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 Ōpunakē.
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.