Mt Taranaki summit
Mt Taranaki summit
Central Taranaki, Taranaki, New Zealand
Tough day climb to 2518 metres
This is one of the toughest day walks in NZ, yet in summer it is popular with tourists and attempted by both young and old. The distance from the visitor centre to the summit is only about 8.5 km, but involves a 1.6 km ascent. If clouds are absent the scenery is spectacular. Allow 8 - 10 hours for the round trip from the visitor centre.
Starting at the visitor centre at North Egmont, the summit track is signposted just to the right of the visitor centre. The first 4.7 km is a 4WD road leading to the Tahurangi Lodge (private). The is a public toilet 100 metres below the lodge, near a large radio transmitter tower. The final third of this 4WD track is known at The Puffer - it is steep, and despite having a concrete base it is hard going. Resting near the lodge is a good idea. The lodge is at about 1500 metres asl.
The lodge is at the junction of the round the mountain track, and the summit track. Following the summit track there is a short, interesting segment through the Hongi valley. You are warned not to loiter (danger of falling rocks). Steps lead out of the end of the valley and seem to go on forever. But that is the easy bit! At the top of the steps the scoria slopes begin. The route is poled from here on up, but the poles are at times a distance apart and can be difficult to spot in cloud. The trick with the scoria is finding a solid foothold to avoid sliding backwards.
The Lizard begins at about 2100 metres at the top of the scoria slopes. This is basically clambering over rocks following approximately the poled route. The route leads in to the crater. There will almost certainly be snow and ice in the crater, and you may need crampons and ice axe to cross the crater. If you want to go to the very top you need to walk about 200 metres across the crater, where a track leads up on the right to the summit rock (the route shown below terminates in the crater).
Follow Egmont Road south to the visitor centre; from Egmont village which is a few km west of Inglewood, about 18 km from New Plymouth. There are car parking facilities by the visitor centre.
Be properly prepared for mountain hiking. You will need waterproof clothing, sufficient water for 8 hours (1.5 - 2 litres), gaiters are useful on the scoria slopes, as are gloves. Guides are available (contact the visitor centre). Special mountaineering equipment will be needed if attempting this route in winter, as the upper slopes will be covered in snow and ice. Be careful not to dislodge stones on to other trampers below you.
The mountain is sacred to Maori. They ask that you do not stand on the summit rock, nor leave litter, and show respect for the mountain.
1499m 969m 2468m
6 Feb 2012 by ledzep
Download GPS path: kml