The locals love this slice of rugged paradise and it’s really not hard to see why. From the majestic Mount Taranaki to the award-winning Coastal Walkway there’s so much to discover. Mighway recommends at least 2 days here. Mount Taranaki, also known as Mount Egmont, is a dormant volcano, with the last major eruption occuring in the mid 1600s. The treks are best in summer and autumn, but well-experienced climbers with gear may want to take on the steep inclines when they're icy and snowy in winter. Mount Taranaki has one of the most symmetrical cones in the world, meaning it's steep on all sides. Visit Tahurangi Lodge, or go further up to the 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.
The TARDIS - Named as my 13 year old son is obsessed with Dr Who!
New Plymouth, Taranaki
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Mount Taranaki is New Zealand's most perfectly formed volcano. It is around 120,000 years old and last erupted in 1775 and volcanologists agree that the mountain is 'dormant' rather than extinct. Often described as New Zealand’s most climbed mountain, Mt Taranaki provides non-mountaineers with an achievable summit challenge but it’s not to be taken lightly.
However, the weather can change very fast and climbing the now dormant volcano is a serious undertaking that should not be underestimated.
This tramp is both technically and physically difficult and should only be attempted by experinced hikers with proper equipment and in good weather conditions.
6.3 km one way return via same track.
It takes 8-10 hours to complete - up 5-6 hour; down 3-4 hour.
The best time to climb Mt Taranaki is from January to mid-April when the slopes are bare of snow (though ice remains year round in the crater).
You will be in an alpine environment which means there’s a good chance you will experience heavy rain, strong winds, snow and freezing temperatures even in the height of summer. You will need warm and waterproof clothing, as well as a good pair of tramping boots.
There is no access to water on the climb so take enough to last the whole day.
This will be a very long day so make sure you leave early in the morning to ensure you have enough daylight hours to complete the tramp, and pack a head torch just in case.
In winter and spring conditions snow and ice on the slopes requires mountaineering experience and equipment and a different route into the crater than described below. You are strongly advised not to climb in winter and spring condition unless you have appropriate experience and equipment and knowledge of Mt Taranaki.
North Egmont to Tahurangi Lodge (1,492 m).
Time: 1 hr 30 min - 2 hr.
The summit track begins above the North Egmont car park adjacent to the red Camphouse building. Walk through the small "kissing" gate and wind up the gravel road to Tahurangi Lodge (private). Sections of this track are very steep. There is a public toilet 100m below the lodge.
Tahurangi Lodge to the summit (2,518 m).
Time: 3 - 4 hr.
The track passes in front of the Tahurangi Lodge and continues upwards, via the poled route through the rock covered Hongi Valley. A series of steps leads out of the valley onto the steep scoria slopes.
Take care on these slopes as trampers above you may dislodge rocks.
The scoria slope continues west of the Snow Valley to the Lizard (2,314 m) a prominent rocky ridge which leads up to the crater entrance. Sections of this route involve clambering over rocks. The route then crosses the crater ice to the final short climb up to the summit rock (2,518 m). Warning: There is ice in the crater all year round. Crampons and/or ice axe may be required to cross the crater at any time.
Mt Taranaki has great spiritual significance to local Maori: the crater and summit is the sacred head of Taranaki, the rocks and ridge are his bones, rivers his blood and plants and trees are his cloak and offer protection from the weather. Respect the mountain. Do not stand directly on the summit stone, and do not litter or camp on the summit.
Return via the same route.
The Mount Taranaki Summit Track is in the Egmont National Park in Taranaki. The track access point is at the North Egmont Visitor Centre, approximately 30 min drive from New Plymouth. Drive south on SH3 to Egmont Village and turn right onto Egmont Road. North Egmont is at the end of this road.
Mt Taranaki has changeable and unpredictable weather and make sure you check the official Mt Taranaki forecast at MetService.com before you go or phone the MetPhone mountain and ski service line 0900 99 24.
In winter conditions avalanches may be an issue so get the latest avalanche advisory before you go (external site) (New Zealand Avalanche Advisory website), and carry a transceiver and self rescue equipment. As with all walks in New Zealand make sure you leave your intentions with a trusted contact and let them know when you’ve finished. You can find out more about planning your trip at the Mountain Safety Council Website.
Really this whole magical place needs a name change. There used to be Four Sisters, which were large 25-metre spectacular rock formations, along with their majestic companion, Elephant Rock, but sadly the pounding ocean’s got to them all. Two of the sisters have crumbled and in 2016 the elephant lost its trunk to the fury of the sea.
But, just like the 12 Apostles along the Great Ocean Road in Australia (which are now only eight), the view of these sisters takes your breath away.
Along the North Taranaki coast, turn down Pilot Road, which is on the seaward side of State Highway 3 north of the Tongaporutu Bridge. If you want to get down with the sisters on the sand, turn off South Highway 3 down Clifton Road, which is south of the Tongaporutu Bridge. At low tide, you can walk along the river and around the point to find the formations. In nearby caves, you can also view a rock drawing of a curious six-toed foot.
Brooklands Zoo is a FREE, family focused zoo which is home to a diverse variety of species including farmyard animals, reptiles and amphibians, oriental small-clawed otters, meerkats, a brolga, Bolivian Squirrel Monkeys, Capuchins and Cotton-top Tamarins as well as a selection of colourful birds housed inside a walk-through free-flight aviary. We have more than 113,000 visitors annually and look forward to seeing you!
Sited in New Plymouth, Taranaki, between the majestic Mount Taranaki and the wild Tasman Sea, Puke Ariki is a place of wonder, of excitement, of discovery and adventure.
Governed by the New Plymouth District Council, Puke Ariki is a triumph of the partnership between central government, regional government and businesses that encapsulates a spirit of generosity, vision and co-operation.
Four permanent exhibitions explore Taranaki’s past, present and future – telling the stories of the people and the region through displays, technology, multi-media and the people themselves – so there is always something new to learn and amazing to see. Puke Ariki is currently on a journey of change to update and refresh the long-term galleries - check out the plans for the future here.
Puke Ariki is a place where people come together and where there is a place for everyone.
Located on SH45, Oakura Beach Holiday Park, is owned and operated by Alan and Janet Rawlinson.
We’ll make sure that your stay is as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. Feel free to ask us for ideas if you are looking for a nice meal or an interesting place to visit. You’ll find the office on the left at 2 Jans Terrace, just opposite the holiday park entrance.
We are central to a string of popular surf spots up & down the coast. Why not take a lesson with our local surf school (summer months only). You’re guaranteed to get up! In fact, Tom Cruise had surf lessons here whilst working on the set of The Last Samurai.
You’ll find that Oakura Beach Holiday Park accommodation is not just a great camp site, it’s a holiday destination. You’ll want to stay another day, or two or three!
The Urenui Domain is located on a spit of land at the mouth of the Urenui River and has been a summer recreation ground for more than 100 years.
It is a family friendly camp with a children's playground and on site shop full of lovely holiday treats. It has Wifi installed which covers all of the domain area.
The beach and tidal river are ideal for swimming, boating and fishing. The Urenui Domain also has a wonderful 9 hole golf course adjacent to the camp, complete with sea and mountain views.
Urenui Beach Camp does not allow dogs within the camp so please make alternative arrangements for them.
Urenui Beach Camp is a wonderful holiday destination in a unique Taranaki coastal environment.
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