Home > New Zealand > Mount Taranaki Volcano – perfect place for a curry

Mount Taranaki Volcano – perfect place for a curry

November 26, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

We decided to drive up from  Whanganui to Mount Taranaki in one go with brief stops; it was the right thing to do as the landscape in comparison to the south island is pretty unremarkable. On the map, the volcano that is Taranaki looks immense, but no matter how far we were getting through the dairy laden landscape (why is cheese so expensive here?), the volcano would never come into sight – the low cloud shrouding the mountain.


first glimpse of volcano through the clouds

view from our camper as the sun started to set

Eventually we were rewarded with a glimpse through the clouds, and as we drove up into the national park, the clouds gave way and we got our first proper views of the picture perfect volcano.

By the time we got up high, the visitor centre was closed, so we picked our spot and parked up for the night. The solitude on the side of the volcano was astonishingly peaceful and we had the place to ourselves. We made it even better by walking down to Dawson falls as the sun was setting, before heading back to the van for a glass of chilled white wine, a great hot curry and a wonderful night’s sleep. The only thing that woke us, was the call of the Kiwi as they came out at night. Kai, our resident ornithologist, verified the “oueeeee  oueeeee” sound the next day as a female Kiwi.

walk through the bush to the waterfall

our spot above the clouds: Dawson's waterfall - click to enlarge

In the morning the view was even more stunning, we were up the volcano on our own, and the landscape below us was covered in low lying clouds, we really were alone and remote! This time we headed higher up the mountain to a series of crystal clear pools and red laval rocks that we crushed to make a red paint. Hours of fun.

view at dawn from the window

crushing red rocks - it's a long way from a drawing board!

few images from Wilkies Pools - the photo's don't do it justice.


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