If dramatic landscapes give you the high, come to Egmont National Park. This is where snow-capped mountain, waterfalls, rainforests, and swamps exist in harmony. Mount Taranaki, a dormant volcano, offers some spectacular sights and the surrounding flora add colors to the canvas. This natural heritage site in New Zealand has a character that can be understood better by trekking around its vast valleys, skiing down the slopes, and climbing the summit.
The area was brought under the control of the Department of Conservation and a National Park was established in 1900. Mt. Taranaki, which dominates the region, is approximately 120,000 years old. It is the most perfectly formed volcano in New Zealand that had last erupted in 1775.
Things to Do in Egmont National Park
Trekking – The National Park has an extensive network of walking track that takes you around the Dawson Falls and the rocky pools besides taking you closer to the alpine shrubs and green pastures. Exploring the contrasting landscape is the easiest way to fall in love with this Park.
Exploring Flora – For those interested in floral beauty, Egmont National Park is a dream destination. Observe the rimu and rata trees on the lowlands and as you start going uphill, you come across kamahi, totara, and kaikawaka.
Summit Climbing – This is a thrilling experience. Start the journey at North Egmont and meander through the climbing route to the summit.
Skiing – From June to October, the ski field on Mt. Taranaki’s eastern slopes hosts a large number of skiers.
The prime tourist destinations that a visitor can explore near the Egmont National Park include Pukeiti, Cape Egmont Lighthouse, Hurworth Cottage, Percy Thomson Gallery, Tupare, Fun Ho! National Toy Museum, Brooklands Zoo, Taranki Pioneer Village, Pukekura Park, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Puke Ariki, and Richmond Cottage.
You should also include New Playmouth Observatory and Taranki Aviation, Transport & Technology Museum in your list of must-visit destinations.
Where is Egmont National Park?
The Egmont National Park is located in the west coast of North Island in the Taranaki region. Opunake, Inglewood, Stratford, and New Plymouth are the nearby towns.
Location Map of Egmont National Park
How to Reach?
By Air – The New Plymouth Airport is the one serving the Taranaki region in addition to the New Plymouth town. It is around 57 km from the Egmont National Park and can be reached in 50 minutes.
By Road – You can either drive to Dawson Falls via Manaia Road or travel from Pembroke Road to Stratford Plateau. One can avail the shuttle services that run from Stratford, Inglewood, and New Plymouth to the national park.
Since it’s a remote destination, you can’t expect plenty of accomodations to choose from. However, Mountain House lodge, Konini Lodge, Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge, and Ngati Ruanui Stratford Mountain House will meet your expectations.
You might have to travel some distance in search of a restaurant of your choice, though there is a Mountain Cafe in the vicinity. Mountain House Cafe, a restaurant offering international food, is also nearby. While Cafe Mantra offers Indian delicacies, Nelsons Bakery and Funkish Grill serve best seafood. Carriage Cafe, Caffe Windsor, and Casa Pequena are eateries are also within easy reach.
Best time to visit
For mountaineers and trekkers, astral spring is the best time to visit the National Park. For non-mountaineers, any time of the year is ideal for exploring this tourist destination in New Zealand.
Things to Remember
- The weather in the foothills of Mt Taranaki generally remains warm. However, while climbing the mountain, one can be struck by severe alpine weather.
- At times, the Park witnesses a sharp fluctuations in temperatures.
- The summit climbers have to be experienced hikers.
- Although the Park receives high rainfall, it also gets plenty of sunshine throughout the year.
Facts about Egmont National Park
- Mount Taranaki, which covers a large chunk of the Park, is situated 2518 meters above sea level.
- Mt. Taranaki is considered ‘New Zealand’s most climbed mountain.’
- This National Park has as many as 13 entrances. It is one of the most accessible recreational spots in New Zealand.
- Arthur’s Pass National Park
- Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park
- Abel Tasman National Park
- Paparoa National Park
- Nelson Lakes National Park
- Mount Aspiring National Park
- Fiordland National Park
- Tongariro National Park