Our popular MY CITY feature is back for June and this month we're discovering the smaller, quieter cities that grace New Zealand. We were lucky enough to speak to Abbey from the mouth-watering blog, Feasting & Frank to learn about the quirks and perks of her special hometown, New Plymouth.
My name is Abbey and I am a homemaker, decorator, amateur gardener and bargain hunter. I have recently returned to New Plymouth where I was born and raised, opting for a quieter life where the natural surroundings are phenomenally beautiful and the living is easy. Here are a few of my favourite places that make this tiny city so special.
Boasting some of the most spectacular swimming and surfing spots in the country, New Plymouth is virtually surrounded by beaches. I could string together a thousand adjectives describing its incredible beauty and still not do it justice.
The Ozone team are coffee pioneers in these parts and you can go and visit them for everything coffee related. The roastery out back is busy producing some of the best coffee, including a range of expertly picked single origin blends. While out the front at the Beanstore you find a knowledgeable team, tasteful semi industrial space, simple food and consistently great coffee.
New Plymouth has a plethora of amazing second-hand and antique stores, where you can find almost any treasure imaginable but it requires constant persistence, chance and enthusiasm for trawling through junk with an eye for potential jewels. For the one stop shop that has everything go to Chads.
Every Sunday local producers of mostly organic goods get together and set up shop at the Farmers Market right in the centre of town. You can get all of your local organic produce, meat and bakery goods all in one place. Everyone knows all the stall holders by name and it fosters a good community vibe.
Until 1876 Pukekura Park was a swamp but it has now become one of New Zealand most acclaimed botanical wonderlands. It plays host to a variety of events including WOMAD and The Festival of Lights which spans over most of the summer. It is a majestic place, laced with walking tracks, lakes, event venues, waterfalls, a tea house, a zoo, playgrounds, gardens and my favourite of all, The Fernery. This spot displays orchards, ferns and beautiful indoor flowers such as begonias and fuchsias all year round.
The mountain looms over day to day life and is the centre and reference point to our small region. Mount Taranaki is truly magical and a symbol of both beauty and danger. He can be admired from afar or explored on one of the many walking tracks that include hut accommodation and even a tiny ski field.
Committed to facilitating opportunities for both artists and the community, this world renown gallery works relentlessly to keep art alive in New Plymouth through its many events, exhibitions and workshops.
Last but not least, my favourite place is my house. I feel so blessed to call this place mine. One of the best aspects of New Plymouth is the affordability of living and the ability to get ahead. The house market is very open to first homebuyers, where getting your foot on the property ladder doesn't come with a financially crippling price tag.
We can't wait to plan a getaway to New Plymouth! x