Lead ffx-travel art food taranaki
This was originally posted on Neatplaces.co.nz and has been republished with permission.
In recent years, Taranaki has earned a reputation as one of Aotearoa’s most creative hubs. Home to street art, internationally renowned galleries, studios and community galleries, here are some of the best art experiences (along with a side of food and drink) the area has to offer.
The Jewel and the Jeweler + Billow Bakery
New Plymouth’s best sourdough bakery, Billow Bakery, has run out of an old shipping container. Pop in for a cup of coffee and a freshly baked morning roll before passing by The Jewel and The Jeweller. In what doubles as a jewelry gallery and studio (also in an old shipping container), you’ll find the work of some of Aotearoa’s finest jewelers.
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The Nice Hotel + Table @ Nice
The walls of Hotel Nice, run by local patron Terry Parkes, are adorned with Terry’s extensive art collection that has built up over many years. After admiring Terry’s collection, head to the large balcony at the back of the hotel restaurant, Table @ Nice, for a glass of wine and a platter at one of the best hidden spots in town.
To see: nicehotel.co.nz
The Len Lye Center at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery + Monica’s Eatery
The Len Lye Center is hard to miss with its distinctive stainless steel facade. Equally impressive is the collection of kinetic sculpture works by the famous Len Lye that you will find inside. Once you’ve learned about the impressive engineering and creative processes involved in creating Lye’s works, head down the hall to Monica’s Eatery for a plate of some of the best eggs in town.
Len Lye Cinema + Itch Wine Bar
The Len Lye Center (at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery) is home to New Plymouth’s only arthouse cinema, a lovely space with plush red armchairs that regularly screens international and New Zealand films. Expect up-to-date cinematic content, as well as regular screenings of cult classics and classics. After your movie is over, head across the road to the Itch Wine Bar in the West End Precinct for a glass of wine and a plate of charcuterie.
Puke Ariki + Restaurant Arborio
The New Plymouth Museum and Library, Puke Ariki, is the place to visit to learn more about the history and rich cultural scene of the city and region. After you’ve visited the impressive taonga or one of the regular exhibitions of work by New Plymouth and Taranaki artists, head to Arborio Restaurant for a burger, beer and spectacular ocean views .
Kina NZ Design and Art Space + Bleach Coffee and Company
Pop into Bleached Coffee and Company for a cup of coffee and a breakfast burger from the famous local Gamma Ray before heading to Kina NZ Design and Art Space. Here you will find the work and wares of artists from all over Aotearoa. Expect jewelry, ceramics, designer goods, and ever-changing exhibits of works by local artists.
To see: kina.co.nz
Fenton Street Arts Collective and Café
In a lovingly restored historic building in the lanes of Stratford is the Fenton Street Arts Collective, a space for local artists to show their work. But it’s not an old community art gallery. While you’re there, grab a coffee (the beans are roasted on-site), something to eat at the cafe, and sample some gin made at the on-site distillery.
To see: fentonartscollective.co.nz
Tawhiti Museum + Someday Café
Nigel Ogle’s Tawhiti Museum is perhaps one of the best private museums in the country. Its impressive life-size exhibits and scale models, all made on site, tell immersive stories about Aotearoa’s history. After exploring the exhibits, head to nearby Someday Café in Hāwera for a coffee and pastry made by local guy Andrew Blanche, of Baked by Blanche.
Milky + Escape Coffee Company
Along the streets of New Plymouth’s CBD, you’ll find buildings housing works by local artist Damin Radford Scott, known as Milarky. Find Milarky’s work featuring a giant astronaut on the facade of Escape Coffee Roasters (a great spot for a caffeine hit), then head to his recently opened Resident Gallery, an artist-run space where hours are (self-confessed) “not the most reliable, and often nocturnal”. Here, the work on the walls often changes.
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