GRAINS TO GRADIENTS

From sandy surf beaches at dawn to ski slopes by lunchtime, Taranaki peo­ple don’t let a lit­tle snow­fall hold them back in win­ter

North & South - - Venture Taranaki -

When the win­ter snow reaches down to the farm­land, up on Mt Taranaki’s Man­ganui Ski-field you’ll find skiers who were up at sunrise that day catch­ing a wave along nearby Surf High­way 45.

If the chance to surf and ski in a morn­ing doesn’t ap­peal, then stick­ing to the Surf High­way might. Be­yond the fa­mous surf breaks with names like Ku­mara Patch, Stent Rd, Ahus, Green Meadows, and Grave­yards are a va­ri­ety of cafes in the vil­lages along the way. At Oakura, for in­stance, French­men Fran­cois Husil­los and Pas­cal Dousi­moui serve lo­cally-roasted Ozone cof­fee and idio­syn­cratic food, like grandma’s win­ter pie, a potato- cau­li­flower-bechamel sauce savoury with Polish an­ces­try.

Trac­ing a line be­tween city and sea is New Ply­mouth’s Coastal Walk­way, a rib­bon that passes glo­ri­ous bridges and care­fully lo­cated cafés along its 13km route, which is en­joyed by le­gions of walk­ers, run­ners, cy­clists and skate­board­ers daily.

Back to the moun­tain, when the snow melts in spring the renowned Pouakai Cross­ing comes into its own again. The one- day walk is lit­er­ally breath­tak­ing, and spans primeval bush, tus­sock tops, streams and tarns – alpine lakes – re­flect­ing the moun­tain, rocky ridges, and the unique Ahukawakawa Wet­lands.

It’s an eight-hour route starting at the North Eg­mont Vis­i­tor Cen­tre – a 30-minute drive from New Ply­mouth, mean­ing you’re only a short drive from the city’s lav­ish ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions, such as the aptly named Nice Ho­tel.

The Taranaki re­gion was voted # 2 in the world by Lonely Planet. Plan your ad­ven­ture to the re­gion by vis­it­ing noted.co.nz or taranaki.info.

Op­po­site page: Mount Taranaki. This page, clock­wise from top left: Hunt­ing waves off Surf High­way 45; Te Rewa Rewa Bridge on New Ply­mouth’s Coastal Walk­way; The Cam­p­house back­packer ac­com­mo­da­tion at the start of the Pouakai Cross­ing; Cof­fee at High Tide.

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