Boy hugging tree

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Lush Pukekura has 49 hectares of gardens, playgrounds, trails, streams, waterfalls, ponds and display houses. In summer, rowboats (per half-hour $15) meander across the main lake (full of arm-sized eels), next to which the Tea House serves light meals. The technicolored Festival of Lights draws the summer crowds here, as does the impeccably mowed cricket oval. For the lethargic, 45-minute motorised buggy tours (adult/child $5/free) can whip you around to see the best bits; call for bookings.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. New Plymouth Observatory

0.28 MILES

Atop Marsland Hill (great views!) is this wee observatory, with one of the most powerful public-access telescopes in NZ.

2. Kibby Carillon

0.29 MILES

On top of Marsland Hill is the cacophonous 37-bell Kibby Carillon, a huge automated glockenspiel-like device that tolls out across the New Plymouth…

3. Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary

0.34 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…

4. Clock Tower


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. Puke Ariki Landing

0.52 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…

6. Brooklands Zoo

0.52 MILES

A short drive uphill from the city centre in Brooklands Park is this farmy little zoo. Adorable cotton-top tamarins, wandering chooks and the walk-through…

7. Puke Ariki

0.52 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…