The spontaneous decision to climb up Mount Taranaki over the weekend turned out to be nearly a day’s worth of a challenging adventure, but the euphoria you get while standing at the top and looking at the view beyond?
It was so worth it!
To reach the top of this quiescent volcano has been on my adventure list for quite some time, but I’ve been specifically warned by those who have done it to only attempt it in good weather conditions. So, I waited, and as soon as we heard good weather was forecasted throughout that region, we decided to bite the bullet over the weekend and finally did it!
We based ourselves at New Plymouth, a very picturesque town that’s a half hour’s drive away from the Egmont National Park that surrounds the mountain. It’s a beautiful town to spend your time at if you’re not just there for hiking, otherwise, there are several campsites around the reserve that might prove more convenient if you would prefer an early start.
Now that I’ve done it, I would certainly say that it is a challenging hike. On average, it’s a 8-10 hour return journey, so on top of the standard tramping paraphernalia, prepare yourself a lunch pack and at least 1.5 litres of water to sustain you through the day.
I won’t go into great details about the track, as everything you need to know can be found in this link below:
We started making our way up from the Visitor’s Centre at 7.30am and didn’t take too long before reaching the Tahurangi Lodge, and I honestly cannot believe how lucky we were to experience absolutely clear weather all the way to the top. It was clear blue skies the entire morning and afternoon, giving you a splendid view of both Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu in the distance.
From the lodge onwards, it was a continuous incline that grew more challenging as we neared ourselves to the summit. From a long flight of stairs, we advanced to roughly an hour of a continuous scoria slope before going on all fours to manoeuvre ourselves through rocky terrain.
When we finally stepped foot on the icy crater and looked down at everything beneath us, it was such a wonderful feeling that canceled out all our exhaustion. It was definitely worth the intense ascend, although I can’t say the same for coming down, as we had to get back to our starting point in (very) wobbly knees and a thick fog that shrouded us; a stark contrast to the weather we had that same morning!
For those who’d like to climb Mount Taranaki, it’s probably best to condition yourself with shorter trails prior to doing this. This mountain is one out of the many trails that the Egmont National Park offers; there are other circuits of different intensities for you to explore if you prefer shorter routes or longer camping tracks.
If any of you ever get around to reaching the top, do share your adventures as I would love to read about it!
Check out my other hiking adventures here!