Mt Taranaki

A peak apart

Standing near the summit of Mt Taranaki and spanning the full circle of the horizon you are struck by the isolation of this magnificent cone. The view is unsurpassed and unbroken as far as weather will allow. From the Southern Alps of New Zealand’s South Island to the inland volcanic plateau and the blue arc of the western Ocean, the panorama is uplifting and entirely unforgettable.

Egmont National Park is rich in history and Mt Taranaki is one of Earth’s most perfectly formed mountains. The dormant volcano spewed from the earth 120,000 years ago and has slumbered since its last eruption in 1775. Rising 2518 metres above the Tasman Sea the mountain has no equal in the vicinity and dominates the landscape.

No wonder local Maori treat Taranaki’s topmost sarsen as the sacred head of a great Rangatira, chieftain. Locals of all extractions vigorously defend their mountain and jealously protect the relatively undeveloped environs of Egmont National Park.

Mt Taranaki Guided Tours are proud to hold a Department of Conservation Concession to offer a guided summit climb along with other guided climbs, treks and adventure activities in the park. We support DOC in upholding the concept of 'Leave only footprints'.

A mountain’s magnetism

Apart from a bulging subsidiary vent christened Fantham's Peak - the mountain is strikingly symmetrical. Due to its accessibility and magnetism Taranaki is one of New Zealand's most climbed mountains, rewarding mountaineers and non-climbers alike.

Its proximity to the Ocean allows active visitors to snow climb or ski in the morning and surf in the afternoon. And it’s not only botanical enthusiasts who enjoy the upward progression of plant species from sea to summit. A wide-ranging system of hiking trails draws visitors from all over the world to wander through Taranaki’s bush skirt.

Impressive rata and rimu are looked down on by other native species of trees like kamahi, totara and kaikawaka on slopes above. The mountain's intermediate inclines feature the mysterious 'Goblin Forests', gnarled trees cloaked in thick swathes of trailing moss, very Tolkienish. Summit-bound walkers hike through sub-alpine scrub and alpine herb gardens spread across slopes rising toward scree and ancient lava columns.

Accommodation within the park

Egmont National Park boasts eight Department of Conservation huts linked by an outstanding network of tracks. These huts are available on a first-in first-served basis. DOC also runs Konini Lodge at Dawson Falls and the historic North Egmont Camphouse. Two private lodges, Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge and Mountain House Motor Lodge, also provide accommodation.

Entering the park

As with all National Parks in New Zealand access is free. Three sealed roads climb onto the lower slopes of Mt Taranaki leading to North Egmont, East Egmont and Dawson Falls. The Egmont National Park’s 13 entrances make it one of New Zealand's most accessible wilderness areas. The park is handy to the nearby towns of Hawera, Stratford and Opunake, and not far from New Plymouth city itself.

While the park has a high rainfall, it also receives 2110 hours of sunshine a year. A warning though, temperatures in the park can drop very rapidly and soft snow can turn into ice in a matter of minutes.

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