"Tucked away on the central west coast of New Zealand's North Island, the Taranaki region is both overlooked and under-appreciated. But for more intrepid travellers, the area dubbed 'the 'Naki' is definitely worth a detour.

It's a region of rolling dairy farms, easygoing residents and sleepy side roads, but look further and you'll find black-sand beaches whipped by Tasman Sea surf, and a provincial capital with a surprising world-class arts scene. Looming over the whole landscape is Mt Taranaki – one of New Zealand's most photogenic mountains."

Art meets nature in New Plymouth

Art and nature complement each other in Taranaki's capital, New Plymouth. The spectacular Wind Wand – a towering kinetic sculpture designed by New Zealand artist Len Lye – arcs and sways in staunch breezes surging in from the Tasman Sea, while the mirror-clad folds of the recently opened Len Lye Centre shimmer with southern hemisphere sunshine and shape-shifting clouds. Nearby, 19th-century heritage buildings offer an intriguing contrast.

One of the 2oth century's most interesting artists, Lye opined that 'Great art goes 50-50 with great architecture', and the ratio at the centre gets the balance exactly right. Towering ceilings create a sense of space and drama, while ramps lead visitors through galleries of Lye's challenging kinetic structures and boldly energetic films. Sculptures whir and buzz and Lye's colour-drenched or starkly monochrome short films shimmy and shake. Welcome to one of the most noisy and exciting galleries on the planet."

Congratulations to all of our Host Taranaki properties - it sounds like the secret is out!

Be sure to stay at some of our wonderful Taranaki properties