2 Rankers Reviews
5 Mt Taranaki
This is a particularly magical mix of subalpine forest, displaying the hallmark goblin forest mixed with mountain totara. The views from the junction with the Summit/Translator Track are great reward for the climb.
The turnoff to North Egmont is signposted along Egmont Road from Egmont Village, 12 km from New Plymouth along SH3. The park boundary is a further 10 km, 6.5 km from the North Egmont Visitor Centre.
Follow the summit route to the left of the Camphouse.
Follow the Translator/Summit Track for 1 hour to the junction with the Maketawa Track at the hairpin. This is a supreme vantage point for views of the Tongariro National Park volcanoes.
Descending the Maketawa Track passes through a series of vegetation zones. From low leatherwood scrub, the track then forms a corridor through hebe, horopito and mingimingi. The dense vegetation rises either side of the track like hedgerows and occasionally forms matrimonial archways over the track. This section is well aided with steps and boardwalks (15 minutes).
Passing the junction to Maketawa Hut (2 minutes from junction) mountain totara starts to appear. The trunks line the trackside like pillars of a church and the bark peels off in ribbons. The horopito here also seems to have an unusually high tannin content and complements the red of the mountain totara.
As the track starts to descend to the valleys of the Ngatoro and Waiongana Streams, ladders and steps aid the steep sections. In the moist valley floors the trees are literally dripping with moss. You could be forgiven for imagining fairies are dancing in the foliage as gnomes scurry between trunks.
After 50 minutes, head right at the signpost and climb to where the track rejoins the Ngatoro Loop Track near the bottom carpark (10 minutes).
Alpine plants generally arrived with the help of birds dispersing their seeds, or pollen grains being carried long distances on the wind. The alpine forests have been periodically inundated with ash showers, necessitating substantial regrowth. Recent ash showers around 400 years ago destroyed large numbers of rimu, which predominated in the forest. These have been replaced by kamahi as the dominant species, as the trees produce lightweight seeds which are easily dispersed by the wind. It is the gracefully upthrusting trunks of kamahi, so bejewelled in mosses and lichens, which give rise to the famous ‘goblin’ forests of the area.
The term ‘goblin forest’ was coined in the 1920s, as early explorers found passage through the sparser undergrowth easier at lower altitudes. Mosses liverworts and filmy ferns cloaked all available surfaces while and understorey including mountain five finger, kaumakaroa and broadleaf, colonised below.
North Island ▷ Taranaki ▷ Mt Taranaki
Great track, 8km, tracked through forest up and down ladders, over bridge and at end a great view of the mountain.
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8km walk. Interesting walk through forest, up a few ladders and up on to bottom part of mountain with amazing views. Steep track down on slippery gravel.
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍