Mt Taranaki’s top five views

Mt Taranaki is paved with thousands of kilometres of walking tracks – both short and long. But which ones lead to the best views?

Photos by Jeremy Beckers, Rob Tucker and Amity Court Motel

1. The Summit

The 8-12 hour hike to Mt Taranaki’s summit is the most challenging and dangerous walk on the mountain, however it leads to one of the best views. From the summit, you can see much of the north island’s west coast, the central plateau including Mt Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu and even the south island. 


2. The Pouakai Tarns

Leaving the top of Mangorei Rd in New Plymouth, the walk to the Pouakai Tarns is about two hours upstairs to reach the Pouakai Hut and then a further ten minutes to the picturesque Pouakai Tarns. If you want the best photo, we recommend you purchase a Serviced Hut Ticket from DOC for $15 per adult (from your nearest DOC visitor centre). Then you will be ready with your camera at dawn and dusk when the wind settles and the reflection looks its best.

3. Wilkies Pools

After hiking for half an hour through the Goblin forest or fifteen minutes on a wheelchair/pushchair friendly track from the Dawson Falls carpark, you will arrive at the picturesque Wilkies Pools. The plunge pools were naturally formed by the scouring action of water-borne sand and gravel on 20,000 year old lava. The pools are beautiful to sit and watch and if you don’t mind chilly mountain water, they are great for swimming in!


4. The Stratford Plateau

Grab a takeaway coffee from The Stratford Mountain House and drive to the Pembroke Roadend where you will find the start of the East Egmont Lookout Track. Follow this for half an hour and you will find yourself at a lookout with stunning views all the way across the central plateau.

5. Ahukawakawa Wetlands

Located half-way through the Pouakai Crossing, the Ahukawakawa Wetlands were formed around 3,500 years ago. You will find many unusual and rare flora and fauna in the unique microclimate such as giant carnivorous snails that grow up to nine centimetres long! The Ahukawahawa Wetlands also have a beautiful view of Mt Taranaki’s peak.