• Photo: Peter Guttman/Peterguttman.com

Plan Your North Island's West Coast Vacation

The North Island's West Coast encompasses a diversity of landscapes: top surfing beaches; world-renowned limestone caves; and two national parks, one centered on a volcanic mountain, the other on a wilderness river.

The land is generally rural, ranging from tidy thoroughbred horse-stud farms to sheep-and-cattle farms located on remote, rolling hill country and a jumble of forest-covered mountain ranges. Small cities and rural towns throughout the region provide a high level of sophistication for their size, in accommodations, food service, and tourism ventures.

The Taranaki region sprang from the ocean floor in a series of volcanic blasts, forming that distinctive curve along the West Coast of the North Island. The symmetrically shaped cone of Mt. Taranaki is the province's dramatic symbol and the backdrop for climbing routes and hiking tracks (trails). Agriculture thrives in the area's fertile volcanic soil, and the gardens around Taranaki and New Plymouth city are some of the country's most spectacular. The mythology and historical sites relating to the local people are an integral part of Taranaki.

Read More


View All (20)


View All (24)


View All (45)


View All (8)


View All (3)

Performing Arts

View All (2)

Top Reasons To Go

  1. Caving Waitomo's underground landscape encompasses miles of passageways, streams, limestone formations, fossils, and glowworms. Explore with underground walks, boat rides, or "black-water" rafting and rappelling tours.
  2. Hiking and Walking Explore the wetlands, alpine fields, and dense lowland rain forest of Egmont National Park. Multiday and short walks provide impressive views.
  3. Kayaking and Canoeing Whanganui River is the longest navigable waterway in the country; it's also an ideal beginner's river. Pass amazing scenery and historic Māori settlements on a multiday journey by kayak or canoe.
  4. Surfing The black-sand surfing beaches along the North Island West Coast rival the world's best. Near Raglan are Whale Bay and Manu Bay, famous for its consistent, left-hand break. In Taranaki, "Surf Highway 45" accesses premier surfing coastline.

When To Go

When to Go

Although the most popular time is from November through mid-April, most attractions can be enjoyed any time. Spring is garden festival time...

Read More

Check historic weather for your trip dates:


Book Your Trip

Compare Sites:

Compare Sites:

Compare Sites:

Trending Stories
Trip Finder

No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE email communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.