47. Hike the picture-perfect Mt Taranaki
When it comes to unadulterated outdoors and authentic wildlife experiences, New Zealand over delivers: here is No. 47 of our 101 Reasons To Stop Dreaming About New Zealand And Go.
Located in the Taranaki region, the 34,170-hectare Egmont National Park is bestowed with myriad natural wonders, from waterfalls to rainforests to rock pools. But it is the hulking form of Mt Taranaki that dominates its landscape. Considered by many to be a picture-perfect peak, with its conical form and snow-shrouded cap, the 120,000-year-old volcano last erupted in 1775, but experts now believe that it is dormant rather than extinct; its summit is sacred to the Māori people of the area. The park is crisscrossed with walking tracks ranging from quick jaunts (the 15-minute Kāmahi Loop Track) to multi-day hikes (the three-day Pouākai Circuit), and experienced hikers can take on Mt Taranaki itself, climbing to its summit all year round (although it is a bit trickier during the winter months).
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