Historic North Egmont Camphouse
Image: John Spenc | DOC
Use the historic Camphouse as a base to explore the North Egmont area of Egmont National Park. Climb to the summit of Mt Taranaki, walk the Pouakai Circuit, or simply sit on the deck and enjoy the fantastic views over Taranaki to the mountains of the Central Plateau.
Pop down to the Kamahi Cafe in Egmont National Park Visitor Centre for brunch/lunch (open 9 am – 4 pm 7 days a week). You can also get a takeout coffee to enjoy while exploring the tracks or pre-order a packed lunch and pick it up from the cafe before heading out. Packed lunches are available with 24 hours’ notice and cost $20. Call the Kamahi Cafe: +64 6 756 0994.
Mt Taranaki Camphouse operates on a 'self clean' basis. Clean and tidy the lodge before you leave. Basic cleaning supplies are provided but you will need to bring your own rubbish bags.
The Camphouse is on a mountain - it can get cold! While there is basic heating, make sure to bring plenty of warm bedding and clothing so you can enjoy your adventure.
Check out is 11 am. Return your key prior to this - any overstayers will be charged an extra night accommodation. Lost keys will be charged for.
The Camphouse is at the North Egmont road end, 29 km from New Plymouth.
Follow SH3 to Egmont Village and turn into Egmont Road (right if you're coming from New Plymouth, left if you're coming from Inglewood). Follow Egmont Road to the carpark and visitor centre at the end.
Book the whole Camphouse, a bunk room or an individual bunk bed.
Book Mt Taranaki Camphouse online, or contact Egmont National Park Visitor Centre.
Make sure you read your confirmation of booking e-mail carefully. This will give you a key code to access a box with your key in it. If you don't have the code you won't get into the Camphouse.
There are many tramping opportunities in this area ranging from short walks to more adventurous undertakings.
Marsland stockade and barracks in
Camphouse (then Tahurangi House)
North Egmont Camphouse today
The Camphouse was built as a military barracks for the Taranaki Wars of the 1860s.
In the summer of 1854-55 feuding between various factions of Maori broke out in the Waitara area over the sale of Maori land to Europeans. To allay the fears of local European settlers, Colonel Wynard, the Acting Governor, requested accommodation for soldiers to be stationed in New Plymouth.
A pre-fabricated building was designed and built in Melbourne, Australia. The pieces were marked so that reconstruction of the building would be easy on its arrival in New Zealand.
It formed part of the military barracks complex on Marsland Hill, New Plymouth. This became the headquarters of the Taranaki Military Frontier during the conflicts of 1860 to 1881. As a citadel, it was critical to the European defence of New Plymouth.
From 1874 the barracks were also used to provide temporary housing for immigrants. By 1891 the building fell into a state of disrepair and it was dismantled.
In 1885 farmer Harry Peters discovered a new route to North Egmont and it quickly became more popular than other established routes of the time. As the number of visitors to the mountain grew so did the need for permanent accommodation to house them.
In 1891 part of the dismantled barrack building was sledded to North Egmont for this purpose. It was named Tahurangi House on its formal opening in 1892. It then became known as the Old House in 1913 when additional accommodation was added (later demolished), before finally becoming the Camphouse in 1977. Since 1892 it has provided accommodation for generations of New Zealanders and international visitors.
While the building’s recreation heritage is most prominent today, its military past is still evident. Many of the original features such as handwrought corrugated iron with gun shots, and tongue and groove timber panelling can still be seen.
The building underwent a major restoration and upgrade in 1999.
Department of Conservation. (1995) Camphouse, North Egmont, Taranaki: Heritage Inventory (Unpublished).
Department of Conservation. (1995) Camphouse (North Egmont, Taranaki): Conservation Plan(Unpublished).