South Taranaki Bight

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Location of South Taranaki Bight

The South Taranaki Bight is a large bay that extends south and east from the south coast of Taranaki in New Zealand's North Island. With more symmetry than poetry or originality, it is matched by the North Taranaki Bight to the north of Cape Egmont.

The size of the bight depends to a large extent on the source referring to it. Strict definitions refer to it stretching from the mouth of the Kaupokonui Stream south of Mount Taranaki to the mouth of the Patea River. More loose descriptions consider the entire lower North Island west coast as far as Waikanae on the Kapiti Coast to be part of the bight.

The bight once used to be a calving ground for large numbers of southern right whales in winter and spring, however their numbers were extensively reduced by whalings and only a handful of cows visit regularly today. This water is the only known feeding ground for blue whales or pygmy blue whales in New Zealand.

Coordinates: 39°40′S 174°10′E / 39.667°S 174.167°E / -39.667; 174.167

Taranaki coast near Patea, 2005