Kaponga was once a much larger town than it is today: with many stores. There are only a few shops now, including the Kaponga Dairy, the 4 Square (supermarket), a bed-and-breakfast (Constable Cottage), veterinary services (Coastal Veterinary Services Ltd), RD 1 (a rural supply business) and the Kaponga Hotel (bar). 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 dairy industry. The Kaponga and surrounding community has a South Taranaki District Council LibraryPlus, which provides a full library service and Council related services. These services include being able to register your dog, pay your rates or inquire about obtaining a building permit. The LibraryPlus also has two APN computers, offering free internet and Skype to the public
Kaponga is a small town in the southern part of Taranaki it is known as "The Gateway to Dawson's Falls" on Mount Taranaki/Egmont.
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.
Kaponga is located inland from Manaia and Eltham, and is on the main road connecting Eltham to Opunake. Opunake is 26 kilometers to the west and Eltham is 13 km to the east. Aurora lies to the south-east. Manaia is 15 kilometers south of Kaponga.
Population: Kaponga / Mangatoki area 1305 in 2018 census, 303 in 2013 and 372 in the 2006 Census.
Average temperature 12°C
Average rainfall 1800mm
Kaponga School is a coeducational full primary school, covering years 1-8 with a decile rating of 6 and a roll of 135. The school was founded in 1891. In 2005, Kapuni and Mahoe schools closed and merged into Kaponga School.
St Patrick's School
St Patrick's School Catholic school is a state integrated coeducational full primary school, covering years 1-8 with a decile rating of 5 and a roll of 41. St Patrick's started in 1921 with lessons held in the local church. It moved into its own building in February 1922.
Hollard Gardens is a 4.5 hectare property located in central Taranaki, close to Egmont National Park. First established in 1927 by plantsman Bernie Hollard, the gardens boast a collection of national importance including many rhododendrons and rare and unusual plants
Only 30 minutes drive from Stratford, the picturesque Dawson Falls road end/Te Rere o Kapuni (902 m altitude) is home to the 18 m high waterfall, Dawson Falls or Te Rere o Noke. A small visitor centre (check opening hours) has information and displays. Konini Lodge offers booked backpacker-style accommodation for individuals and groups. Also at this road end is the privately operated Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge