In this Taranaki location guide, we highlight the unique benefits of the area and its facilities, outlining the opportunities available to our doctors. This location is part of a wider series that showcases what it is like to work in a specific region in either Australia or New Zealand.
Taranaki, New Zealand
Located halfway between Auckland and Wellington on New Zealand’s west coast, the Taranaki region is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, providing a huge range of outdoor activities including river rafting, surfing, skiing, forest walks and multi-day hikes.
The centrepiece of the region is the majestic Mount Taranaki (also known as Mount Egmont), a perfectly dome-shaped volcano that is reminiscent of Mount Vesuvius in Italy, only twice as high (2,518m to be exact). Surrounded by the forests of Egmont National Park and capped with snow, Mount Taranaki is a great place to explore at any time of year. The Dawson Falls Visitor Centre is a popular spot to visit for locals and tourists alike, where you can take a short walk through native bush to the 18-metre high Dawson Falls.
Lined with a winding coastal walkway, the city of New Plymouth charms its visitors with a multitude of historic sites, lakes, parks and gardens. A key feature of New Plymouth is the 52-hectare Pukekura Park, which was established in 1852 and now hosts flowering gardens, towering trees, and lakes covered with waterlilies and rowboats – as well as the famous Festival of Lights which is held in Summer each year.
Other must-sees include the 45m tall Wind Wand by artist Len Lye, Puke Ariki (the free regional museum) and the unique Te Rewa Rewa bridge. New Plymouth is also the destination for the internationally acclaimed WOMAD festival. The Bowl of Brooklands attracts many international stars such as Elton John, UB40, Jack Johnson, Santana, Fleetwood Mac and Sting.
Surf Highway 45 draws surfers from across the country to experience the many popular spots, some of the most notable of which are the Oakura, Fitzroy, Stent Road Kumara Patch and Ohawe beaches. When you’re looking for something less energetic, explore the city’s diverse art trails, festivals and galleries, along with great local shopping and a thriving dining scene.
Just a short drive away from New Plymouth you will encounter the quaint town of Stratford, which is the gateway to the iconic Forgotten World Highway and the closest town to Egmont National Park. Named after Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford is home to New Zealand’s only Glockenspiel featuring a sequence from the classic play Romeo and Juliet. Meanwhile, Hawera is the second-biggest centre in the Taranaki region, where you will find the southern hemisphere’s largest single-site dairy factory and the 54-metre Hawera Water Tower – one of Taranaki’s best-known landmarks.
The Taranaki District Health Board encompasses two hospitals, Taranaki Base Hospital and Hāwera Hospital), and covers a regional population of close to 119,000. The key services provided across these two facilities include Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Anaesthesia, General Surgery, Paediatrics, Orthopaedics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Psychiatry, Dental, Urology, and Older Peoples Health and Rehabilitation.
Taranaki Base Hospital offers modern inpatient and theatre facilities, having completed an $80 million redevelopment in 2013 and the installation of a state-of-the-art Angiography suite in 2016, with a $300 million redevelopment to other areas of the campus also underway. A 45-minute drive south of New Plymouth, Hāwera Hospital offers a comprehensive health service and is also home to Taranaki’s Rural Hospital Medicine Training Programme.
Employing over 1,800 people in total, Taranaki DHB is big enough to offer a variety of specialisations, professional pathways, training and education opportunities and a teaching secondary hospital, but small enough to allow doctors to have a real impact on their patients and careers. As a result, it’s a great place for medical professionals to work, providing access to extensive professional development, up-to-date facilities using the latest IT systems, and opportunities to participate in local projects and regional collaboration teams.
There are also excellent staff benefits and facilities available, including a well-equipped recreation centre, an Employee Assistance Programme, staff discounts, a Workplace Wellness Committee, a quality staff hostel and access to online discussion forums and classifieds on the staff intranet.
For diverse outdoor activities, stunning scenery and hospitals that provide the best of both worlds, the Taranaki region is the place to be.
To learn more about the region and any potential locum and permanent opportunities, please contact the team today.