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5 Fun Things to Do in Manaia

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What to do in Manaia, Taranaki.

If there was ever an award for the best smelling town in New Zealand, it would have to go to Manaia! This small town in Taranaki is nicknamed the “Bread Capital” and has the freshly baked bread smell to match thanks to the huge Yarrows bakery that supplies wholesale and foodservice customers in New Zealand, Australia and Asia. While the bread is a good reason to visit Manaia, there’s also the proximity to the wonderful Hollard Gardens and Egmont National Park, as well as a quirky museum. Find out more in this list of things to do in Manaia!

While you’re here, you might also be interested in 10 Taranaki Must-Dos and 18 Places to Stop at on Taranaki’s Surf Highway 45.

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1. Pick up some baked goods in the Bread Capital

The Yarrows Bakery, which is one of the main industries of the town, has a factory store at Yarrows (The Bakers). Pick up some incredibly cheap bread, half-baked cookies, croissants, muffins and much more! It’s a great place to stock up on treats for the road.

Location: 38 South Road
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2. Do the Manaia Domain Walkway

Stretch your legs and walk through rhododendron gardens, an 18-hole golf course and historical sites in the Manaia Domain. The Manaia Domain Walkway passes through an old pa site (Maori fortified village), which was later built over by Europeans housing an Armed Constabulary. Today, you can still see the blockhouses and the original trenches.

Location: Bennett Drive
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3. Take a trip to Hollard Gardens

Another spectacular place to spend more time outside, just outside of Manaia, is at the Hollard Gardens. This intriguing garden, which is the life’s work of a couple of dairy farmers who transformed this 4-hectare land, is brimming with flower gardens, vegetable gardens, trees, swamps and open grassy areas with a free barbecue and picnic area.

Location: 1686 Upper Manaia Road, 18km from Manaia
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4. Hike in the Egmont National Park

Manaia is one of the gateways to the Egmont National Park, a park rich in native rainforest surrounding the volcanic cone of Mt Taranaki. Follow the Upper Manaia Road to Dawson Falls, a 16.5m high waterfall tumbling into the crystal clear waters below. Further up the road is the Dawson Falls Visitor Centre and other walks, such as Wilkies Pools. Find out more in our 6 Hikes You Have to Do in Egmont National Park!

Location: Upper Manaia Road, 28km from Manaia
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5. Visit the Taranaki Country Music Hall of Fame

Music enthusiasts, don’t miss the Taranaki Country Music Hall of Fame. This museum holds all kinds of memorabilia from country music singers. You can also catch a live gig here on Thursday nights. Find out more about this museum and others in the area in our 10 Best Galleries & Museums in Taranaki. The museum is open Monday to Wednesday and Saturdays.

Location: 11 Main Road
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