Hawera is a small town located on the southern end of Surf Highway 45–so named for its numerous surf beaches. The second-largest town in the Taranaki region, Hawera enjoys a rich, cultural history.
The name Hawera comes from the pre-European name ‘Te Hawera’, after a vengeance attack on a village south of the present day town. The village, totally destroyed by fire, left only blackened ruins, hence the name Te Hawera – ‘the burnt place’ or ‘breath of fire.’ The theme of fire has followed Hawera throughout its history, with a large blaze destroying five businesses in 1888 and a lot of the main street in 1912. more
After this, the decision was made to build a strong water tower that stands over Hawera as a landmark today.
Many of Hawera’s locals work for Fonterra’s Whareroa site which produces enough dairy ingredients to fill more than three Olympic-sized swimming pools each week.
One of Hawera’s Must Dos is Tawhiti Museum and Traders and Whalers. Voted New Zealand’s third best museum by TripAdvisor, the museum features thousands of life-size and miniature figures acting out scenes from New Zealand’s history. A highlight is Traders and Whalers, a boat ride where you float through Taranaki’s history.
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Feel nature's heartbeat right on the slopes of Mount Taranaki. Nestled at 905m above sea level on the south-eastern slopes of Mt Taranaki, within the beautiful Egmont National Park, is Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge. The lodge provides a rare opportunity for its guests to stay in a traditional mountain lodge within the bounds of a National Park.
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