Rising above the clouds, the 2518 m summit of this dormant volcano is a challenging 1.6 km vertical climb to the peak.
For non mountaineers, the best time to climb the mountain is during January to April when the mountain is often clear of snow and ice, other than in the crater.
North Egmont (946 m) to Tahurangi Lodge (1,492 m)
Time: 1 hr 30 min - 2 hr
Distance: 4 km
From Taranaki / Egmont National Park Visitor Centre the Summit Track follows the boardwalk up to a locked gate. Cross the stile and continue up the gravel Translator Road (walking access only) to the privately owned Tahurangi Lodge. Sections of this track are very steep.
There is a public toilet 100 m below the lodge and a small day shelter room at the lodge.
Tahurangi Lodge to the summit (2,518 m)
Time: 3 - 4 hr
Distance: 2.3 km
The track passes in front of Tahurangi Lodge and continues upwards via the poled route through the rock-covered Hongi Valley. A series of steps leads out of the valley onto steep scoria (gravel) slopes. Be aware of rockfall through this area.
Continue uphill to the Lizard (2134m), a prominent rocky ridge which leads you to the crater’s summer entrance. A narrow rocky ledge leads down into the crater. It has a steep drop-off and can be icy at any time year - extreme caution required.
The route then crosses the crater ice to the final short climb up to the summit rock. There is ice in the crater all year round - crampons and/or an ice axe may be required to cross the crater at any time.
Respect the mountain: Do not stand directly on the summit peak, and do not camp, cook, toilet or litter in the summit area. Mounga Taranaki is a mauri, or life force and a spiritual tupuna or ancestor for Taranaki Māori.
Snow in the crater on Mt Taranaki
The track starts in North Egmont. From New Plymouth, follow SH3 for 13 km to Egmont Village. Turn onto Egmont Road and follow this up the mountain to North Egmont.
Transport to the start of the track can be arranged through several local transport providers. Contact Taranaki / Egmont National Park Visitor Centre. No scheduled transport service exists.
Limited car parking at North Egmont road end in summer
During summer we suggest arranging to be dropped off by a shuttle at North Egmont road end or starting the trail from the Stratford Plateau car park on Pembroke Road, Stratford. From there follow signs across the ski field toward Tahurangi Lodge to join the Summit Track.
Know before you go
- This is a full day strenuous hike – allow plenty of time and leave early.
- There is no water available on the track – take plenty with you.
- Check the Egmont National Park weather forecast before you go.
- Be prepared to turn back if you are finding the climb too difficult or if the weather deteriorates - thick cloud can descend making navigation difficult.
- The only toilet is 100 m below Tahurangi Lodge – use it when you go past.
- Above Tahurangi Lodge, numbered marker poles lead to the summit and give you an indication of how far you have to go. It's also good information to give emergency services if you find yourself in trouble.
- Read and follow advice from the yellow safety signs along the track.
Descending Mt Taranaki