Dogs No Dogs
Commonly Backpacked · Views · Wildflowers
Parking is quite limited in summer at the North Egmont Visitor Center where the route begins. However, there are shuttle services that can provide drop offs to this carpark.
Rising above the clouds, the 2518 m summit of this dormant volcano is a challenging 1600m vertical climb to the peak. The route is about 6.3km each way, making for a round trip of just under 13km. During fine weather, the views of the surrounding Egmont National Park and its circular park border are spectacular and unique. On particularly clear days, one can even look east to spot the summits of Mt. Ruapehu, Mt. Ngauruhoe and Mt. Tongariro in Tongariro National Park. Note that even on clear days the cloud often builds on the mountain by the afternoon, so it is recommended to get an early start to get better views along the route and at the summit. This also gives you plenty of time to get back down the mountain.
For non-mountaineers, the best time to climb the mountain is from January to April when the mountain is often clear of snow and ice, other than in the crater. From May to November, the mountain is covered in snow and ice - mountaineering experience and equipment is required and avalanche danger does exist. See avalanche.net.nz for the avalanche forecast at this time of year.
Need to Know
Respect the mountain: Do not stand directly on the summit peak, and do not camp, cook, toilet or litter in the summit area. Mounga Taranaki is a mauri, or life force and a spiritual tupuna or ancestor for Taranaki Māori.
At all times of year the mountain is particularly prone to rapidly changing weather, with snow possible near the summit even in the peak of summer. Many have been caught out by these rapid weather changes in the past. More people have died on Mt. Taranaki than any other mountain in New Zealand due to this combination of relative accessibility and wild weather. All runners should be prepared for cold, wet, and windy conditions even on the finest of days. Runners should also carry some sort of reliable communication in the case of an emergency.
North Egmont (946 m) to Tahurangi Lodge (1,492 m)
Time: 1 hr 30 min - 2 hr
Distance: 4 km
From Taranaki / Egmont National Park Visitor Centre the Summit Track
follows the boardwalk up to a locked gate. Cross the stile and continue up the gravel Translator Road
(walking access only) to the privately-owned Tahurangi Lodge. Sections of this track are very steep.
There is a public toilet 100 m below the lodge and a small day shelter room at the lodge.
Tahurangi Lodge to the summit (2,518 m)
Time: 3 - 4 hr
Distance: 2.3 km
The track passes in front of 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 steep scoria (gravel) slopes. Be aware of rockfall through this area.
Continue uphill to the Lizard (2134m), a prominent rocky ridge which leads you to the crater's summer entrance. A narrow rocky ledge leads down into the crater. It has a steep drop-off and can be icy at any time year - extreme caution required.
The route then crosses the crater ice to the final short climb up to the summit rock. There is ice in the crater all year round - crampons and/or an ice axe may be required to cross the crater at any time.
Be prepared to turn back if the weather deteriorates or you are finding the climb too difficult.
Remember: reaching the summit is only the half-way point. Allow yourself plenty of time to descend safely before nightfall.
History & Background
Rising above the clouds, the majestic Mt Taranaki or Mt Egmont offers some spectacular scenery to those who make the challenging 1.6 km vertical climb to its peak. The 2518 m high volcano lies in the centre of Egmont National Park. At around 125,000 years old, it is the park's most recent volcanic peak. It's last eruption was around 1755 AD. The mountain is now considered dormant. Local Māori believe Mounga Taranaki once stood with the mountains of the central North Island. After a dispute over the maiden Pihanga, Taranaki fled his ancestral home, carving out the bed of the Whanganui River on his journey to the coast.
Shared By: Tom Harris