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New Plymouth is the commercial centre for the Taranaki district. Port Taranaki beside the city is the only deep water international port on the west coast of the North Island.

At Motonui, a short distance from the city, a petrochemical industry was developed in the 1980s after major reserves of gas and oil were discovered off the coast.


New Plymouth - Credit - Peter Hunt

The city has a number of parks and gardens, Pukekura Park and the Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust being the most well-known. Next to Pukekura Park is Brooklands Park which has a huge natural amphitheatre used for sport and cultural performances. Paritutu and the Sugar Loaf Islands are clear landmarks viewed from the city. The Coastal Walkway is popular with residents and visitors and there is a wide variety of cafes and restaurants to relax in after walking or shopping or visiting the excellent museum/library (Puke Ariki), and the fine Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.


Puke Ariki Museum Library

New Plymouth is also the home of WOMAD - World of Music, Arts and Dance - a biennial event featuring more than 250 performers presenting the music and cultures of fifteen countries.

The district's film industry is successful because of the hard work of Film Venture Taranaki and the New Plymouth District Council, supporting industries, and the district's landscapes. The blockbuster movie "The Last Samurai" was filmed in New Plymouth, and its star Tom Cruise said: "It's absolutely stunning, breathtaking. How could anyone not want to be here?"

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