As you drive along the coast of New Plymouth it will be impossible to miss the giant Paritutu Rock climb that towers over town. What at first looks almost too steep to go up, is actually a short but intense hike. This is a must do for any adventure lover visiting this area of New Zealand! The summit of Paritutu Rock in New Plymouth provides views of Back Beach, the Sugar Loaf Islands, and Mount Taranaki in the distance.
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Getting to Paritutu Rock New Plymouth
Location: Paritutu Rock Parking
Time Needed: One Hour
Don’t Hike Without: Water and Proper Sneakers
Getting to Paritutu Rock in New Plymouth is easy as it’s just a quick 5 minute drive from the center of town. There’s a small lot here where you can park before the Paritutu Rock climb. Make sure to take all your valuables with you. Also, note that you will need proper shoes and clothing for this hike.
→ New Zealand North Island Itinerary: 4 Awesome One Week Routes
Paritutu Rock Weather Warning
The most important thing to check before hiking Paritutu Rock is the weather conditions. Due to its location above Back Beach New Plymouth and its massive height, the winds can be strong.
The Paritutu Rock climb is so steep it can be slightly dangerous near the summit. If the rocks are at all slippery we can only imagine how much more difficult it would be! When rain is in the forecast definitely change your plans for hiking Paritutu Rock.
The Simple Staircase
Before taking on the Paritutu Rock hike we were slightly intimidated. Not at all because of the length of this short hike, but because of how steep it looked! However, as we started off on the staircase those fears seemed to fade away.
The first 10 minutes are like any other hike in New Zealand. As you start, there is a slow ascent up a mix of trail and small wooden staircases. What looked like a wild hike actually was fairly easy in the beginning.
Intense Climb Up Paritutu Rock
While the start of the Paritutu Rock climb is steep, it’s nothing compared to the second half! As you get close to the peak you’ll pass a sign warning of the dangers ahead. So unsurprisingly, the next 10-15 minutes will be spent crawling on all fours up the steep rocks.
Be sure to let others coming down pass you and take your time. There are chains you can grab on the way up for extra grip, but this section may not be for everyone.
If you ask a native New Zealander they may tell you it is a piece of cake! To be honest though, even for seasoned hikers this put us a little on edge. Either way, once you reach the top of Paritutu Rock in New Plymouth it is all worth it!
What You See From the Top of Paritutu Rock
Mount Taranaki: The first thing you’ll notice from the summit is Egmont National Park and the majestic volcano! Even though you can see it from practically everywhere in New Plymouth, nothing compares to the view from Paritutu Rock. Make sure to plan your hike for a clear day.
New Plymouth: If you’re looking out at Mount Taranaki, the center of town will be directly to the left. Don’t miss all the great things to do in the area!
Sugar Loaf Islands: Just off the shores you’ll see this small collection of 5 islands. The Sugar Loaf islands are great to explore by boat or kayak if you get the opportunity.
Back Beach: The views of the coastline and stunning beach below were our favorite part of this hike. After seeing it from the top of Paritutu Rock you’ll definitely be ready to explore Back Beach New Plymouth!
The Tricky Climb Down Paritutu Rock
The way down Paritutu Rock is almost more challenging than going up. Do your best to navigate down the rocky mountain while taking in the views of New Plymouth below. Once you reach the wooden staircases again it will be a huge relief! The rest of the way down is the perfect stroll to finish the hike.
Don’t Miss Out on Back Beach New Plymouth
If you’re beach lovers like us you will no doubt be intrigued by the beach below Paritutu Rock. Back Beach is actually made up of black sand which makes it unique to others in New Zealand.
Most days it’s not safe for swimming here with the crazy waves and undertow. Nonetheless, it is incredible to take a walk under the cliffs after your done the epic Paritutu Rock climb!
→ 25 Beautiful New Zealand Beaches on the North & South Island
Where To Stay In New Plymouth New Zealand
Ultra Luxury – King and Queen Hotel Suites – Located right in the town center, this high end hotel has everything you need for a stay in New Plymouth. Rooms are well equipped with modern amenities, there are free bicycles, and even a gym pass included in your stay.
Fun Vacation – Millennium Hotel New Plymouth, Waterfront – If you’re looking for a room with a view Millennium has you covered! Both studios and suites are available with incredible views of the Tasman Sea.
Hostel Life – Ariki Backpackers – Fun and laid back hostel in the heart of New Plymouth. Ariki has a range of room options including privates and large mixed dorms.
For more places to stay near Paritutu Rock New Plymouth you can explore the latest prices here!
Have any questions on Paritutu Rock, the Sugar Loaf Islands, or Back Beach New Plymouth? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
New Zealand Travel Planning
Jucy Van: The best way to explore New Zealand is with a Jucy camper! We spent over six weeks driving around the North and South Islands in a van and loved every moment.
Rental Car: If you’re not renting a van you’ll need a car to see this country. We use Discover Cars when traveling and enjoy having the freedom to get around.
Flights: It’s easy to find cheap flight deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we got flights from Auckland to Queenstown for $40 USD, and New Zealand to Fiji for less than $150!
Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda. Also, Hostelworld should be your go to if you’re traveling on a budget.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over New Zealand! They have everything from tickets to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves to a Hobbiton movie set tour, and even a Northland hole in the rock dolphin cruise!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for insurance the last few years and they are always there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
North Island New Zealand
Travel Tips & Guides: 10 Helpful NZ Travel Tips – South Island Itinerary – Wellington to Picton Ferry – 15 Freedom Camping Tips – 27 Delicious Food & Drinks
Auckland & Northland: Piha Beach & Kitekite Falls – Cape Reinga Lighthouse – Russell – Mangonui – Mount Eden – Devonport Day Trip – Waiheke Island Guide – 9 Best Waiheke Wineries
Lake Taupo: 17 Fun Things to Do – Mount Tauhara Hike – Best Street Art – Taranaki Falls – Huka Falls Walk – 14 Tongariro Crossing Tips
Wellington: 10 Fun Things to Do – Mount Victoria Hike – Best Breweries – Cable Car & Botanical Gardens
Bay of Plenty: Tairua – Hot Water Beach – Cathedral Cove Walk – 8 Maunganui Things Not to Miss – Mount Maunganui Hike – East Cape Road Trip – How to Find Tua Tua Clams
Rotorua & Raglan: Kerosene Creek – Redwoods Treewalk – 8 Raglan Things to Do – Bridal Veil Falls
New Plymouth: Dawson Falls – Te Rewa Rewa Bridge
→ Explore all our South Island New Zealand Travel Tips & Guides
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