Taranaki, Mt

From Peak Bagging New Zealand

Jump to: navigation, search

Taranaki, Mt
List Status: Official
Mt Taranaki
Loading map...
Elevation 2,518 m (8,261 ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Taranaki/Wanganui/Manawatu
Location Coordinates 39° 17' 47" S, 174° 3' 50" E
Nearest Town/s Stratford, New Plymouth
LINZ Topographic map/s Add this data
Geology Volcano
| Translation tara: peak; ngaki: clear of vegetation
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 8-10 hours (return)
Distance 11.7 km (7.3 mi)
Start/End Points Stratford Plateau
Difficulty Help.gif Hard
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Scree/Scoria
Season Help.gif December to April
Sights Add this data
Hazards Alpine weather, Mist , snow and ice in winter
Number of Geocaches Add this data
Sponsored links

Also known as Mt Egmont

The location of Mt Taranaki, away from the North Island's other volcanoes, is beautifully explained in Maori mythology. According to the myth, Taranaki once lived near the other central North Island mountains, including Tongariro, and his beautiful wife, Pihanga. Taranaki fell in love with Pihanga, and a ferocious battle between Taranaki and Tongariro ensued. Taranaki was forced to flee to the west coast, and the myriad of streams now flowing from Taranaki are said to represent tears for his lost love.

Taranaki is challenging day tramp, but as the North Island's second highest peak, it is a must on any New Zealand peak bagging list.

Getting There

By Car

To get to the Stratford Plateau from Stratford, turn on to Pembroke Rd and continue all the way the carpark at Stratford Plateau.

Public Transport

There is no public bus service, but Eastern-taranaki.co.nz offers a shuttle service.

Google Earth Map

Loading map...

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

A summer day tramp to the summit Taranaki makes for long and strenous day, and in winter it is a full on mountaineering expedition.

There are two main routes to Mt Taranaki's summit - one starts from the North Egmont Visitors centre, and one from the Stratford Plateau. While the North Egmont Visitor Centre is shorter, the track from the Stratford Plateau starts at a higher altitude. Personally, we'd choose less climbing over less distance, but the option is yours!

From the Stratford Plateau, the track sidles around a gorge, before crossing over and arriving at the Mangonui Ski Lodge. You will then pass the rocky crags of Warwick Castle, before arriving at Tahurangi Lodge about 2 hours hours after leaving the carpark. After leaving the lodge, you will encounter the first of many steps up the mountain. Enjoy them while they last though, as once past the stairs you'll have some steep scoria to contend with. In mist this section may present some navigational challenges, so be prepared with a topographical map and compass.

As you near the summit, head for the gap to the right of the 'Sharks Tooth'. From here there is a final scramble to the summit.

Now all that remains is to enjoy the fact that you've climbed the second highest mountain in the North Island. Oh, and the not insignificant matter of returning the way you came. The scree run can be fun, but in icy conditions can also be dangerous. Be sure to maintain your concentration and remember that slow and steady wins the race. Walking poles can be useful on a descent like this, and your knees may be grateful for the assistance.


Over 60 people have died on the slopes on Mt Taranaki, so it is not a mountain to be taken lightly. With it's location to the west of the North Island, Taranaki's weather often changes dramatically and quickly. A clear day in New Plymouth does not indicate a clear day on the mountain, and up to date information should always be obtained from one of the local information centres (DOC Stratford (06 765 5144), or Egmont Visitor Centre (06 756 0990). Even then, you need to have clothing suitable for alpine weather, and if you're on the mountain outside of summer, you would need experience using an ice axe and crampons. White out conditions are also common, so navigational equipment and skills are recommended.

While Mt Taranaki is currently dormant (last eruption 1755), it is still a volcano, and is capable of changing it's volcanic status in the future. You can check out GNS's latest volcanic alert bulletins here.

Height Profile

Taranaki, Mt-2d.jpg



Weather and Webcam Links

External Links


Add new trip report for Taranaki, Mt

xx Mt Egmont / Taranaki Peak

January 20, 2013, 05:41:46 PM by Snowy
I have completed the trip to the top four times, on the most recent trip I drove to Stratford Plateau and walked to Tahurangi Lodge before starting the ascent to the top.

The track is steep with no respite, you initially start climbing op staircases but this soon runs out and turns into a scree slope.
The scree will take you up another 400-500 vertical meters before you get to "the lizard" which is a ridge of solid rock that you clamber over almost to the top.
You then have to cross the snow then another climb up loose rock for the last push to the peak.
When you get there there is a nice sheltered area to sit down and enjoy your lunch out of the almost constant wind before making the decent.

0 comments | Write Comment

xx Taranaki

January 03, 2013, 09:31:56 PM by GreenBLAT
Climbed together with KiwiLeon & LittleRedHood on a clear but cool Easter Saturday. None of us had been on the summit before and we opted for starting from the Startford Plateau carpark for a slightly longer walk via Tahurangi Lodge but saving 200m climb than up from Nth Egmont. (Apparently there is a passable route directly above the ski-field that we found about about later, that misses a lot of the loose gravel, but involving steeper rock).

Set off in the full-moon light at 6 am and caught the sunrise while ducking in and out of the gullies below towering basalt on the round-the-moutain section to the lodge. From the lodge we joined the crowds up the steps and the loose gravel of the North Ridge which was a real test of determination. The haul up the hard rock on the back of the Lizard was long but easier in comparison. Suddenly arriving in the iced-over gully crater beside the Shark's Tooth is great relief but short-lived before the final grovel up loose ash and cinder to the summit at 10:30. Had lunch and photo shoot in the freezing cold wind before the long hard descent and back to the car after 10 hours.

0 comments | Write Comment

xx Mt Taranaki

July 10, 2012, 11:47:00 AM by Dirty Japie
Very enjoyable but very hard climb with full pack.  For some mad reason the first peak we picked was this one and we over prepared and had tonnes of stuff just in case anything went awry.  Very exposed in places so make sure you have warm clothes.  Coming down we had thick fog/mist and could hardly see the markers so it would be wise to take care and go slowly at times like this as there are a few very steep drops offs if you wander off the path.

0 comments | Write Comment

xx Superb day

May 07, 2012, 09:22:41 AM by mw4liverpool
Bagged on a Sunday mission up from Wellington - up at 3am, drove to the Stratford Plateau startpoint and we were on the move just before 8am.

Stunning day and with running for parts of it (the start and parts of the way down) we were up in 3 hours, 20 mins or so at the top and down in 1.45 for a tick over 5 hours - finished around 1pm so beat the afternoon clouds rolling in.  The scree slopes were annoying but not too bad - worst bit being just inside the crater, we followed the poled route and got into a hell of a mess on the very icy side of the crater.  Without gloves it made for some cold hands up the top so we didn't hang around long.

0 comments | Write Comment

xx Taranaki on a Blue Sky Day

April 12, 2012, 08:17:19 PM by GreenBLAT
We watched the weather forecast change totally each day in the week leading up, but we had a crisp and clear full-moon lit dawn on Easter saturday.

Took the Stratford Plateau option just to avoid that extra 200m climb, the sun coming up over Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe lighting up the colours in the leatherwood was amazing. A quick pause at Tahurangi, we powered up the stairs and ran into an acquaintance of one of our group who consoled us on being on the hardest bit - we found out why about two minutes later once we hit the loose scoria section - man that is hard work. He also mentioned a route up past the bluffs on the ski-field which has more rock scrambling but musch less loose scoria?

The Lizard wasn't too bad (on the way up anyway) and we were on the summit at 10:45 for an early lunch (and geocache found :-) We stopped for the obligatory photo shoot in the freezing wind along with a few dozen others and watched the only clouds of the day drift past several 100 metres below.

Going down was almost as hard, harder on the lizard, but made up time on the scree run. Total time getting on to 10 hours with some nice leisurely stops to soak up the views.

A great day out with KiwiLeon & Little Red Hood!

0 comments | Write Comment

Add new trip report for Taranaki, Mt


Any route descriptions, NZ Topographic maps and 2D height profiles on this page are for use as an indicative guide only. They have been created using the TUMONZ mapping software, topomap.co.nz, source material, personal experiences and contain data sourced from Land Information New Zealand and any references listed on this page. PeakBagging.co.nz, Land Information New Zealand, and TUMONZ give no warranty in relation to the data (including accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability) and accepts no liability (including, without limitation, liability in negligence) for any loss, damage or costs relating to any use of the data. Crown Copyright Reserved.


North Island Weekend Tramps (Bird's Eye Guides), Shaun Barnett. (2008), See pages 59-61

A Dictionary of Maori Placenames, AW Reed, 1982

Help make this site better and spread the word. Every dollar donated goes 100% towards developing and promoting peakbagging.org.nz!