New Plymouth is just a few hours drive north of Wellington between the ocean and Mount Taranaki. For hikes and driving along the ocean it is a nice place to be. There are several New Plymouth hostels providing places to stay.
You can get a map from the information center with a few places of interests to drive to, including some surf spots and a local brewery. The best part of the city is the boardwalk along the beach which is great for fishing or a long walk on a sunny day with the ocean spraying in your face. There are two movie theaters in the city, one with mainstream movies and the other with artsy and foreign films. The city is fairly large and has a variety of shops, cafes and restaurants. The overall impression of the city is a bit rough and grungy, and it didn't seem like the safest place to walk around at night compared to the rest of New Zealand.
There are a variety of hostels in the city located outside the city as well as in the city center at a fairly decent quality but not as modern as the new hostels in bigger New Zealand cities. There are hostels located near the information center and bus stop which is also conveniently located near the beach boardwalk, however keep in mind that staying in the city may be a bit noisy at night from bars on the street.
The information center in New Plymouth is very friendly and helpful when looking for accommodation, they will even call hostels for you until they find you a bed. A decent city and fine for an overnight visit if you have nothing else to do, but don't sacrifice an extra day in Wellington or Taupo for Taranaki.
Hi, I'm Amanda Haehl,
the Hostelz.com local expert for New Plymouth hostels. Welcome.