1. Mt. Taranaki – Egmont National Park
Without a doubt, Mt. Taranaki is one of the most photogenic places in the North Island of New Zealand. It’s the perfect place for budding photographers, keen to capture the stunning vista at ‘The Pouakai Tarn’ which shows off its pool of glass with the assistance of Mt. Taranaki, standing proud at over 2,500m, reflecting down over it.
The area is within easy reach, consisting of a 30 minute drive from the west coast city of New Plymouth.
Its most renowned for its picture-perfect hikes, ranging from an easy 15 mins up to multi-day options which traverse the mountain. About an hours’ walk above the Visitor Centre, you will come to a clearing which presents you with some amazing views, reaching out to the West Coast and on a clear day sometimes as far as Mt. Ngauruhoe located near Taupo.
Always check the weather in the morning to make sure there is no forecasted snowfall and make sure you have suitable footwear for the best and safest experience. Egmont National Park is a spectacular area that offers you the optimum mountaineer experience and is an absolute MUST – do!
2. Te Rewa Rewa Bridge
Around 25km North of Mt. Taranaki Visitor Centre, you will find an interesting landmark that sits proudly atop the Waiwhakaiho River – a spiral shaped bridge. The Te Rewa Rewa Bridge crosses over the Waiwhakaiho River and connects the waterfront walkway to Bell Block Beach and through to Port Fitzroy making it one of the most spectacular coastal walks in all of the land. It crosses through a variety of landscapes presenting a perfect opportunity to capture the beauty of the region.
It’s also an ideal location to capture Mt. Taranaki through its spiral beams. Experience this yourself during our Hidden Gems of The North Group Tour, especially during sunset, when the sun lights up the mountain in magnificent hues of red and orange.
3. Cape Egmont Lighthouse
Approximately 40km South-West of Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, Cape Egmont Lighthouse stands tall guarding the ships away from the surrounding land. It attracts thousands of tourists each year thanks to the social media-worthy photos of the lighthouse, looking back towards Mt. Taranaki. During the night, the light shines out to sea guiding ships and the Milky Way brightens the sky over Mt. Taranaki making everything look magical. This is the best time to grab a snapshot of the lighthouse. Clear days are ideal for that perfect snapshot.
The lighthouse dates back the mid-1800s where it was constructed in London. In 1865, the cast-iron segments were shipped to New Zealand and assembled on Mana Island, north of Wellington. However, this spot proved unsatisfactory. Several shipping accidents later, it was thought that the Mana light was being confused with the lighthouse at Wellington Heads. As a result, the tower was dismantled in 1881 and carried in sections to Cape Egmont. The huge, cast-iron sections would have been ferried ashore by surfboats, then dragged up to the site by bullock teams.
4. Dawson Falls
Stunning Dawson Falls, also known as Te Rere o Noke, is located on the East side of Mt. Taranaki. The falls are named after Thomas Dawson, the first European to discover the falls in 1885. Standing at just over 18 metres, and a backdrop of stunning scenery, these falls make for the perfect photographic opportunity. You can take in the breath-taking view from the base of the falls or from the lookout point.
The lush, green forest walk (approx 10 minutes from the Dawson Falls Visitor Centre) to the falls is also something to experience and is where you’ll walk past one of the world’s oldest continuously operating generators. You’ll be able to hear Kapuni Stream, which drives the generator that provides electricity for the Dawson Falls Tourist Lodge.
5. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is New Zealand’s first institution dedicated to a single artist, the pioneering filmmaker, painter, poet and kinetic sculptor, Len Lye. Here you will get a unique view into modernism art with the amazing artwork that is on display in the Gallery.
Len Lye was one of the twentieth century’s most original artists; a one-man art movement covering several countries. A New Zealander, who practised in London during the pre-war years, and then was a key figure in the post-war New York avant-garde art scene, Len Lye mapped a unique course through Modernism art.
Our Hidden Gems of the North Group Tour will give you the opportunity to view Len Lye’s Art for yourself and find out more about his story.