Taranaki’s history stretches from 1,000 year old pa sites to today’s multi-billion dollar energy developments. Noted for its dairy produce and its superb gardens, Taranaki is dominated by its mountain, which according to Maori legend, once stood at the centre of the island until forced to flee westward after losing a battle for the beautiful volcano Pihanga. Much of the regions historic interest stems from its having been the scene of the outbreak of the main phase of the New Zealand Wars in the early 1860s. The province’s long Maori history before the disruptions, first of tribal wars in the early nineteenth century, then of the arrival of European settlers, is still plainly evident in many ancient pa and other sites.
Find out more about the history of Taranaki:
NZ History - Taranaki
Maori - Taranaki
NZ History Online
New Zealand Wars
New Zealand Wars - Taranaki
The young pioneer Harry Atkinson sawed the timber for his own house and created a farm here — but he is better known for being four times Premier of New Zealand. Built in 1855—1856, the cottage is the only survivor of a settlement called Hurworth.
"Must do" check list for Taranaki
The Taranaki region has plenty to offer tourists and visitors. Continue the Atkinson story by visiting
Richmond Cottage, New Plymouth - read more about the cottage and family
St Mary's Church, New Plymouth (now Taranaki Cathedral)
Te Koru Pa - find out more on the Department of Conservation's website here
Taranaki Rhododendron and Garden Festival (late October each year)