Visit Stratford, Taranaki, NZ

Stratford is set in rolling pastures in the ring-plain of foothills surrounding Mount Taranaki. Well-known for its scenic beauty, Stratford is a convenient base for exploring Egmont National Park.

The Patea River, with its headwaters on Mt Taranaki, flows past the Stratford. Its similarity to England’s river Avon led to the town originally being named Stratford-upon-Patea. As a result of this connection, many of Stratford’s streets are named after characters from Shakespeare’s plays.

Skiing near Stratford

Stratford is conveniently located near the Manganui Ski Area. Many trails suitable for mountain bike, 4WD and ATV vehicles are nearby, and guided tours are available.

Accommodation in Stratford (NZ)

Stratford has a good range of accommodation, with many lodges, motels and bed & breakfast establishments.

Holiday park and backpacker accommodation are available for those travelling on a budget, or in a motor home.

Self-contained chalets and units are available in Stratford and its surrounds, along with farm-stay options that may include on-site activities such as equestrian and hunting pursuits.

Transport around Stratford

Since Stratford is no longer served by rail, it can only be reached by road: either State Highway 3 between Whanganui and New Plymouth, or State Highway 43, running north to Te Kuiti and the King Country. It is 35 minutes’ drive from New Plymouth and about 1 hour 40 minutes from Whanganui.

Bus, taxi and shuttle services provide transport between Stratford and nearby locations. Mountain bike hire is also available.

Tourist Activities around Stratford

Popular walks around Stratford include tracks along the Patea and Waingongoro Rivers, as well as hill walks. Some tracks are suitable for mountain bikes. Guided tours are available.

Stratford’s Colonial Village themed-attraction is a popular place to visit. Another notable attraction is Stratford’s Glockenspiel tower clock, which plays a scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet four times daily.

Four-wheel drive and ATV (quad bike) tours through hills and rivers, some using amphibious vehicles. Visitors can rent 4WD vehicles for an independent experience.

Stratford is only a 15-minute drive and 20 minute walk from the Manganui Ski Area, open from late July to November, in a typical year.

Many people travel into Egmont National Park to experience walks in dense and ancient temperate rainforest, which transitions with altitude to sub-alpine forest, both of which reveal a profusion of rare native plant and birdlife.

The snow-capped peak of Taranaki looms above the tree-line. Only experienced mountaineers should attempt to reach the summit. Adequate preparation, in terms of equipment, maps and a weather report is essential, even for day walks that do not reach the summit.

Golfing is very popular in the Taranaki region. Stratford’s 18-hole course is highly recommended.

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