Talk to someone at the Egmont National Park Visitor Centre who is familiar with current conditions. Be prepared to turn back if conditions are no longer safe or if your progress is too slow. The trail passes Tahurangi Lodge and continues uphill along the paved road through the rocky valley of Hongi. A series of steps leads out of the valley to steep slopes of ash. Beware of rockfalls in this area. Avalanches are a danger. Know avalanche forecasts. Take an avalanche transceiver, avalanche probe and snow shovel with you and handle them competently. Runway surface: The track is snowy and very icy in places. The track is not checked.
There are public toilets 100m below the lodge and a small day shelter in the lodge. Expect ice cream on the road between April and November. A helmet, crampons and ice axes are essential, as is the ability to use them. The leading cause of death on Mount Taranaki is ice slipping. The 2518m summit of this dormant volcano rises above the clouds and is a difficult vertical climb of 1.6 km to the summit. Conditions can change quickly. Layer your clothes to trap warm air and prevent cold wind from entering. Start with a polypropylene/merino base coat, add a fleece/wool insulation layer, and finish with a waterproof shell layer. For non-mountaineers, the best time to climb the mountain is from January to April, when the mountain is often free of snow and ice, except in the crater. Note that there is no place to rent alpine equipment in Taranaki – bring your own alpine or rented equipment.
Respect the mountain: Do not stand directly at the top 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 of the Taranaki Māori. From the Taranaki/Egmont National Park Visitor Centre, Summit Track follows the boardwalk to a locked gate. Cross the Stile and walk up the Translator Road gravel road (on foot only) to the private Tahurangi lodge. Some sections of this route are very steep. In good weather, the summit of Mount Taranaki can be at least 20°C colder than New Plymouth and 10°C colder than the start of the route – subtract another 2°C for every 10km/h wind: for example, if it`s 50°F (15°C) in New Plymouth, a beautiful day at the summit will be around -5°C. Suitable for: People with mountaineering skills, equipment and experience. You must: The route starts in North Egmont. From New Plymouth, follow SH3 for 13 km to Egmont Village. Turn onto Egmont Road and follow it to North Egmont. You will need special skills and preparation to climb Mount Taranaki from May to November. There are increased risks due to snow, ice, avalanche terrain, bad weather and sub-zero temperatures.
Continue up to the Lizard (2134 m), a striking rocky ridge that leads you to the summer entrance to the crater. A narrow rocky outcrop leads into the crater. It has a sharp drop and can be icy at any time of the year – extreme caution is recommended. Parking at the end of Egmont Road North is limited in the summer. We recommend arranging a shuttle or departing from the Stratford Plateau car park. The route then crosses the crater ice for the last short climb to the summit rock. There is ice in the crater year-round – crampons and/or an ice axe may be needed to cross the crater at any time. Watch the NZ Mountain Safety Council video to prepare for the Mount Taranaki summit trail. Transportation to the start of the route can be arranged by several local transportation providers. Contact the Taranaki/Egmont National Park Visitor Centre.
There is no regular service. In summer, we recommend taking a shuttle bus to the end of North Egmont Road or starting the trail from the Stratford Plateau parking lot on Pembroke Road in Stratford. From there, follow the signs to the ski resort towards Tahurangi Lodge to access Summit Track. Know your limits. Enjoy an unforgettable and safe experience with DOC approved mountain guides. Allow 9 hours to complete the ascent. In winter, there are between 9 and 11 hours of daylight, so leave early enough to finish the trip before dark. Always carry a headlamp with you.