Photo by Rob Tucker
Surf Highway 45
Located on the western edge of New Zealand's North Island, the Taranaki region is less visited by travelers than other parts of the country, but the combination of its wonderfully symmetrical volcanic cone and its cavalcade of surf beaches makes it worthy of road-trip exploration. Dubbed Surf Highway 45, the meandering route south from New Plymouth to Hawera features the ever-present profile of Mount Taranaki and the opportunity to check out quiet side roads down to ruggedly spectacular bays pounded by Tasman Sea surf. Fascinating highlights include the skeletal remains of the 1903 shipwreck of the SS Gairloch and the Cape Egmont Lighthouse, first erected in 1865.
By Brett Atkinson, AFAR Local Expert
State Highway 45, Taranaki, New Zealand