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Lonely Planet puts Taranaki on top for 2017!

Sorry, but are you serious?!

Prestigious travel guide Lonely Planet has just released its annual coveted list of the best places in the world to visit in 2017, and New Zealand once again features! But who’d have thought Taranaki would make #2 of The Ten Top Regions in the World? Not me. Sorry Naki, but I just didn’t see that coming.

Says the Planet, “A new motto – ‘A Little Bit Out There’ – offsets the region’s remote location with a deliciously offbeat new gallery dedicated to effervescent kinetic artist, filmmaker, painter and poet, Len Lye. In nearby Egmont National Park, meanwhile, a magnificent hiking trail is emerging from the shadows to challenge the Tongariro Alpine Crossing as the country’s finest one-day walk.”

Last year Lonely Planet named Waiheke Island as one of the Top 5 regions to visit in the world and over summer the little island, half an hour by ferry from downtown Auckland, saw their biggest tourist numbers ever. This bodes well for our friends on the North Island’s quiet west coast. If that’s what they want…

I have visited New Plymouth, the main city of the Taranaki region, a couple of times in the past 12 months and while I do rate it, I’m still a little stunned. Maybe it beat out Central Otago or Hawkes Bay because it’s up and coming? (I’ll probably never be allowed to set foot there again at this rate!) However I do agree with Lonely Planet’s point that the Len Lye Centre is a gem. It is a collection of kinetic art and sculpture by one of New Zealand’s most renowned artists, who spent of most of his career forging a name for himself in Europe and New York, and who stretched his – and everyone else around him’s – imagination. It’s whimsical and mesmerising and the building alone, robed in stainless steel, is worth a visit.

Len Lye New Plymouth

God’s shiny walls at the Len Lye Centre

Here’s my previous post on how to spend a weekend in New Plymouth with a list of great places to eat, things to do and where to stay.

Congratulations Taranaki and may you enjoy the influx this award will bring you!


Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Regions 2017 are:

1. Choquequirao, Peru
2. Taranaki, New Zealand
3. The Azores, Portugal
4. North Wales, UK
5. South Australia
6. Aysén, Chile
7. The Tuamotus, French Polynesia
8. Coastal Georgia, USA
9. Perak, Malaysia
10. The Skellig Ring, Ireland




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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!