Egmont National Park is an amazing area to explore on the North Island of New Zealand. What makes this part of the West Coast so famous is the massive volcano that sits above the sea! You can see the peak of Mount Taranaki from almost anywhere in New Plymouth which makes it one of the most unique National Parks in New Zealand. In our quick Egmont National Park travel guide we cover everything from planning a trip to some of the best walks and multi day hikes.
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Planning a Trip to Egmont National Park
Getting Here: Located on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, Egmont National Park is just outside of New Plymouth. It is a 4.5 hour drive from Wellington, and 5 hours from Auckland. The New Plymouth airport also connects to many of the cities in New Zealand. Visiting this area is a perfect addition to a one week North Island road trip!
Visitor Center: The Mount Taranaki and Egmont National Park Visitor Centre is the jump off for many of the trails, and a great place to start your trip and get more information.
Days Needed: 3-5 days are needed depending on how much of the area you plan to explore, and what hikes you want to take on.
Where to Stay: New Plymouth town is a quick 20-30 minute drive away from the Egmont National Park Visitor Centre, and is a good place to base yourself. There are so many fun things to do in New Plymouth like Te Rewa Rewa Bridge and Paritutu Rock hike ! Make sure to check out our hotel recommendations at the bottom of this post!
Weather Warning: While you can visit Egmont National Park year-round, it’s important to note that in the winter the top of Mount Taranaki becomes covered in snow. Many of the trails will be limited during this time and the conditions can change in an instant. Even experienced climbers should take precautions during the icy months and think about avoiding it altogether.
Is the Mount Taranaki Volcano Still Active?
Yes! Mount Taranaki is actually one of 12 active volcanos in New Zealand. For some, it can be quite terrifying staring up at an active stratovolcano… Never mind walking around it inside Egmont National Park!
However, you should know the last eruption was around 1854. If you don’t want to get up close and personal it’s still absolutely stunning to admire from afar. When we visited Mount Taranaki New Zealand in early spring there was even still snow around the top!
Easy Egmont National Park Walks
Any of these short walks are perfect for an afternoon at Egmont National Park New Zealand. The main attraction here besides Mount Taranaki is Dawson Falls. It flows from the gorgeous Kapuni River, and these trails make their way through the forest and around the amazing waterfall.
Wilkies Pools Loop Track
This fun one hour track takes you up to the Wilkies Pools. The small pools form several small waterfalls, and you can even swim in them during the summer months.
Dawson Falls Loop Track
Sitting at almost 60 feet (18 meters), Egmont National Park holds one of New Zealand’s most magnificent waterfalls! The best part is it’s only 30 minutes from the parking lot so it won’t take you forever to get there.
Kapuni Loop Track
This simple walk takes you down the Kapuni River towards Dawson Falls. On the way you’ll be able to take in some of alpine plant life along the beautiful stream in Egmont National Park.
Egmont National Park Day Hikes
Now onto some of the more adventurous hikes in Egmont National Park New Zealand! Unlike the shorter Egmont National Park walks, these will get you much closer to the volcano and other parts of the forest. Ranging from 3 to 10 hours, there’s something for every type of hiker visiting Mount Taranaki National Park!
York Loop Track
The history of the York Loop Track makes it one of the most special hikes in Egmont National Park. It actually follows the old Egmont Branch Railway Line, which once was part of the metal quarrying in the early 20th century. Learn about the early life of New Plymouth as you take in the nature of the forest on this 3 hour loop.
Pouakai Circuit Reflective Tarn
Close to the Pouakai Hut, this stunning reflective pool is considered one of the most incredible views of Mount Taranaki in all of Egmont National Park. You can even book a night at Pouakai Hut to stay or bring your own camping equipment!
It’s important to note the start of this hike is from the Mangorei Track Trailhead and not one of the visitor centers. It will take between 3 and 4 hours to complete.
Mount Taranaki Summit Track
Okay, we’ve finally made it to the most popular track in Mount Taranaki National Park! This one will take a full day (8-10 hours) so you better be ready to hike. The trail you from the visitors centre all the way to the peak of Mount Taranaki New Zealand.
Keep in mind that during the winter you can’t actually summit the volcano. For us that meant we could only go to the snow line, but it was still so cool to see the volcano up close.
Pouakai Circuit Multi-Day Trek
If you’re looking for something a little more challenging then the Pouakai Circuit is probably for you! This 2-3 day tramping experience brings you through some of New Zealand’s wildest terrain.
The loop goes from hut to hut and provides unreal views of Mount Taranaki National Park. Be sure to come prepared for this multi-day trek as it can get very cold and windy at night.
Where To Stay In New Plymouth New Zealand
Ultra Luxury – King and Queen Hotel Suites – Located right in the town center, this high end hotel has everything you need for a stay in New Plymouth. Rooms are well equipped with modern amenities, and there are free bicycles and gym pass included in your stay.
Fun Vacation – Millennium Hotel New Plymouth, Waterfront – If you’re looking for a room with a view… Millennium has you covered! Both studios and suites are available with incredible views of the Tasman Sea.
Hostel Life – Ariki Backpackers – Fun and laid back hostel in the heart of New Plymouth. Ariki has a range of room options including privates and large mixed dorms.
For more places to stay near Mount Taranaki New Zealand you can explore the latest prices here!
Have any questions about Egmont National Park in New Zealand or want to share your own tips for hiking Mount Taranaki? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
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New Zealand Travel Planning
Jucy Van: The best way to explore New Zealand is with a Jucy camper! We spent over six weeks driving around the North and South Islands in a van and loved every moment.
Rental Car: If you’re not renting a van you’ll need a car to see this country. We use Discover Cars when traveling and enjoy having the freedom to get around.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over New Zealand! They have everything from tickets to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves to a Hobbiton movie set tour, and even a Northland hole in the rock dolphin cruise!
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