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The Taranaki Region is the westernmost area of the North Island. Mount Taranaki (also called Mount Egmont) is the defining feature in the region, piercing the landscapes skyline from all directions. The population of the Taranaki Region is 105,000 - a small fraction of New Zealand's total population of over 4,000,000 people. The climate is generally temperate and wet. Temperatures range from 12°C to 22°C in summer and 5°C to 15°C in winter.

The deep-water port city of New Plymouth is the largest municipality in the Taranaki Region, comprising over half the region's population. Major industries are: dairy, agribusiness, engineering, and marine and forest industries. It also has a burgeoning onshore-offshore fossil fuel production and exploration enterprise which has invigorated the economy of the region. The chief recreational attraction of the region is Egmont National Park, which offers climbing, skiing and tramping. In New Plymouth, the beautiful gardens, parks, and reserves make it an attractive urban centre and a major draw to visitors from New Zealand and overseas.