Plymouth New Zealand is located on the North Islands west coast
in the Taranaki district of New Zealand. New Plymouth offers
something for everyone, sun, sea, sand and snow. some of the
best surfing in the country, a marine park conservation area,
Mount Taranaki and the Egmont National Park, a mecca for trampers
and climbers. New Zealand map, real estate for sale, rental
car hire or job for employment in New Plymouth New Zealand.
EGMONT NATIONAL PARK - NEW PLYMOUTH NEW ZEALAND
Plymouth is the holiday destination with something for
everyone, sun, sea, sand and snow. A spectacular cone
mountain, magnificent parks, gardens and walking tracks,
great shopping and a vibrant nightlife. New Plymouth is
surrounded by a spectacularly beautiful environment from
its stunning coastline offering some of the best surfing
conditions in the country, and a marine park conservation
area, to impressive Mount Taranaki and the Egmont National
Park which is a mecca for trampers and climbers.
Egmont National Park is situated in the west of
the North Island, about halfway between Wellington and
Auckland. Unlike other national parks in New Zealand,
it is surrounded by a well-developed and densely settled
The park is a mountainous
area that encompasses three volcanic cones. The main
peak of Mount Taranaki (2,518 metres above sea level)
forms the nucleus of the park. It is the most recent
and only active volcanic peak in the park, although
it is now considered dormant. Because it is considered
one of the most symmetrical mountains in the world,
it is a very distinctive landmark. The other two volcanic
cones, which are now extinct, form the basis of the
Pouakai and Kaitake Ranges in the north-western part
of the park.
Lava flows, ash
showers and lahars (debris flows) have transported volcanic
material away from the peaks. The oldest lava flows
on Mount Taranaki are preserved in the west, but erosion
has removed a number of older flows, resulting in the
picturesque forms of Humphries Castle, Lion Rock and
Warwick Castle (Tahuna a Tutawa). Fanthams Peak was
formed when magma found a weak point in the volcano
and created a secondary vent on the side of the mountain.
The area's high rainfall and mild coastal climate
has allowed a lush rainforest to develop. However its
nature changes the higher you go on the mountain - from
tall rimu and kamahi trees at lower altitudes through
dense subalpine shrubs to an alpine herbfield with some
plants unique to the park. The forest on Mt Taranaki's
middle slopes is sometimes known as 'Goblin Forest'
because of the gnarled shape of the trees and the thick
swathes of trailing moss. Ahukawakawa Swamp (20 minutes'
walk from Holly Hut) is of particular botanical interest
with its wide range of plants adapted to survive in
acidic soils and very low temperatures.
Taranaki is linked by legend to the mountains of the
central North Island. It is said that Taranaki carved
out the bed of the Whanganui River on a tragic flight
from its ancestral home to the east. Today Taranaki
is still venerated and its summit is sacred to the tangata
whenua of the area.
The land was first formally protected in 1881 when
its slopes (within a 9.6 kilometre radius of the summit)
were made a forest reserve. Development of huts, tracks
and roads followed. Gradually more land was added
to the reserve and in 1900 it was made a national
park, the second in New Zealand after its not too
distant neighbour, Tongariro. It has been a popular
tourist destination ever since.
Ambury Monument /Ambury Bluffs west of Humphries
Castle were named after Arthur Hamilton Ambury. He
gave his life in a heroic attempt to save W E Gourlay
who slipped on the ice on 3 June 1918. Both men died
in the fall over the bluff. Ambury Monument is on
the Holly Hut Track closest to the Camphouse.
NEW PLYMOUTH NEW ZEALAND ACCOMMODATION TRAVEL TOURISM INFORMATION GUIDE