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Taranaki Anniversary Day

Upcoming Dates of Taranaki Anniversary Day

2023: Monday 13th March

2024: Monday 11th March

2025: Monday 10th March

The Province of Taranaki

Taranaki area is the knob that protrudes from the west of the North Island. The largest city in Taranaki is the port city of New Plymouth, which is located on the north side of the protrusion.

The region covers the area from Tongaporutu on the coast, north of New Plymouth, down to the coast again, just east of Waverley.

The boundary misses out on both Whangamomona and Whanganui which are in the neighbouring Manawatu province.

Whilst the landscape is dominated by Mount Taranaki, the region is known for its green fields of the dairy farming industry. Due to plentiful rainfall and rich volcanic soil, it is a productive area ideal for agriculture.

The Anniversary Date

The Taranaki Anniversary Day is celebrated annually on the second Monday of March. This is not the actual founding day of the province, but the date needed to be set apart from the Easter holiday.

European settlers arrived in what was then the New Plymouth Province in 1841 at the end of March.

The long weekend provides a great opportunity for the locals to head to the beach because it is still in the warm days of autumn.

The Taranaki coastline is well known for its significant surf breaks, and many great New Zealand surfers come from this region.

Some beachgoers prefer to climb the Paritutu Rock, a volcanic outcrop. From here is a stunning view of New Plymouth.

The Mountain

The unmissable landmark in this part of the country is the almost perfectly cone-shaped mountain – Mount Taranaki.

‘Taranaki’ means ‘shining mountain peak’ in Maori.

Mount Taranaki is a significant volcano, as it is second only to Japan’s Mount Fuji in being a perfectly-shaped volcano. The two look so similar, Mount Taranaki has been filmed in movies portrayed as Mount Fuji.

Mount Taranaki is surrounded by the rainforest of Egmont National Park. The mountain was previously named Mount Egmont.

Dam dropping?

Not quite as famous as New Zealand’s bungee jumping, but the Taranaki locals looking for an adrenaline rush, know all about Dam Dropping.

With a kayak or a water sledge, Dam Dropping consists of dropping off the Normanby Dam in your chosen vessel – it’s an 8m drop. This is an activity to get the heart pumping.

There’s plenty to see here

The vegetation of Taranaki is unique as the terrain ranges from alpine to coastal.

As well as perfect agricultural growing conditions, gardeners have it good here too. There are multiple gardens to visit in Taranaki, showcased at the annual Taranaki Garden Festival.

Pukeiti, one of many renowned Taranaki gardens, is located on Mount Taranaki’s lower northern slopes. More than 10,000 rhododendrons and azaleas can be found growing here within the native bush.

The Taranaki shoreline is the only place where the rare gold-striped gecko may be found.