAD is New Zealand’s pre-eminent cultural, music, arts and dance festival. People travel from all around the globe to perform and to enjoy 30-hours of music and culture like you won’t find anywhere else in New Zealand.

Around 10,000 people gather each day for an exhilarating weekend of rhythms, sights and sounds in the lush surroundings of what is frequently described as one of the world’s most stunning venues. Films under the stars, workshops, "conversations", and cooking demonstrations by performers allow you to enjoy the artists up-close. A stroll through the Global Village offers fantastic fare and great shopping. Kids can get creative and inspired at Kidzone and the whole festival offers a family friendly environment. Most of all relax, unwind and soak up the vibe that is unique to WOMAD - New Zealand’s cleanest, greenest and safest festival!

This years performers include Sinead O'Connor, Rufus Wainwright and Estere.

Peta Mathias

21 Mar 2015 (Sat)

Theatre Royal - TSB Showplace

Peta Mathias Live - A Woman's Recipe for Life
A comedy show from one of NZ's best loved personalities. The Comedienne, Cook, Counsellor and Chanteuse presents a sparkling new variety show.

Peta's wicked sense of humour, spontaneity and sense of fun always ensures a very enjoyable show. Peta will explore the whys and wherefores of being human with her usual warmth, wisdom and outrageous comedy.

Tickets include a glass of Arrogant Frog bubbles from 7:00pm. Show begins 8:00pm.

Taranaki Home & Lifestyle Expo 2015

27 Mar 2015 (Fri)

TSB Stadium, New Plymouth

Renovating? Landscaping? Building? If you need inspiration for your dream plans get along to this Expo...
All your renovating, buying, landscaping, decorating, furnishing or building questions will be answered at this show that will put you in front of the experts. With over 100 products and services in one location, over one weekend and 50 per cent new exhibitors this year – the expo is your one stop shop, so book your accommodation now and see how to make make your dreams come true!

The Buddy Holly Story

29 Mar 2015 (Sun)

TSB Theatre - TSB Showplace

"The show you will never forget" - Daily Mail
Experience the drama, passion and excitement as a cast of incredibly talented actors and musicians tell Buddy Holly's story from his meteoric rise to fame to his final legendary performance at The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake Iowa.

Featuring two fantastic hours of some of the best songs of all time, including That'll Be The Day, Everyday, Oh Boy and La Bamba.

A not-to-be-missed night of family entertainment!

Mama Mia

16 Apr 2015 (Thu)

TSB Theatre - TSB Showplace

A mother, a daughter, three possible dads and a trip down the aisle you'll never forget!
On the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother's past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.

The story-telling magic of Abba's timeless songs takes this enchanting tale to another level with all the energy of all the favourites including Dancing Queen, I Have a Dream and Knowing Me, Knowing You.

No need to Take a Chance on this'll have a great time!

Upcoming Events in New Plymouth

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