BUG New Zealand travel guidebook
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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook


BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > Taranaki > Hawera


This small town serves the surrounding dairy farms and is the gateway to the southern Taranaki region.

The town’s name is Maori for ‘the burnt place’ and it has suffered the wrath of four major fires. After a particularly devastating fire in 1912, insurance companies demanded that a water tower be erected as a fire-fighting reservoir. The tower was completed in 1914 and remains the town’s major landmark.

Practical information

Hawera i-SITE Visitor Centre

55 High Street, Hawera
Tel (06) 278 8599 or 0800 111 323
Open Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-3pm

Coming & going

InterCity Coachlines (tel (09) 623 1503) go to Auckland and Wellington; Dalroy Tours (tel (06) 759 0197) have express coach services to New Plymouth, Hamilton, Auckland and Paihia and White Star Bus (tel (06) 759 0197) go to New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Wanganui and Wellington. Buses depart from the i-SITE Visitor Centre (55 High Street, Hawera).

Hostel accommodation

Wheatly Downs Farmstay Backpackers

484 Ararata Road, 8km north of Hawera
Tel (06) 278 6523

No booking fee when you book this hostel online at bug.co.uk

Sightseeing, museums & tourist attractions

Tawhiti Museum

Many people regard Tawhiti Museum as New Zealand’s best small privately run museum. It uses brilliant dioramas to cover the history of South Taranaki.

401 Ohangi Road, Hawera
Tel (06) 278 6837
Website www.tawhitimuseum.co.nz
Admission $10
Open Jan 10am-4pm daily; Feb-May Fri-Mon 10am-4pm; Jun-Aug Sun 10am-4pm; Sep-Dec Fri-Mon 10am-4pm


Dam dropping

One of the craziest things you can do in New Zealand is to sledge the world’s first commercially sledged hydro dam. Dam Dropping involves sledging over an 8m waterfall and then spending around three hours sledging on the Waingongoro River. One of the attractions of white water sledging, or hydrospeed, (compared with white water rafting) is that you are in control of a buoyant and highly manoeuvrable water sledge rather than being guided on a raft.

Kaitiaki Adventures, 436 Stent Road, Okato
Tel (06) 752 8242
Website www.damdrop.com
Dam drop $100

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