Ring Around the Mountain – Taranaki
Like magic you are drawn to Mt. Taranaki…a steep picture-perfect volcano that dominates the landscape. The near perfect volcano cone sits 8,261 feet above sea level. It is dramatic. One look at a map and a bird’s eye view, and we had to go.
The circle of green sharply defines Egmont Park’s boundary – one side of the old growth forest removed for farmland, sheep, and cattle. Crossing the boundary from farmland into rainforest is like pushing aside a heavy curtain and passing through a long (9km) tunnel of trees.
Is the volcano active? The huge volcano last erupted in 1775 and in the 1860’s a lava dome collapsed down the side of the mountain. Considered dormant (not extinct) it is said to be overdue, a ticking time bomb.
Hikes, Climbs, Long Walks and Strolls – A Tramper’s Heaven
Dawson Falls Trails and the Enchanted Trail at the Stratford Plateau – We crossed streams, stony riverbeds, and walked through fairyland.
Amazing paths…amazing views
The Cape Egmont Lighthouse and the Cows at the End of Cape Road
The New Plymouth Coastal Walkway leads to the Rewa Rewa Bridge.
NZ’s Most Magnificent Gardens Thrive in the Rich Volcanic Soil.
Pukeiti Gardens, at the edge of Mt Taranaki, sits in 900 acres of lush, native rain forest. Beautiful in winter, the garden has 2,500 varieties of rhododendrons, many giants. In the photo below, Steve stands near a rhodo over 20 ft tall. The spring (December) burst of rhododendron blooms must make your heart stop. We MUST return, and when we do, the Pukekura and Brooklands Gardens are a must see.
To all of this add world-class surfing, sandy beaches, climbing, hiking, fishing, outstanding gardens and forest-covered mountains, and you’ve got yourself a DESTINATION!