Looking after our mountain this summer holiday season

27 December 2019

Our Maunga. Taranaki Maunga. Its presence is felt across the New Plymouth District. It dominates our landscape and is a key part of our identity and what makes our region what it is.

Taranaki was once considered off the beaten track by many tourists but that’s all changed in the last decade or so. Thanks to Lonely Planet naming the region in the top two in the world to visit, the word has got out and thousands more travellers are making a beeline for the region.

And for many, a must-do is a trip up the mountain to reach the summit or explore Te Papakura o Taranaki national park.

NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford says he regards protecting the Maunga as something that’s important not just for today but for future generations. Originally from the UK, Mr Langford says the Maunga has come to mean a great deal to him.

“Wherever you are in Taranaki, the Maunga is there and it defines our district and the region,” says Mr Langford. “We will always work towards protecting it.

“With more and more people coming to our district, this means we have to be proactive and take steps to preserve our special corner of Aotearoa.”

To ease congestion during the busy summer season, a new ‘one car out, one car in’ system will be used at the Egmont Road gatehouse from 28 December. Mr Langford says this will relieve pressure on parking at the North Egmont Visitor Centre. 

“If people find there’s a wait to access the national park, they could look at one of the other park entrances or explore other walks, such as around Lake Mangamahoe or at Purangi Reserve – the New Plymouth i-SITE at Puke Ariki has lots of recommendations for outdoor activities,” says Mr Langford.

Traffic management will run during good weather from 7am until mid-afternoon every day from Saturday 28 December to the middle of January. From then until the end of March, traffic management will on weekends and public holidays only. 

Mr Langford recommends that groups hire a commercial shuttle for drop-off and pick-up as these vehicles will have unrestricted access.

NPDC is also working on a long-term solution to traffic issues with a public car park on Egmont Road (outside the national park) with facilities for commercial shuttles, with the aim of having this operational next summer.
Mt Taranaki