Taranaki is situated on the south west coast of the North Island. Just 3 hours away from Raglan. The region is particularly known for the volcano, Mount Taranaki , situated in the centre , almost a perfect cone and the second highest mountain of the N.Island.
Another thing that attracts tourists to the region is the surf. One of the most consistent regions in NZ with a break for every swell and wind direction.
We travelled the whole coast from North to South. After a nice hike to the Walkies pools and the Dawson falls we headed South to check the waves without luck.
The sunset was about to arrive and it was gonna be dark by 6 so we had to find a plan.
After having a beer watching the sunset we went to Opunake and saw the poster of the movie “Last Paradise” ( http://lastparadisefilm.com/) we got in the theatre and were told that the movie was about to start and the director was going the be there.
So we bought the tickets and asked for popcorn, an old lady at the back was cooking the popcorn in a pan. We were just 15 people and the theatre turned out to be a big room with confortable sofas all around.
The movie has been filmed for 45 years. Clive Neeson, the director and camera operator travels to different parts of the world and discover an unknown virgin paradise. No tourists. Nothing. Just them and the Nature. Clive is originary form East Africa and showed to the public the underwater camera case he built by himself to film part of the movie. Desert beaches being surfed for the first time, snowed mountains skied for the first time, desert roads and hikes discovered by them… The whole film bears witness to the impact of the climate change.
That was really worth it.
We spent the night at some point at Arawhata Rd. We woke up at 6 and hit the road again looking for waves . It was amazing watching the Mount Taranaki waking up with the sun.
The rest of the trip was a constant discovery of rutes and hikes around the surf highway (real name!) . If you want to check a point in Taranaki most surely you are gonna have to cross fields to get there or even ask the farmer to open the gate for you. For sure we will keep repeating this roadtrip .
As they said on their promotional brand since 2005, Taranaki – Like no Other!