The city of New Plymouth has a few notable features, the most prominent being Mt. Taranaki, which towers behind the city despite being many miles away. I had to wait a few days for the weather to clear a bit before I could even see it though, but I finally got a few glimpses of the volcano as I walked towards another New Plymouth highlight.
That highlight was the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway. A beautiful 11km long paved walkway. The NPCW traverses the length of the city at the coast line and also a bit beyond on the north end. I was starting somewhat towards the south end at the downtown area, which also featured a bit of an oddity. The New Plymouth ‘Wind Wand’.
The thing bends with the wind quite a bit. It also looks absolutely ridiculous. It also has a light at the top so you can see it at night. But enough of the Wind Wand, I continued south along the walkway. The tide was low so lots of volcanic rocks were popping up along the shoreline.
I was heading to the south end of the walkway, and beyond. There was an outcropping of rock along the coast that I could see from a long ways away – thus, I wanted to climb it!
Paritutu Rock, just as the sun was starting to get low.
Yup, it’s climbable, so up I went. The view from the top was stellar. Looking back towards the downtown, quite far away in the distance now. The surrounding area was the port and industrial area of New Plymouth.
Unfortunately, clouds had once again covered Mt. Taranaki. I imagine on a clear day the view would be even better!
A Panoramic of the area – you can see the giant shadow cast by Paritutu Rock on the right hand side.
Oh yes, getting up to the top and back down again? Forget stairs, it’s pretty much rock climbing with a chain in parts. You gain a lot of altitude quickly that way though, and the area below looked like toys!
To the south, some beautiful beaches stretched out.
After making a slow, careful descent, the sun set and I enjoyed the peaceful walk back to the city.
I’d cover the other areas of the Coastal Walkway in a bit, tomorrow had the best weather forecast in the last few weeks, and I planned to make the most of it by exploring Mt. Taranaki.