At 156m, this craggy, steep-sided hill is almost as tall as New Plymouth's old power-station chimney down at the port (198m). Paritutu translates as ‘rising precipice’. 'Precipice' is right – it's a seriously knee-trembling, 15-minute scramble to the top, the upper reaches over bare rock with a chain to grip on to. If you can ignore your inner screams of common sense, you'll be able to see for miles around from the summit. Save it for another day if the weather ain't pretty.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby New Plymouth attractions

1. Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Park

1.13 MILES

About 1km offshore, these rugged islets (Ngā Motu in Māori) are eroded volcanic remnants, offering refuge for 10,000 sea birds and a colony of NZ fur…

2. War Memorial

2.44 MILES

An appropriately austere stone New Plymouth landmark that presides over the Coastal Walkway and a public playground.

4. Clock Tower

2.49 MILES

If you lose your bearings in downtown New Plymouth (or just want to know the time), look for the kooky, stripy clock tower, which is often luridly lit at…

5. Wind Wand

2.59 MILES

The wonderfully eccentric Wind Wand at Puke Ariki Landing was designed by Len Lye – the artist who has put this town on the map in modern times. This 45m…

6. Puke Ariki

2.59 MILES

Translating as ‘Hill of Chiefs’, Puke Ariki was once a pā (fortified village) site, and is now home to the i-SITE, a fab regional museum, a library, a…

7. Puke Ariki Landing

2.61 MILES

Developed in the 1980s, Puke Akiri Landing connects the city centre with the foreshore. The grassy area in front of Puke Ariki features a large, carved…

8. Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary

2.62 MILES

The austere Church of St Mary (1846) is NZ's oldest stone church and its newest cathedral! Its graveyard has the headstones of early settlers and soldiers…