You don’t hit Taranaki by chance, nor do the people of the region leave tourism to chance.

Taranaki, located on the western seaboard of the North Island half way between Auckland and Wellington, is made up of New Plymouth district in the north, Stratford district in the centre, and South Taranaki district in the south with the region’s centre piece, Mt Taranaki in between.

Tourism is a growing industry for the region and the three districts have a successful track record of working together to host and promote events like the Powerco Garden Spectacular, TSB Festival of Lights, Festival of Arts, WOMAD, AmeriCARna, New Zealand Tattoo and Art Festival and many domestic and international sporting events.

No one’s shy to tell you about their must do’s either. From the 2,640 people employed in the visitor industry to friendly locals, they are all keen to let you in on their favourite beach, mountain tramp or where to grab a good coffee.

Surf Highway 45 is the country’s only dedicated surf touring route that runs along one of the best and most consistent surf coastlines in New Zealand. Then, running between Stratford and Taumarunui, Forgotten World Highway 43 is a 155km journey that takes intrepid travellers on an intriguing and historic trip through New Zealand’s Maori and colonial heritage. And for walkers and bike riders the 13km Coastal Walkway in New Plymouth featuring the iconic Te Rewa Rewa bridge is always popular.

Other top regional attractions are Taranaki’s gardens and parks, including the 52-hectare inner city Pukekura Park, world renowned Pukeiti and the 6-star Te Kainga Marire garden. Egmont National Park and Mt Taranaki are home to a number of walks and tramps catering for all tastes and abilities, with the Pouakai Crossing becoming an increasingly popular day walk.

Moving indoors, museums and galleries, including the world renown Len Lye Centre/Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and South Taranaki’s Tawhiti Museum, dot the region and cater for all interests.

Taranaki is also home to fine restaurants with diverse menus, great cafes, a thriving arts scene and a summer concert series that is the envy of other cities around the country.

A popular destination for families and domestic visitors looking for something different, the region attracts a visitor spend of around $349 million a year. International visitor numbers are also growing, and with accolades like Lonely Planet’s second best region in the world to visit in 2017, chances are high that further tourism growth is on the cards.