Whether you know it by its more common name, Mt. Taranaki, or its alias, Mt. Egmont, this 2,500-meter high mountain offers nature lovers, fitness enthusiasts, families, and individuals an outstanding opportunity to get outside and enjoy the beauty that New Zealand has to offer.
Mt. Egmont, also called Mt. Taranaki, is a volcano, with some considering it dormant and others noting that it is still active, with a great deal of time between any activity. Major activity: Mt. Egmont had its last major eruption in the mid 1600s, and research has shown that significant, major activity takes place about every 500 years. Mind activity: The volcano’s most recent activity was in the mid 1800s, when a lava dome that was formed in the crater later collapsed on the side of the mountain. There was a pyroclastic flow in the mid 1700s; these occur when hot gas and rock travels downhill, and in the same time period, there was a moderate ash eruption. Minor eruptions take place about every 90 years. As so much time has passed, the New Zealand government calls this a dormant volcano, which means it is safe for navigation.
All year, one can view different scenes of the area, but if you’re travelling without climbing equipment, the two-hour treks are easiest between February and mid-April. During the winter and spring, the icy and snowy conditions make climbing this steep incline more difficult, especially without experience or equipment. Compared to many other volcanoes in the world, Mt. Egmont stands out because of its steep incline on both sides; it has one of the most symmetrical cones in the world.
From North Egmont to Tahurangi Lodge, you can expect steep trails on this gravel road. There is one public toilet on the way up, which can take between 90 minutes and two hours. Tahurangi Lodge up to the summit: Once you’ve reached the lodge, you may want to turn back, or take a break before heading to the summit. Poled paths and steps help you scale some of the steeper areas. You’ll reach the entrance to the crater, which is icy all year; once you cross, there is a small climb to reach the summit rock. If you’re looking for something a little more level, Egmont National Park offers several different areas to explore, from Dawson Falls, which features an 18-meter waterfall, to a variety of different heritage sites that include one of the world’s oldest operating generators, and the historic Camphouse on Mt. Egmont.
Keep in mind that conditions can change rapidly and be prepared, and you will find some of the best views of New Zealand atop the majestic Mt. Egmont. Start your journey to this incredible place, pick up a camper with Mighway from Auckland and make your way down!