New Plymouth is a unique town in New Zealand filled with great hiking, long beautiful beaches, and a massive volcano that can be seen for miles. With so many fun things to do in New Plymouth you should plan for at least a few days to explore the area. Join us as we take you to the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, Pukekura Park, and many more great outdoor activities!
Pin For Later ↓
10 Things to Do in New Plymouth New Zealand
1. Explore Egmont National Park
We might as well start this list off with the reason why almost everyone goes to New Plymouth New Zealand! The beautiful Egmont National Park surrounds the Mount Taranaki volcano, and is filled with waterfalls, rainforest, and moss covered flora. Here you can enjoy several awesome hiking trails with different views of the volcano, and the scenic coastline of New Plymouth.
→ Egmont National Park: What’s the Best Hike For Your Visit?
→ Dawson Falls Walk & Wilkies Pools: 2 Easy New Zealand Trails
2. High Tea in Pukekura Park
Pukekura Park first opened in 1876, and has always been one of the best things to do in New Plymouth. Aside from the gorgeous trees and plant life, other attractions include the Poet’s Bridge and rightfully named Teahouse on the Lake. The old teahouse is a historical monument in itself and a wonderful place to experience the High Tea tradition in New Zealand.
3. Climb Paritutu Rock
The first thing we noticed arriving in New Plymouth New Zealand was the humungous jagged rock that hovered over the ocean. Although it looks almost too steep to climb, leave it to Kiwi’s to build a trail straight up the cliff!
The Paritutu Rock trail will not take you long, but by the top you’ll be crawling up on all fours to the summit. From here you’ll have incredible views of the coastline and Mount Taranaki, so it’s easily one of the best things to do in New Plymouth.
→ Paritutu Rock Climb: How to Get the Best Views of New Plymouth
4. Afternoon at Back Beach in New Plymouth
Directly underneath Paritutu Rock is one of the most unique beaches in New Zealand! Back Beach is famous for its black sand, wild waves, and towering green cliffs.
We spent a couple hours walking the beach and exploring the different coves. Be aware there is a massive rip tide here. Going in ocean at Back Beach is not usually recommended.
→ 25 Beautiful New Zealand Beaches on the North & South Island
5. Boat Around the Sugar Loaf Islands
Now you know the water can be notoriously rough near the shore. That makes one of the best things to do in New Plymouth getting out past the waves!
The most fun place to do so is just off the coast around the gorgeous Sugar Loaf Islands. There are boat tours available from town, and you can even kayak around them in the summer!
6. Stroll Down the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway
The New Plymouth Coastal Walkway draws visitors year round for its scenic views along the ocean. What’s so awesome about this path is the actual length!
It runs from Port Taranaki to Bell Block for a picturesque 12.7 km. Take a long afternoon walk, or we highly recommend hiring a bike rental from town to cruise the coast.
7. Cross the New Plymouth Te Rewa Rewa Bridge
While we’re on the topic, our favorite section of the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway is this special bridge! The interesting design of Te Rewa Rewa will surely draw you in, yet the real reason to visit is the view.
As you cross over the bridge towards the ocean, turn around for a spectacular shot of Mount Taranaki. Crossing the bridge is one of the most fun things to do in New Plymouth, and also the perfect photo opportunity.
→ Is the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge Worth Visiting in New Plymouth?
8. Visit the Pukeiti Botanical Gardens
While Pukekura Park is the most famous in New Plymouth, these botanical gardens also deserve some recognitio.! A quick 30 minute drive from the city center will take you through the countryside with amazing views of Mount Taranaki. Then you can take the bright and beautiful walk through the Pukeiti Botanical Gardens as they are free to enter.
9. Drive Surf Highway 45
Leaving New Plymouth New Zealand and hugging the West Coast will take you on the stunning Surf Highway 45. The route is filled with over 100 different surf spots which makes it one of the most sought after areas of the country to catch some waves.
I mean what’s better than surfing with a view of a real live volcano? Even if you’re not a big time surfer it’s still one of the best things to do in New Plymouth.
→ New Zealand North Island Itinerary: 4 Awesome One Week Routes
10. New Plymouth Cafe Culture
After you’ve walked the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, explored Pukekura Park, and gotten all the views of Mount Taranaki you can handle, make sure to visit the actual town!
The main strip is full of great international restaurants, a thriving art scene, and funky cafes. Stop in for a beer or coffee and enjoy this fun aspect of New Plymouth New Zealand.
→ Best New Zealand Food & Drinks: 27 Delicious Things to Try
Have any questions about Pukekura Park, or want to share your favorite things to do in New Plymouth? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
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, and there are free bicycles and 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 in New Plymouth you can explore the latest prices here!___________________________
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
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
→ Explore all our South Island New Zealand Travel Tips & Guides
*We receive a commission for purchases made through links in this post. This allows us to continue our travels and keep providing great content to our readers! Also, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.