North Island's West Coast Places


New Plymouth

Getting Here and Around

Air New Zealand flies daily to New Plymouth from Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. New Plymouth Airport (NPL) is about 12 km (7½ mi) from the city center.

Taxis wait at the airport; expect to pay about NZ$35 to get into town. Airport Shuttle runs a door-to-door service from the airport for NZ$22 (first person, plus NZ$3 each additional passenger); book ahead online or by phone.

Travel by private car is the best option for getting around New Plymouth and Taranaki. The roads are generally paved and in good condition. From the north, State Highway 3 passes through Te Kuiti, near Waitomo, and then heads west to New Plymouth. The highway continues south through Taranaki to Wanganui and onto Bulls, where it connects with State Highway 1. New Plymouth is a 6- to 7-hour drive from Auckland, and a 5-hour drive from Wellington. If you're traveling west on a sunny afternoon, watch out for strong glare from the setting sun.

You can take in most of Taranaki in a couple of days, using New Plymouth as a base, but that would keep you on the run. Ideally, treat yourself to a leisurely week, choosing accommodations from fine lodges, B&Bs, motels, backpacker hostels, or holiday parks spread throughout the region, to rest.

Coach companies (InterCity) provide daily services linking New Plymouth, Stratford, and Hawera. Taranaki Bus services include CityLink, from New Plymouth city to nearby town Waitara and surfing village Oakura, and Tranzit services connect southern Taranaki towns.