Taranaki | NZ Job Finder


Taranaki In the Maori language, Taranaki means 'Gliding Peak', a name that reflects the legend of how the mountain came to its present location. The story is Taranaki once lived with theN orth Island' s other great volcanoes (Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe) but was banished for falling in love with Tongariro's wife, a smaller volcano called Pihanga. Taranaki went west towards the setting sun and carved out the Whanganui River as he went.

Create wonderful memories in Taranaki on the mountain, in the water, exploring gardens or viewing the invigorating art. This is a lush, beautiful region of vivid greenery and spectacular beaches on the North Island's west coast. It is situated halfway between Auckland and W ellington. Mount Taranaki, a wonderfully, dramatic volcanic cone with a snowy top, looms over the region. It is the second highest mountain in the North Island. The mountain is a spiritual and physical force and is the source of over 50 rivers and streams, and the subject of many stories and legends. In 1642, explorer Abel Tasman said it was "the noblest hill I’ve ever seen". The main centre of the Taranaki region is the city of New Plymouth, which has been voted the "Top City" in New Zealand. Taranaki is situated on the west coast of the North Island, surrounding the volcanic peak. The large bays northwest and southwest of Cape Egmont are named the North Taranaki Bight and the South Taranaki Bight.. Mount Taranaki, a nearperfect cone, last e rupted in the mid18th century. The mountain and its immediate surrounds form Egmont National Park. Although Māori had called the mountain Taranaki for many centuries, Captain James Cook renamed it Egmont after the Earl of Egmont the recently retired First Lord of the Admiralty who had encouraged his expedition. That name appeared on maps until the 1980s when it was ruled the official name was to be either "Mount Taranaki or Mount Egmont".

Local Employment

Being just 35 minutes by plane from Auckland or Wellington has helped this region develop as there are winding rivers, gorges, surfing and mountain trails to explore, all with a cosmopolitan city, New Plymouth, on the doorstep. Taranaki is a major dairying region so local produce is excellent for restaurants and cafes. The region is exceptionally fertile; thanks to generous rainfall and the rich volcanic soil and dDairy farming predominates, with the milk factory just outside Hawera being one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. There are also oil and gas d eposits in the region, both onand offshore. The Maui gas field off the southwest coast has provided most of New Zealand's gas supply. More fuel and fertilizer is produced from a well complex at Kapuni and a number of smaller landbased oilfields. New Plymouth offers excellent accommodation and dining, good galleries and shopping. The nearby town of Hawera is a busy rural centre with a very pretty shopping area. If skiing or the mountaineering are your thing, Stratford is the closest centre to Mt Taranaki. Also if you are looking to work and surf this is the only area with a dedicated surf highway. So, as in most of New Zealand, if you are looking to work in exclusive dining or a café there are plenty of opportunities here.


Population : 108,100 June 2009 estimate

The New Plymouth District has over 60% of the entire population of Taranaki. New Plymouth is located in North Taranaki along with Inglewood and Waitara. South Taranaki towns include Hawera, Stratford and Eltham. Taranaki is a region in the west of New Zealand's North Island and is the 10th largest region of New Zealand by population. Just under half of the residents live in the city of New Plymouth. Other centres include Waitara, Inglewood, Stratford, Opunake, Okato, Kaponga, Eltham, Hawera, Patea and Waverley—the southernmost town. The region has had a s trong Māori p resence for centuries. The local iwi (tribes) include Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Ruanui, Taranaki, Te  ti Awa, Nga Rauru, Ngāruahinerangi and Ngāti Tama

Land area: The region has an area of 7258 km²

Main Centres: New Plymouth, Hawera, Stratford


The area became home to a number of Māori tribes from the 13th century. From about 1823 the Māori began having contact with European whalers as well as t raders who arrived by schooner to buy flax. In March 1828 Richard "Dicky" Barrett (180747) set up a t rading post at Ngamotu (presentday New Plymouth). Following a bloody encounter at Ngamotu in 1832, most of the 2000  ti Awa [iving near Ngamotu, as well as Barrett, migrated south to the Kapiti region and Marlborough. European settlement at New Plymouth began with the arrival of the William Bryan in March 1841. European expansion beyond New Plymouth, however, was prevented by Māori opposition to selling their land, a sentiment that deepened as links strengthened with the King Movement. Tension over land ownership continued to mount, l eading to the outbreak of war at Waitara in March 1860. The present main highway on the inland side of Mount Taranaki follows the path taken by the colonial forces under Major General Trevor Chute as they marched, with great difficulty, from Patea to New Plymouth in 1866.The confiscations, subsequently acknowledged by the New Zealand Government as unjust and illegal, began in 1865 and soon included the entire Taranaki district. The release of a Waitangi Tribunal report on the situation in 1996 led to a lengthy debate.

Activities: What to do there?

Visitors are spoilt for choice with the unforgettable sights of the Egmont National Park, which encompasses the mountain and the land around it, offering marvellous hiking opportunities. Lush rainforest covers the foothills of the mountain, but the landscape changes the higher you go from the tall rimu and kamahi trees at lower altitudes through dense subalpine shrubs to an alpine herb field, with some plants unique to the park.

For those who prefer water under their feet, Surf highway 45 is a 105kilometre stretch of highway that runs between New Plymouth and Hawera. With its 180 degrees of ocean swells, the surf is always pumping. The way the land mass projects into the Tasman Sea with northerly, westerly and southerly exposures results in many excellent surfing and windsurfing locations, some of them considered world class. Horseback riding is also popular here with black sand beaches o ffering unlimited trails, or for something more laid back there are five golf courses scattered along the highway. The other highway to check out is State Highway 43, better known as the Forgotten World Highway, which winds its way around the wonderful mountain. The forest on Mount Taranaki's middle slopes is sometimes known as 'Goblin Forest' because of the gnarled shape of the trees and the thick swathes of trailing moss. In winter, Mount Taranaki becomes a place to ski. The sunny c ity of New Plymouth is wellknown for its glorious parks and gardens, particularly the dazzling array of rhododendrons and azaleas on display in spring. Many magnificent private gardens are open for public viewing year round.


Taranaki's landscape and the mountain's supposed resemblance to Mount Fuji led it to be selected as the location for The Last Samurai, a motion picture set in 19thcentury and starring Tom Cruise. With Taranaki’s epic surf, spectacular gardens, great events, legendary mountain and countless outdoor and cultural adventures it’s e asy to see why the region prides itself on being a destination ‘like no other’. Since 1993 the TSB B ank Festival of Lights has wowed visitors with an awesome mix of events, entertainment and, of course, a spectacular lighting display set against the backdrop of Pukekura Park in New Plymouth. Check out w ww.festivaloflights.co.nz. The history of New Plymouth District and the depth of its cultural diversity are told in a series of sculptures, crafted from wood, stone and metal. These public art works make for a fascinating art trail, with many of them having become iconic f eatures in the district's landscape. In contrast with its outdoors lifestyle, New Plymouth has an arts side—it's home to the acclaimed GovettBrewster Art Gallery, New Zealand's only contemporary art museum with a permanent collection from modern filmmaker and kinetic sculptor Len Lye.


Airport: New Plymouth Airport serves the city and the surrounding region of Taranaki. It is located on the coast, 11km from the city centre, and 4km from the outer suburb/satellite town of Bell Block. It is the 11th busiest airport in New Zealand, with scheduled services to Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch. A trip to New Plymouth or Taranaki is not c omplete without experiencing the beautiful region from the air with Heliview Taranaki. F ly over the city, the amazing coastline, or over the 2518m (8,260ft) summit of spectacular Mount Taranaki. From sunrise to sunset Heliview provides helicopter flights, giving you a memorable experience that will be sure to take your breath away. New Plymouth Airport

Roads: There are two main roads that head to Wanganui. SH45 follows the coast all the way around Mt Egmont through small villages like Okato and Opunake. The second, SH3, follows a crosscountry route through Stratford to Hawera. Heading south on SH3 to Egmont Village, then on through the small farming villages of Tariki, Waipuku, Midhurst, to the larger township of Stratford. From Stratford, continue on SH3 through Ngaere to Eltham, and on through Te Roti, Normanby into the busiest town in South Taranaki, Hawera. From Hawera leave southeast on SH3 through Whareroa, Mokoia, Manutahi, Kakaramea to Patea; a quaint seaside township with a camping ground and beautiful beach. You can also play a round of golf.

Buses: Taranaki has a very good bus service and all information can be found on: http://www.trc.govt.nz/busroutes/

Scotts Airport Shuttle is the affordable, friendly service between New Plymouth and New Plymouth airport.

Shipping: There are several boat companies and charters available in this area. Check out http://www.westcoastmarine.co.nz/ The breakwater at Ngamotu was completed in 1883, providing safe berthage for vessels, and the Moturoa wharf was completed in 1888. Port Taranaki is a critical transport link for the region and the only deep water port on the west coast of New Zealand.

Train: On 11 February 1978, the Taumarunui railcar was replaced by a passenger train, but it was ultimately cancelled on 21 January 1983. Since this date, the only passenger trains to operate to New Plymouth have been infrequent excursions operated by railway preservation societies.

Cycling: Cycling in Taranaki is great way to see the region.The Coastal Walkway is a 7km path that forms an expansive seaedge promenade stretching almost the entire length of the city of New Plymouth, from the Waiwhakaiho River mouth to the east to Port Taranaki to the west. The pathway is ideal for walking, running, cycling or skating, or simply enjoying the view of the dramatic west coast. It is listed as one of the 101 'Must Do' attractions by the New Zealand Automobile Association and has w on numerous awards, including the Cycle Friendly Award in 2008 for the best New Zealand cycle facility.

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