Stepping out in New Plymouth

Hang gliding at Back Beach
Handgliding at Back Beach

With the holidays approaching fast have you thought about venturing out and about in New Plymouth?

BackBeach is beautiful to wander along especially when the tide is out.  The surfers are out in force when the wind is right; also the hang gliders, and more commonly, para gliders float around on the thermal air coming off the high cliffs.

Paritutu Rock is also an unusual place to clamber about.  It is a portion of the outer rim of an extinct volcano.  The steep track up is graded hard.  Make sure to allow heaps of time for the rest at the top as there are amazing views in all directions -most certainly not for the faint hearted.

Another lovely beach with a great playground is NgamotuBeach.  There are public toilets and barbecue facilities available.  You will also find the beam pump, which marks the site of Moturoa No. 4 oilwell, drilled to a depth of 666 metres in 1931 and closed in 1972.  The beam pump was erected by Shell BP and Todd Oil Services as a memorial to the pioneers of oil exploration in New Zealand.

Kawaroa Park is well known for its rock pools.  Make sure to have sturdy footwear.  Young and old have fun exploring the rockpools, seeing creatures up close and then putting them back into their homes.

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Puke Ariki Mobile Library Bus visiting schools

The winners for New Zealand Post Children’s Book awards

Book of The Year, Best Young Adult Fiction – Ted Dawes, Into the River (self-published)

Best Non-Fiction – Simon Morton and Riria Hotere, 100 Amazing Tales from Aotearoa (Te Papa Press).

Best Junior Fiction – David Hill, My Brother’s War (Penguin Group NZ).

Best Picture Book – Margaret Mahy and Gavin Bishop, Mister Whistler (Gecko press).

Best First Book – Hugh Brown, Reach (HarperCollins).

Children’s Choice – Kyle Mewburn, Ali Teo and John O’Reilly, Melu (Scholastic NZ).

Book award winner a favourite on bus

Book Festival 1 (smaller)

Puke Ariki’s mobile library toured Taranaki last week promoting the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

On board the bus was a selection of titles featuring this year’s finalists which were read to children at schools around the district.

A stuffed kiwi from Puke Ariki Museum had also hitched a ride.

Margaret Mahy and Gavin Bishop’s picture book finalist Mister Whistler was also popular.

Braedan Quilter-Phipps, 10, said the book was his favourite.

Josh Goble agreed: “Mister Whistler is a funny story,” the 9-year-old said.

They proved excellent judges, because it was last night named best picture book at the awards.

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