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Home » Adventures » New Zealand Extended Holiday » Egmont NP

Egmont National Park

Around the Mountain Circuit

Route I Walked50 km

Route I Walked
50 km

April 6 – 10, 2013

After chasing cheese downhill, a return trip to Egmont National Park found me trekking around the mountain’s high route with a Canadian I met on the South Island. The track climbed up and down the mountain side repeatedly, utilizing a surprising number of stairs in the process. We grabbed great views of Taranaki’s clear peak, as well as the surrounding countryside extending all the way to the ocean. The variety of terrain ranged from tussock covered alpine slopes, to luscious forests, to sheer rock walled valleys. The rock formations carved by the old lava flows were amazing, with high overhanging cliffs, deep gorges, and rock outcroppings all about.

After a penultimate day walking through the rain, my last day in Egmont National Park brought a good weather window for a slug to Taranaki’s summit. The track was steep with lots of loose scree. The previous day’s rain dropped some snow at the upper reaches, so I also had some slippery frozen ice with which to deal. I could mostly climb on the still exposed rocks but had to kick a few toe holds as well. The final scramble up from the dormant volcano’s crater was a slightly sketchy jaunt to the summit. The view at the top was spectacular though, with clear skies in all directions. The mostly circular border of Egmont National Park was obvious, with an almost perfectly circular border to the forest. For about 270° I could gaze down the mountain slope to the forests, which ended into paddocks, which eventual gave way to the ocean. The Tongariro Mountains were visible in the distance. The peak was a great place to be. The way down was less dicey than expected, with the rising sun softening the snow and making the steep slopes much less slick than on the earlier climb.

Mt. Taranaki from Waiaua Gorge Hut
The sheer rock cliffs near the top of Brames Falls Track
Tussock grass on the slopes of Mt. Taranaki
The peak of Mt. Taranaki very high above and with new snow
Me and my climbing (Max) partner on the peak