Take the Royal Taranaki Tour

Create your own royal reason to visit Taranaki by following in the footsteps of recent guests the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. Photos via Governor-General of New Zealand.

Start by waving to the welcoming crowds at New Plymouth Airport before jumping into your waiting car – depending on your palace’s budget there are numerous car rental outlets at the airport, a taxi stand outside or go all out with a chauffeur-driven limo from Withers Coachlines.

Departing the airport, it’s straight to New Plymouth’s inner-city Pukekura Park for your own Tea with Taranaki event. While the marquee may be down, the Teahouse by the Lake in the heart of the park does a fitting High Tea, all with a stunning backdrop.

While you’re at the Park, take a stroll to the Fernery to glimpse the collection of more than 50,000 plants across three increasingly colourful display houses. Sadly the Duchess was forced to miss this aspect of her itinerary, but make sure you don’t.

From there’s it’s down to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre, pausing to check your hat in the Centre’s gleaming façade before experiencing the remarkable kinetic artworks of Len Lye and leading contemporary art from the Govett-Brewster collection.

Should you need to pause for a cup of tea and refreshments, the Empire Tea Rooms are a short stroll away, or if you want to meet with adoring fans head to the newly-opened and aptly-titled Public Catering Company.

Then it’s time to go coastal, heading through Fitzroy and onwards to the gorgeous Te Rewa Rewa Bridge which, one could argue, resembles alternately a crown, a breaking wave, a whalebone and/or a feather. Either way it bridges the Waiwhakaiho River to the historic Rewa Rewa Pa site, and is one of the focal points of New Plymouth’s rather regal Coastal Walkway

At this point the Royal itinerary calls for a visit to a dairy farm, but we’d suggest you take in either the Stoney Oaks Wildlife Park or brush up on Taranaki’s rich dairying heritage and source of much local pride and calcium at the waterfront Puke Ariki museum.

And of course you’ll need to pick up some gift for the folks at home. Again you can follow in the Prince’s footsteps and take home a truly iconic Taranaki toy – a cast metal Fun Ho! vehicle, made onsite at Inglewood’s Fun Ho! National Toy Museum

After such an energetic tour of Taranaki, you may feel unsurprisingly weary. Where better to rest your head than the suitably titled King and Queen Hotel Suites