A great half-day walk on Taranaki Maunga with a bit of everything – goblin forest, tussock and spectacular views of the mountain and surrounding ring plain.
This loop can be walked in either direction, the crux being the steepness of The Puffer. Some prefer to climb it, others to descend it. We’re going clockwise here.
The trail begins at the North Egmont Visitor Centre and leads to the Camphouse at the road end. Several trails converge here, with the left-branching North Egmont Summit Track being the one to look for.
The track is a 4WD road leading to the translator tower and begins with a moderate ascent up a long switchback that reaches a spur and, above the bushline, into blanketing leatherwood scrub. Mountain and surrounding countryside views begin to open up.
It’s a climb up the spur for about 1.3km to a stream, and then an easterly turn to climb an adjacent spur to a junction with the Maketawa Track. Turn right and continue south up The Puffer. The trail now steepens and is mostly concreted.
After 20min on The Puffer, the trail reaches the subalpine tussock zone. The concrete track ends to be followed by a final moderate switchback to the translator tower at 1468m.
Just past the tower is Tahurangi Lodge, operated by the Taranaki Alpine Club. It marks the high point of the hike. There’s a bench there to rest on, have a snack and enjoy well-earned views, which stretch out in all directions.
To continue, take the right-branching track westwards towards Holly Hut and the Pouakai Range. The exposed trail contours around the mountain above the bush, giving phenomenal mountain views. There’s four streams to cross and two short wooden ladders to descend before the Holly Hut Track junction is reached. Take the right-branching track down the mountain to North Egmont Visitor Centre.
The trail now dips and climbs through scrub before climbing to The Razorback – a narrow spur. Here is goblin forest of mountain tōtara, kamahi, mountain cedar and tree fuchsia, festooned with epiphytes, mosses and lichens.
Just below Pt1182, is the junction with Veronica Track. Stay on The Razorback for the final kilometre to the Camphouse.
Ambury Monument is passed just before the Camphouse and then it’s a matter of walking back to the car park.
- Total Ascent
- North Egmont Visitor Centre on Egmont Road
- North Egmont Summit Track Loop (gpx, 9 KB)
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