Pouakai Circuit

Three day local favourite

You'll discover unique sub-alpine wetlands, waterfalls, rain forest, panoramic vistas and remote wilderness.

This three day trek caters for groups of up to 10 people and is most suitable for inbound tour groups, tramping club parties, school groups and family trips.

Time:  3 days

Difficulty: moderate

Distance: 25km

Group size: Minimum of 4 people

Cost: Prices are dependent on group numbers and season.
Please contact Mount Taranaki Guided Tours for details.

Cameras are recommended.

What you can look forward toPouakai Circuit - Mount Taranaki Guided Tours

On the Pouakai Circuit you'll experience a variety of landscapes, walking through lowland rain forest, sub-alpine and alpine vegetation zones. Crossing the unique sphagnum moss Ahukawakawa wetland is an unforgettable highlight before traversing the headwaters of the Stony River (Hangatahua). Keep your eyes open for Powelliphanta, giant land snails 90mm in diameter, that inhabit the region.

To quote the Department of Conservation:

"The circuit is an awe-inspiring chapter in the New Zealand landscape and geology story. The turmoil of centuries of volcanic activity is apparent as soon as you cross the active erosion scar of the Boomerang slip and pass beneath the towering columns of the Dieffenbach Cliffs."

Day 1.

The Trek starts at the North Egmont Visitors Centre. A well signposted public road allows easy access to the North Egmont Visitors Centre where public car parking is available.

North Egmont Visitor Centre to Holly HutView from Holly Hut- Mount Taranaki Guided Tours

Time: 4.30 hrs

Distance: 7km
From North Egmont you'll walk the well formed track that climbs gradually through mountain forest and sub-alpine scrub. You'll take in some excellent scenic views of the Ahukawakawa wetland which you'll traverse on Day 2. The upper slopes of Mt Taranaki are visible as the track gradually descends to your home for the night, Holly Hut.

Holly Hut
The Dome - Mount Taranaki Guided Tours Built in March 1975 Holly Hut is named after the New Zealand holly growing abundantly in the vicinity. This campsite was originally formed in the 1860s by parties crossing the Pouakai Range from New Plymouth to climb Mount Taranaki.

Bells Falls

A short walk (1 hour) from Holly Hut towers the 31m high Bells Falls. Rising above the track is the curved lava vent known as The Dome.

Day 2.

Holly Hut to Pouakai Hut

Time: 3 - 4 hrs

Catering on request

Distance: 5km
Today you will cross the Ahukawakawa wetlands, an extensive sphagnum swamp that lies between the mountain and the Pouakai Ranges. The stream draining the swamp joins the Minarapa Stream to form Bells Falls.

You'll cross the Stony River, ascend through sub-alpine and mountain cedar to the Pouakai and Mangorei track junction and a short descent to Pouakai Hut.  Once you have settled into your accommodation, and if you have the energy, you can walk to Pouakai Trig and take in the fantastic panorama of west Taranaki and/or you may wish to visit the scenic Pouakai Tarns.

Day 3.

Pouakai Hut to North Egmont Visitor Centre

Time: 5 hrs

Distance: 13km
From Pouakai Hut, you'll traverse open tussock lands and sub-alpine forest to the top of Henry Peak. Definitely a photo stop. The track then descends into mixed kamahi forest to the Kaiauai shelter, which is used by trekkers to shelter from the weather if the Kaiauai stream is flooded.  After crossing the stream, you will traverse some deep gullies before tackling the swing bridge over the Waiwhakaiho River. You can then take the shorter track to Kaiauai car park on Egmont Road or follow the Ram Track up to the North Egmont Visitor Centre.


You'll be spending two nights in the wilderness of Egmont National Park. The Holly Hut and Pouakai Hut are Department of Conservation accommodation.

Cost: $20.00 per person per night.

Who will carry the equipment?

There are two options:

  1. You carry a full kit, clothes, sleeping bags, food and cooking equipment
  2. We can supply support staff to carry some of your gear

Do you need transport?

If you require transport from New Plymouth to the North Egmont Visitors Centre our guide can pick you up from the city.

When: Pick up at 7.30 am
Cost: $45.00 per person

Contact us for more details or to book your Pouakai Circuit trek.


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