Spoiled Rotten in New Plymouth
You have to mean to go to New Plymouth. When you look at it on the map, you realize it’s not exactly on the beaten path. You don’t drive through it on your way to anywhere, really, since it sits all jutted out into the Tasman Sea on the west coast of the North Island.
But we had 2 reasons to visit New Plymouth. The first was gorgeous Mt. Taranaki in Egmont National Park. The second was a crazy connection with the people with whom we would end up staying.
Julie came to visit the States in 1997. Being an avid Elvis fan, she wanted to tour Graceland, Sun Studios, etc. Also being an avid Mustang fan (the car, not the horse, though I’m sure she likes horses as well), she contacted the Mustangs of Memphis car club to see if there might be a car show during her trip.
There wasn’t a car show, but my uncle, being President of the club at the time, organized a dinner downtown in honor of Julie. I was about 12 at the time and still remember the dinner and meeting Julie, but I had completely forgotten about it all until recently. When my Aunt Terri heard we were planning to travel to New Zealand, she connected me with Julie on Facebook. Then, once we arrived in the country and planned our time in New Plymouth, she and her husband were so gracious to host us for what turned into 3 nights!
They spoiled us rotten while we were there, cooking delicious meals for us, showing us the beautiful sights around the city, and treating us to an amazing dinner at the restaurant Salt.
We were so glad to have such nice weather for our hike on the mountain and to walk on the rocky, black sand beaches.
Julie also took us on the coastal walkway where a new bridge had just been built.
Because we hadn’t been able to line up a host in Wellington, Julie suggested we stay another night at their place, which we happily did. We didn’t want to overstay our welcome, but we definitely loved our time with them in New Plymouth!
Check out more pictures of our experience on Facebook!