Taranaki for the Summer

Choose to run, rave or rev around Taranaki this summer.

Hero Image: Synthony

Photography by: Anna Briggs and Supplied

The promise of summer is creeping ever closer; heady days of ocean dips, warm sunshine and cold brews. But what summer is complete without a sprinkle of memorable events and festivals? This summer Taranaki has some stellar options.

In fact, after that long - dare we say it - lockdown winter, Taranaki has never looked brighter. With a shining line-up of events, they’ve got everything from epic concerts under stars at the Bowl of Brooklands to endurance events that will get your heart rate pumping. And when the dust momentarily settles on those magical times, you’ve still got so much to explore. With the majestic maunga, epic surf breaks and top-notch hospitality awaiting you, you might as well stay for the weekend! 

L.A.B + 21 Liardet Street

8 January 2022

L.A.B, founded by the legendary Kora brothers (Brad and Stu), are returning to New Plymouth on Saturday 8 January. Their sound  - an eclectic mix of reggae, blues, electronic and funk - is best known through hits such as ‘In the Air', ‘Controller’ and ‘Why Oh Why’. For one night only at Bowl of Brooklands, L.A.B will deliver their imitable kiwi summer sound to you under the stars. And to top it off, they will be joined by Sir Dave Dobbin and Katchafire.   

Before you get your groove on, head to the food truck hub at 21 Liardet Street for a beer and a bite. Take your pick from a delicious array of food trucks. You’ll find all the local favs; Gammer Rays burgers, Chiwi’s Spanish paella, Vietnamese Pho and Kickflip pizzas. It’s just a leisurely stroll up through the park to the Bowl of Brooklands to find the perfect spot to settle in for the night.

Photo credit: Andy Jackson

The Good Home Taranaki Off-Road Half Marathon + Shining Peak Brewery

15 January 2022

Kickstart 2022 and get the heart rate up with The Good Home Taranaki Off-Road Half Marathon. Not just for the experienced runner, there’s the option to enter the 10km, 5km or 2km too - making it the perfect excuse to head to Taranaki, cut a trail, and be a part of a fantastic running event. The course traverses across a range of different walking and mountain bike tracks showcasing the natural beauty of the region. 

Post-event reward yourself with an expertly local brewed beer at Shining Peak Brewery. Sit back and sample a few local favourites while debriefing on the day's events. 

Taste of Taranaki

Until 30 January 2022

If you’re an artisan food fan, it’d be remiss not to visit the Taste of Taranaki Pop-up before the summer is out. The pop-up shop, which is open until 30 January, is showcasing food from about 20 Taranaki producers and makers. There’s plenty to sample and buy including sausages, cheese, bread, chocolate, vegetables, local wine and beers, honey and baking. And with live music every weekend, humming coffee carts and delicious food, it has a summery Saturday morning written all over it.  Open Thursday - Sunday, 9 til 4pm.   

While you're around these parts of town, swing by Fenton Street Arts Collective, a working studio of creatives Jo Stallard and Stuart Greenhill. Check out their impressive output including artworks, literature and their very own award-winning gin. 

Synthony + State Pasta

5 February 2022

Come Waitangi Weekend it's time to get ready for Synthony's only electric outdoor performance at the Bowl of Brooklands. Synthony is not your ordinary orchestral experience. It’s a blend of electronic dance music, live orchestra, DJs, vocalists, and immersive visuals. Expect a state-of-the-art sound system cranking dance anthems you grew up on (did someone say Sandstorm?), this is a hands-in-the-air dance party you definitely don’t want to miss. 

Before the evening's antics unfold, we recommend checking out a relatively new kid on New Plymouth’s restaurant scene, State Pasta. They serve some of the best (you guessed it) pasta in town. The pasta is made fresh daily, with an emphasis on letting good quality ingredients sing. There’s plenty of antipasto to snack on with an Aperol spritz too, all of which comes served with fresh, homemade focaccia. If you want to push the boat out, there’s gelato by the scoop made by Left Coast Gelato, and great tiramisu.

AmeriCARna + Ahu Ahu Villas

23-26 February 2022

Appreciation for a classic car is universal, right? Well, this summer, hundreds of all American vehicles bring Taranaki's roads to life from 23-26 February 2022 as part of AmeriCARna. From classic Mustangs to vintage Dodge Rams, this event is likely to be the closest slice of the US of A you’ve had in a while. So, why not grab the car lover in your family and head to Taranaki for a geez around AmeriCARna. 

While you’re in town, you could treat yourself to a couple of nights at the magical Ahu Ahu Villas near Ōakura. Spend your evenings enjoying another one of life’s simple pleasures, the sound of waves rolling in on the Taranaki coast. Book sooner rather than later.

WOMAD + Taranaki Thermal Spa

18-20 March 2022

WOMAD returns to Taranaki in March, one of the country’s finest music festivals in our humble opinion. Patrons span the decades much like the line-up spans the globe. With eight stages featuring an eclectic roster of artists, you’re bound to find some spectacular new discoveries in music, arts and dance over the 3-day festival. There are also some great speakers touted.   

Post-WOMAD, you may like to indulge in a trip to Taranaki Thermal Spa to float (and recover) in special alkaline water rich in natural minerals sourced directly from the earth. You could really pamper yourself with a private room and a spa treatment to help put your tired body back together in one piece.

Photo credit: Frederico Pagola