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The Taranaki region has been voted the second-best region to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet. That’s a fairly high accolade for the humble area on New Zealand’s North Island.
New Plymouth is the region’s only city and one with great historical significance. It was here that the first Pakeha (the Maori word for Caucasian) explorers set up a trading post in 1828. Years later, in 1841–1842, hundreds of British immigrants were brought to this new land, which they named New Plymouth after their homeland.
The Maori people did not like this invasion of their land and war erupted between the two cultures in 1860. Much like the area’s volcano, Mount Taranaki, unrest followed and stunted the town’s growth. The fighting ended by the late 1870s and New Plymouth began to flourish.
Today, with a population of 69,000, the small yet vibrant urban centre has much to offer. Here are the best things to do in New Plymouth.