North Island, New Zealand
The coastal region of Taranaki centres around the magnificent extinct volcanic mountain of Mt Taranaki, which rises, Mt Fuji-like, symmetrically out of the plains. .The main city in the region, New Plymouth, is centred around a bustling port and has recently become a sophisticated lifestyle destination for city-dwellers escaping the rat race.
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Adventurers can climb the mountain with an experienced guide, or for a much easier option, take the road trip to the top, stopping off in the quaint villages on the way. Helicopter flights over the mountain are also available. The region is also known for its excellent surf beaches, and with breaks up and down the coast you're almost guaranteed to get a surf any time of the year.
New Plymouth is a great city to visit for a family holiday and boasts 16 parks, 13 beaches, 4 swimming pools and an award-winning, 7km coastal walkway featuring stunning views of the Tasman Sea. There are a number of museums and galleries in the city including the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, regularly voted one of the best modern art galleries in the world.
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