When heading north from New Plymouth to Hamilton or beyond, the traveler by-passes Waitara. Waitara is a recommended diversion. Waitara is a struggling town that clearly has a both a sense of humour and pride.

In 1867 the settlement was named Raleigh, after Sir Walter Raleigh. It reverted to its former name with the establishment of the borough of Waitara in 1904.

The town was also the site of the outbreak of the Taranaki Wars in 1860 following the attempted purchase of land for English settlers from its Māori owners. Disputes and resentment over land that was subsequently confiscated by the Government continue to this day.

Two large petrochemical plants are now the most important industrial activity in Waitara. The Waitara Valley plant is dedicated to production of methanol from natural gas (about 1500 tonnes per day). The Motunui plant, originally designed to produce synthetic petrol from methanol was modified to produce chemical grade methanol for export.

The Waitara War Memorial, located in the southern end of town has great profile and care.

A modern and Anglican Church is represented.

The Waitatra Museum has taken the subject of history to a new level.

The Waitara Hotel has good profile in the main street.

The depth of Maori history determines a must visit to this ‘please don’t by-pass’ town.


Fireplace   Dump Station
General Store Bottled Gas
Internet   Caravan
Camping   4WD
Kitchen Facilities Disabled access
Laundry Toilets
Campervans Accommodation
Meals Airport
Pets Allowed Boat Ramp
Telephone Picnic Area
Roadside Rest Area Electricity
Scenic Swimming
Tap water   Thermal Area
Stream Water Walking tracks
Rotary Club Lions Club
Gymnasium   Gardens
Winery Whitewater Rafting
Surfing   Skydiving
Skiing Scenic Flights
Postal Service Police
Movie Location   Mountain Biking
Kayaking Jet Boating
Information Hospital
Hang Gliding Golf Course