Seeking adventure in the great outdoors – want to physically challenge yourself on a scenic river?
Taranaki offers all this in abundance and markets itself effectively as a special place with real people and a great lifestyle.
Central to that way of life is the stunning snow-capped monolith, Mt Taranaki, dominating the lush green dairy pastures of this prosperous dairying region. The mountain is New Zealands most accessible alpine area – its only a 45 minute drive from the ski slopes to the ocean. New Plymouth is the renowned for its beautiful botanical gardens. Surf Highway 45 links some of our premier surfing spots. The Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Reserve offers a chance to sea kayak amidst sun basking seals.
Taranaki rivers are bursting with aquatic adventure activities. Dam dropping is the latest adrenalin rush where you can plummet eight metres over a weir and sledge through whitewater rapids. The Waitara River offers the chance to paddle a 12 metre waka (Maori canoe) which a commercial operator combines with a 4WD hill country tour. The Waitara and its tributary the Manganui provide good Grade 3 rapids which are regarded as being amongst the top ten whitewater runs in the North Island. The put in is at Everett Park, near Midhurst where the Manganui flows over a boulder-strewn bed, and the take out is at Bertrand Road 6 kms upstream from Waitara township.
The Mokau River is also rated among the top ten whitewater trips. The put in is the base of Waiere Falls in rugged country below Aria reached via Piopio on S.H.3. The downhill run includes several sharp drops of around 2 metres and is mainly Grade 3 through to the take out at Totoro Gorge bridge.
The Waiwhakaiho River rises on Mt Taranaki and with above average flows can be successfully run by experienced paddlers from Egmont Village down to the Fitzroy Bridge. In lower flow rates there is a popular raft and kayak run from below the hydro tailrace to the Fitzroy Bridge. It is only runable if the tailrace rock pools are covered with water.
Taranaki offers total adventure, on the mountain slopes, the rolling beach breaks and the tumbling, steep gradient rivers. Check it all out.