The honour is the highest ever ranking for a New Zealand destination in Lonely Planet’s annual publication, and singles out Mount Taranaki’s Pouakai Crossing one-day walk and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre as the region’s unmissable experiences.
The Pouakai Crossing walk, which traverses the slopes of Mount Taranaki and the adjoining Pouakai Ranges, is building up to be one of New Zealand’s great one-day walks, requiring similar effort to the Tongariro Crossing, but with fewer visitor numbers – yet.
The Len Lye Centre opened as part of the long-standing Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in July 2015, and has blown away visitor forecasts, with even more coming to the region for the quintessential ‘selfie’ shot in the building’s mirror-like exterior.
But, according to Lonely Planet, there’s lots more to discover in Taranaki. More than 200km of trails are on offer in Egmont National Park, there are museums of just about everything, and loads of legendary surf breaks.
Determined by an independent, international team of Lonely Planet travel experts, the award also praises the region’s museums, events – including the annual WOMAD music festival and TSB Festival of Lights – parks, and Surf Highway 45.
Check out the award here.