Living in Taranaki

Outside of school hours many students like to watch movies, play sport, shop, swim, dance, skate or sing – and excellent facilities and clubs for a wide range of hobbies can be found right around the region.

If students want to grab a bite to eat with friends then our diverse collection of eateries will impress. From American style milkshakes to gourmet burgers, vegan, Indian, Thai, Italian, Dutch, Chinese, Tex-Mex, Japanese and more. Plus an impressive collection of cafes with award winning coffees, decadent cakes, patisserie, sweets and ice-creams – Taranaki has a diverse range of eateries to suit most tastes.

Our region is proudly diverse, but still uniquely kiwi. Our schools have small numbers of international students meaning their experience here is a true representation of the New Zealand school life. From the excitement of swimming sports to the discipline of Kapa Haka (Maori performing arts), our schools offer a real kiwi experience.

Our region’s history is diverse and colourful. According to Maori mythology Mount Taranaki sat in the centre of the North Island with the other mountain gods, but was banished by Tongariro, as he had fallen in love with pretty Pihanga.  Taranaki moved away, and it’s said that when it rains, he’s crying for his lost love.
In 1865 the Taranaki settlement of Parihaka was created by Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi as a place of refuge, and is now known as the birthplace of the passive resistance movement.

Taranaki has a vibrant arts scene. The perfect figure of Mount Taranaki has been a recurring theme in New Zealand’s art history and its creative influence extends right around the region, through studios, galleries and public art in the form of outdoor exhibition spaces and sculpture, the latter best seen at the biennial Te Kupenga Stone Sculpture Symposium on New Plymouth’s foreshore.

But the jewel in Taranaki’s creative crown is undoubtedly the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre, recognised as one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Australasia.

Many students remain in the region beyond their studies and launch successful careers. Taranaki offers opportunities for employment across a range of industries - oil and gas, farming, food technology, nursing, engineering, agri-tech and tourism can be combined with an affordable and enviable lifestyle.

Come and discover why Taranaki has in the past been judged the best place to live in New Zealand and New Plymouth the best small city in the world!