Embrace the change of pace offered by this settlement at the mouth of the Tongaporutu River, famous for rock formations, secluded beaches and peaceful atmosphere.
Visit Tongaporutu to fish, kayak, bushwalk and enjoy the serenity of this remote region of Taranaki. The small settlement is near dense forested areas, attractive pastures and seemingly endless beaches. Stop and admire its two celebrated rock formations or drive to nearby Taranaki cities and towns for shopping, dining and nightlife.
Three Sisters and Elephant Rock are famous rock formations in Tongaporutu. See the two remaining formations of the Three Sisters. Walk along the beach at low tide to get close to the formations or capture photos from higher ground as the waves crash into the rocks. One of the three sisters has succumb to millennia of erosion.
Three Sisters and Elephant Rock are also near fascinating Māori petroglyphs (rock carvings), located inside a cave just south of the Tongaporutu River mouth. Pick up information from the visitor centre in New Plymouth to learn more about the significance of the carvings, including one of a foot with six toes.
Spend time boating on Tongaporutu River or venture to many wonderful natural areas in Taranaki. Mount Messenger is a spectacular mountain just 10 kilometres (6 miles) from the centre of Tongaporutu. The forested mountain features a steep tramping track to the summit, recommended for experienced hikers.
The Mount Messenger to Kiwi Road Track is another great long-distance walking trail with exceptional views of the surrounding forested areas. The advanced hiking track runs through dense shrub forests with patches of beech trees. Check the New Zealand Department of Conversation official website for detailed maps, seasonal restrictions and hiking advice.
Tongaporutu is perfect for visitors looking for a more secluded and peaceful coastal atmosphere. Drive from Auckland to the settlement in less than 4 hours or from New Plymouth in approximately 1 hour. Stay in small guesthouses and holiday homes in Tongaporutu or the surrounding settlements of Awakino and Mokau.