Egmont National Park, home to snow-tipped Mount Taranaki, has long been on the radar of Kiwi trampers as the second oldest national park in New Zealand, but is little known to international visitors. Located to the West of Central North Island, the area doesn’t fit neatly into a short holiday, and is often overlooked. We think this is scandalous! Walkers who venture off the beaten path to this gem are rewarded with quiet trails, a near-perfect volcanic cone, and fascinating local history. The high annual rain fall (bring a waterproof!) combined with plenty of sunshine has resulted in some excellent forests, which make for a really rewarding stay.
There is an extensive range of walks available in the park, from short strolls through the hobgoblin forest, to longer hikes around fairytale waterfalls, and of course, you can always tackle the full-day climb of Taranaki itself.
Actually an active volcano (although there have been no eruptions for more than 150 years), it is a delight for botanists in particular due to the diversity of flora on offer – ranging from coastal species, rainforest, and native rimu and rata trees on the lower slopes, through rare high altitude swamps and the mighty totara trees of the sub alpine forest, to cloud forest, and beyond. It is also a great spot for thrill-seekers, with surfing, skiing, rock climbing and abseiling all located within the small Taranaki region.
What our travellers enjoyed about walking in Egmont National Park…
- Hiking the Davies Track, with spectacular views of Mount Taranaki itself as well as delightful coastal scenery
- Learning about the history of the area during short walks to Dawson Falls Power Station and along some of the old mining trails
- Knowing they’ve been somewhere truly off the usual tourist track