Graced by historic buildings and beautiful gardens, Taranaki's largest city is an ideal base from which to explore the region's many natural attractions, including the rugged Egmont National Park just 32km away. A centre for the agricultural and energy industries that provide much of the area's wealth, New Plymouth enjoys a dramatic coastline and fine surf beaches, which stretch down the west coast. The city is home to some of New Zealand's finest parks and gardens, with Pukekura and Pukeiti among the most beautiful. The Rhododendron Festival, held in October/November, draws visitors from around the country, while the annual Festival of Lights creates a spectacle in Pukekura Park from late December to early February. New Plymouth also hosts the biennial Taranaki Festival of Arts during February and March.