The name “Kaponga” means “tree ferns used for palisades”.  Kaponga, nestled at the base of Mount Taranaki, is the southern gateway to the Egmont National Park and is a quaint little town with a population of approximately 300 people.  Kaponga is located inland from Manaia and Eltham and is on the main road connecting Eltham to Opunake. 

The town was once much larger town than it is today and there are only a few shops now, including a dairy and supermarket, a vet service, bed and breakfast and a rural supply business.  It is also home to a garden of national significance, Hollard Gardens. There are many other businesses working in and around the village, mainly relying on the booming dairy industry.The small town of Kaponga was settled in 1882, and has strong Swiss connections. Some of the first settlers in the area were Swiss, and in 1952, the Taranaki Swiss Club was formed.

Things to see and do while visiting Kaponga

Egmont National Park 

A variety of easy, short walks branch off the main access roads. A number of beautiful waterfalls are in easy reach of Dawson Falls and it is worth walking through the Goblin Forest to Wilkies Pools - a series of plunge pools formed by the scouring action of water borne sand and gravel.

Hollard Gardens

Hidden paths, expansive lawns and swamp gardens are all part of the wonderful showcase of colour and horticultural drama that is Hollard Gardens.  This garden of National Significance features an extensive collection of trees, rhododendrons, shrubs and perennials gathered over the past 77 years.   Free admission.

Rural Swimming Pool

The Community Swimming Pool is open from early December through to mid March and is located on Grace Avenue, Kaponga.

Taranaki Swiss Club

The Taranaki Swiss Social Club Incorporated was formed in 1952 to conserve, promote and advance the cultural standards of citizens of Swiss blood living within New Zealand.  It would also provide opportunities for the meeting together of citizens of Swiss blood in social, cultural or sporting gatherings.  The club would assist persons of Swiss blood to understand the obligations of New Zealand citizenship and to help introduce new settlers of Swiss blood into the New Zealand way of life. The Swiss Club is located on Grace Avenue, Kaponga. 

South Taranaki i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

For great advice, service and friendly tourist information wherever you are in the region, please phone or visit the i-SITE Visitor Information Centre in Hawera.  All South Taranaki libraries also offer visitor and tourist information throughout the working week and display boards are kept up to date with community notices and events. 

Address:  55 High Street (PO Box 5), Hawera

Telephone:  06 278 8599

Fax:  06 278 6599


Open Hours:

Monday-Friday 8.30 am-5.15 pm

Weekends and Public Holidays 9.30-4 pm (December-April), 10 am-3 pm (May-November)