7 Winter-Friendly Activities To Do When Visiting Taranaki

7 Winter-Friendly Activities To Do When Visiting Taranaki

Having a holiday in winter can be just as exciting as any other time of the year. There is no need to let unfavourable weather deter the quality of your getaway. 

There is plenty to do around the country to break up those winter blues. So, on your next visit to Taranaki, here are 7 winter-friendly activities to do during your stay. 


1. Warm up at the thermal pools 

Taranaki Thermal Spa is the region’s only spot for a hot soak. The well was discovered in 1906 during oil exploration and the water, which flows under artesian pressure from a kilometre deep well, is alkaline. 

The facilities have 5 private pools, 1 public spa, and a 2-person infra-red sauna. Not only can you warm up in the pools, but you can also book in for a massage for total relaxation. 

Even better – the spa is just a 10-minute walk, or a 2-minute drive, from our park! 


2. Visit some of the country’s most unique museums 

There are three specialty museums in the region apart from the better-known Puke Ariki Museum. 

The first is Tawhiti Museum, located in Hawera. This privately-run museum created by artist Nigel Ogle uses life-size exhibits and scale models to present Taranaki’s heritage in a series of hyper-realistic displays. The museum is most notably known for its attention to detail and the attached Traders and Whalers underground boat ride. 

The second, Hillsborough Car Museum, is located between New Plymouth and Inglewood and is a Holden fan’s dream come true. This new facility was purposely built for the preservation and display of a private collection of Australian Holden cars and memorabilia. The site also houses a caféan outdoor mini-putt course, and a soon-to-be luge. 

And the last is Inglewood’s Fun Ho! National Toy Museum which shows off classic hand-made toys from the region. The ever-changing selection of about 100 models ranging from tractors and cars to planes and trains. If toymaker Richard Jordan is around and the furnace is fired, you can even watch him make a toy of the day. 


3. Make your own jewellery keepsake 

Crafting your very own piece of jewellery is a unique occasion in of itself, but it also makes the perfect indoor activity in wet, wintery weather. 

Oakura’s Ringcraft Moana offers two workshops to keep you creatively entertained: DIY Ring Design and Pearls and Cake. The first option will have you create your own ring design in a two-hour course and the second is a bracelet class with the added bonus of sweet treats to share. 

Make sure to visit some of the local shops and eateries in the area before heading back to the city. 


4. Play in the snow at North Egmont Visitor Centre 

The treasured mountain is certainly a drawcard for all of the region’s visitors. While its trails are most accessible in the spring and summer months, a visit to the North Egmont Visitor Centre is a popular winter activity to add to the list. 

You can keep warm inside with a hot chocolate and a grab a bite to eat at the indoor café or play in the snow in the surrounding area. 

Families are often spotted here in the winter months with kids sledding and slinging snowballs. 


5. Bounce, bowl, and arcade the day away

Going to the movies is a classic indoor activity but New Plymouth city also has a few other options to fill your day, such as Mega Bounce – a trampoline arena with six bouncing options including basketball hoops, dodgeball, and freestyle. 

The city’s YMCA offers an indoor rock climbing adventure complete with 46 top ropes, more than 100 set routes, and a bouldering area for those looking for an extra challenge. 

Finally, Bowlarama is an ideal spot to spend several hours. The ten-pin bowling alley has 16 lanes and also offers an indoor black-lit mini-putt course, pool tables, air hockey, and arcade games. 


6. Check out local art galleries

New Plymouth city is sprinkled with art galleries, which offers a perfect way to spend a cold, wet day by getting lost in the world of art. 

The most notable is the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery housed in a mirrored, architectural masterpiece. With rotating exhibits, a cinema, giant kinetic sculptures, and an attached restaurant, the Govett-Brewster is a popular choice to spend a few hours. 

KINA NZ Design + Art Space located just around the corner has a monthly rotation with works from both established and emerging artists. The centre also sells creative gifts such as ceramics and jewellery. 

The White Sail Gallery, located near our holiday park at Breakwater Bay, features works from Taranaki and New Zealand artists, including paintings, pottery, and sculptures. 


7. Step back in time at Pioneer Village 

A unique outdoor museum is waiting for you to explore its 40 authentic historic structures dating back to 1853. Take a nostalgic stroll through Pioneer Village and experience the life of Taranaki pioneers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

Many exhibits and museum artifacts are in working conditions, including a village railway, barber, and printshop. 

Contrasting with the ‘stepping back in time’ experience within the village, the frontage has a modern café where you can fill up on a nice hot meal. 


Taranaki has much to offer in all seasons of the year. Hopefully, on your next visit during the wetter months, you’ll have plenty on the itinerary to keep you busy, laughing, and warm.