New Plymouth on a Shoestring

We meant to drop by New Plymouth as a pitstop as we made our way up North after the drive down Forgotten World Highway. But we quickly found out the town had so much more to offer and on hindsight, we should have spent more than 2 nights there.

The Airbnb we stayed in made it even harder to leave with Judy’s fantastic hospitality and comfortable beds; we even got to experience picking avocados for the first time! And also embarrassingly found out how lacking in bio knowledge we were when we asked why are male avocado trees grown when their fruit weren’t sought after..

IMG_1845IMG_1822 IMG_1821 IMG_1833Being in a coastal town, we ran into days with strong gusts of wind. That didn’t stop us from exploring the town, especially with Judy extending her hospitality to bring us and her Woofer around town.

IMG_1846 IMG_1850 IMG_1853 IMG_1856First stop was Pukekura Park, an expansive garden area located in the heart of the city. We covered the areas around the lake fairly quickly, and was feeling rather skeptical of the garden.

Then we came across Bowl of Brooklands, an outdoor venue with a grassy amphitheatre.  It wasn’t the impressive stage which caught my eye though, my eyes lit up when I saw ducks racing across the pond to a man feeding them with bread. If you can’t tell, I have an obsession with ducks..

IMG_1858 IMG_1859 IMG_1860 IMG_1862 IMG_1863 IMG_1878Judy also recommended popping by The Fernery in the park where we found more variety of plants sheltered under the glasshouse. Don’t be fooled by the exterior – the space was much bigger than it looked and we took more time than expected to explore the place.

IMG_1897 IMG_1900 IMG_1901 IMG_1907One of the beauty of staying in an Airbnb is when you’re lucky enough to meet a fantastic host who not only shares hidden gems in their backyard, but brings you to it. Located along the town’s famous 10km Coastal Walkway is Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, and we definitely wouldn’t have made our way here without Judy.

IMG_1917 Shaped like a fish boneIMG_1918 IMG_1929 

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Back to the Coastal Walkway – during our research on things to do in New Plymouth, the walkway was heavily featured and was marketed as an award-winning path. I had my doubts then, but having been there, it’s definitely one of my favourite part of town.

IMG_1943 IMG_1946 IMG_1945Climbing Mount Taranaki, or also known as Mount Egmont, is probably one of the top things to do when in New Plymouth. I was rather unwillingly to climb another mountain after the Tongariro experience, but Judy recommended us to climb up midpoint where we could get a view of the peak.

It started out as a sunny day, and we were hopeful that we would get to see the snow-capped peak, but as always, you can never predict Mother Nature and the peak remained shrouded in clouds the entire time we were there.

IMG_1955 IMG_1960 IMG_1967 IMG_1993We managed to explore New Plymouth on a shoestring budget, having spent nothing on the activities mentioned above. The only meal we indulged in was at Mayfair, where we were seduced in by their live music (only to have it end slightly after we sat down). But all’s good when the food’s good.

IMG_1954 IMG_1952 IMG_1950 IMG_1948I doubt we would ever make it back to New Plymouth, but I’ll never forget the warm hospitality we received at Judy’s and the thrill of picking our own avocados for the first time. Being on New Plymouth on a shoestring didn’t mean we got anything less of an experience, in fact we got a whole lot more than we bargained for.

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