That evening in New Plymouth the plan was to visit Pukekura Park to see the lights. This wooden bridge was crowded with people enjoying the lights, but it was also a special place from my childhood: I have a photo with me standing on here when I was quite young, and I am certain most other Taranaki children have one the same.
Next day in the car I explored some of the back roads in Taranaki, on the coast side. To start with the mountain was draped in cloud, but by the time I was getting near Auroa, you could see most of it poking out, with Fantham's Peak prominent from this side.
Next day it was time to head home. First stop was at Lake Rotokare, where a local group has fenced off a reserve with expensive predator fencing so kiwi can make a come-back here. There was a system of double gates for cars to come in.
Once out of the reserve I set my GPS to give me a route to Tawhiti museum so I could see the Traders and Whalers exhibit. The GPS didn't disappoint and gave me a lovey route that had some of the grandest views of the mountain in the province.
And finally I reached home again, and next day there was time for a walk in Bledisloe Park, where I discovered some of the 'secret' parts of the aboretum that I had never found before. I'll be back!