Feed your senses with all there is to offer in this gastronomic and culturally stimulating region.
New Plymouth has lots of great restaurants, accommodation and things to do.
The West End Precinct
Take a notorious biker pub, preserve its emblematic White Hart exterior, drop a bustling food precinct into the atrium, and you have the heart of the West End Precinct. By day shop from the fashion and homeware boutiques, and sample from the stunning cabinet selection at The Public Catering Company, while after dark grab a pizza and craft ale from Ms White, a cocktail from the Snug Lounge, and a bed for the night at the sumptuous King & Queen suites upstairs. The West End Precinct, 47 Queen Street, New Plymouth
Jetcharm Barber and Coffee House
The first thing you notice about Jetcharm in Egmont St – aside from barber’s chairs, busy barbers, wonderfully eclectic things like gilt-edged mirrors, and art gallery tucked up some tiny stairs ar the back – is proprietor Shaun Conaglen’s full, shaped beard that makes him look like he stepped off one of the settler ships that arrived here from Cornwall in the 1840s. Jetcharm Barber and Coffee House, 32 Egmont Street, New Plymouth
There’s a saying in France - if you’re outside Paris and wanting the best place for lunch, you follow a truck driver. In New Plymouth, you follow a local and they’ll likely head for a former Salvation Army citadel in Powderham St that clever entrepreneurs have converted into a memorable place for lunch and dinner. Social Kitchen’s window displays look startlingly carnivore, and indeed you won’t find better meat servings than the Kitchen’s standard fare. But this place is for omnivores, too, with a range of superb dishes like white fish, flaming haloumi and escargot. The smartest thing – aside from an exotic wine list - is the choice of small and shared plates, which cater for those who don’t eat with the gusto of rugby players. Social Kitchen, 40 Powderham Street, New Plymouth
When they renovated Hillary’s Hut in Antarctica and needed authentic fittings they knew to come to Taranaki’s most unusual warehouse-shop. Steve Erickson at Vintage Industries in King St trawls the world’s traceable antiquities outlets – including Indian and Bangladeshi shipbreaker yards - to find his spectacular range of fittings and furnishings, and handily also brews a mighty-fine coffee. Vintage Industries, 97 King Street, New Plymouth
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre
Fifty years ago, local philanthropist Monica Brewster (nee Govett) gift a then-fortune to the city of New Plymouth to convert a the dilapidated Regent Cinema – known as the Bug House - into an art museum. The result is today’s leading repository of New Zealand and Pacific contemporary art, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. In 2015 it got a significant extension, with the addition of the iconic stainless-steel-clad Len Lye Centre, which exhibits twisting, whirling, dazzling sculptures by kinetic artist and filmmaker Len Lye. New Zealander Lye spent time in Sydney and London before heading to the New York art scene. New Plymouth engineer John Matthews travelled there in the 70s to check him out, they hit it off, and Lye bequeathed his life’s work to be shown here. It’s open seven days a week. Entry is free. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, 42 Queen Street, New Plymouth
The unique and provocative spirit of the art gallery’s founder Monica Brewster lives on in the hip and happening Monica’s Eatery, the café adjoining the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. As one punter put it: “Came in for a cuppa with friends this morning on a wet day. Very warm cosy place. Chai latte was delicious. Lady serving was cheerful.” Sums it to a tee, or should that be a coffee… Monica’s Eatery, Cnr of King Street and Queen Streets, New Plymouth
Nice Hotel owner Terry Parkes is not only a dab hand at spectacular cocktails - if you book into one of New Plymouth’s nicest boutique hotels he’ll make you feel like you’ve been adopted into a big family. Plus you’ll get to sleep in New Plymouth’s oldest wooden building – now lovingly restored - amidst an extensive art collection, and dine on the private deck. Nice Hotel, 71 Brougham Street, New Plymouth