Frosty morning view towards Mt Taranaki from near Eltham, South Taranaki

Mt Taranaki (2518 metres) dominates the Taranaki region with an almost symmetrical volcanic cone that rises dramatically from the surrounding ring plain. Its position near the North Island’s west coast means that Mt Taranaki lies directly in the path of moisture-laden winds that blow in from the Tasman Sea, giving rise to exceptionally high annual rainfall rates on its higher slopes — exceeding ten metres in some years.

Taranaki’s high, regular rainfall and relatively mild climate, generous sunshine hours and fertile volcanic soil, makes the region ideal for intensive dairy farming, supporting a thriving rural economy for which it is well-known throughout New Zealand and overseas. Sheep farming is also common, particularly near the eastern edges of the ring plain and on the rugged inland hill country further east.

This late winter photograph of Mt Taranaki was taken near the small rural town of Eltham, in South Taranaki.

Frosty morning, South Taranaki

Sheep grazing near Mt Ruapehu

Farmland near Tokomaru