Taranaki is home to 117,560 people, most of whom live in the coastal city of New Plymouth.

The region is split into three districts: 
  • New Plymouth to the north with a population of about 80,700  
  • Stratford in central Taranaki servicing about 9,420 people
  • South Taranaki including the main centre of Hawera, with a population of 28,000.

New Plymouth

The gateway to Taranaki and the economic centre of the region, New Plymouth district spreads from Mokau in the north to Okato and includes the city of New Plymouth, the towns of Waitara, Inglewood, Urenui, Okato, Bell Block and Oakura, and many other smaller rural communities.
The district is known for its rugged coastline, world class surfing spots, fertile farming land, major events and, of course, the majestic Mount Taranaki.
Whether it is enjoying a coffee in one of the many cafes, swimming at one of the black-sand beaches, wandering along the 13km Coastal Walkway, browsing through the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre or taking part in a wide range of adventure activities or sports there’s something for everyone. 


Lying at the heart of Taranaki beneath the eastern slopes of Mount Taranaki, Stratford is known for its strong farming history and family-friendly community living.

Stratford is a gateway to both the mountain and the Forgotten World Highway, a 150km long and highly memorable driving or cycling journey that explores the ever-changing landscape between Stratford and Taumaranui. The region offers plenty of other attractions too including Taranaki Pioneer Village, TET King's Theatre (the first movie theatre in the Southern Hemisphere to show 'talkies'), Percy Thomson Art Gallery and an indoor swimming pool, not to mention various easy walks to heritage spots and along bush-clad rivers and streams.

Stratford is also home to a glockenspiel that plays a romantic scene from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet four times daily (10am, 1pm, 3pm and 7pm). The Shakespeare connection doesn’t stop there either - all streets in Stratford are named after Shakespearean plays and characters.

South Taranaki

South Taranaki is built on a rich farming heritage and is known for its safe, caring communities, first class facilities and exciting range of outdoor activities. The region is made up of many small communities and includes the towns of Hawera, Manaia, Opunake, Patea, Eltham, and Waverley.

South Taranaki has a rich and dynamic history as well as a very active arts community. Visitors and locals alike enjoy visiting local galleries, climbing Hawera’s historic water tower or learning more about the country’s history at Tawhiti Museum and Aotea Utanganui - Museum of South Taranaki.

With all the all mod cons of the city, without the hustle and bustle, South Taranaki has it all. Its stunning natural environment, rugged coastline and urban offerings mean you can be on the mountain in the morning, the beach in the afternoon and dining out in a top class cafe or restaurant in the evening.

Glockenspiel Clock Tower, Stratford