World knows our secret
It’s official. Taranaki is one of the best regions in the world.
Well, the second best, according to Lonely Planet. In the Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2017 the world-renowned travel authority has chosen Taranaki as the second best region in the world to visit, and New Zealand as the second best family adventure destination in the world.
South Taranaki mayor Ross Dunlop said the ranking showed the region was on the right track.
‘‘We know Taranaki is a great place, but to have that confirmed by such a reputable organisation is really gratifying. I’m thrilled for our whole province.’’
It’s a remarkable achievement that will would attract a lot more people to Taranaki, he said.
‘‘People take note of what Lonely Planet is suggesting. For some travellers is it is the bible of travel. If they recommend somewhere it carries a huge amount of weight. I think it will have a significant impact on visitor numbers. That’s got to be good.’’
Fantastic was Stratford mayor Neil Volzke’s reaction.
‘‘To be recognised internationally as a great place to visit is remarkable and I’m sure we’ll all benefit from it,’’ said Volzke.
Taranaki is a people-oriented place with a great spirit, he said. ‘‘It’s not overpowered by commercialism and there is still a very natural feel about the region, which offers a lot of appeal for people.’’
Taranaki Regional Council chairman David MacLeod said Taranaki should be proud of what it has achieved.
‘‘It’s going to gain huge recognition around the world.’’
Taranaki comes in behind Choquequirao in Peru, but ahead of internationally renowned areas such as the Azores in Portugal, North Wales and South Australia. The controversial-for-some Len Lye Centre is named as one of two unmissable experiences and is labelled Taranaki’s answer to the world famous Guggenheim in New York. The other big attraction was the Pouakai Crossing, which the guide says is a fresh alternative to the ‘‘overburdened’’ Tongariro Crossing.
Lonely Planet repeats the old joke that claims most travellers who reach Taranaki have taken the wrong turn. But says a new motto - a little bit out there ‘‘offsets the region’s remote location.’’ The region’s natural assets have long been envied, it says.
Taranaki Regional Council chairman David MacLeod, left, South Taranaki mayor Ross Dunlop, Stratford mayor Neil Voltzke and New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom celebrate.