The Tahurangi Lodge (1500m) is an alpine lodge on the slopes of Mt Taranaki (2518m) owned by the Taranaki Alpine Club. It has good self-service amenities and if you have the spare time its a nice base to start from to attempt the summit of Mt Taranaki, leaving only 1000m of vertical climb.
This is exactly what we did, hiking up to Tahurangi Lodge from the North Egmont carpark the previous evening. There were five of us aiming for the summit: Alex P, Tanja, Gavin, Alex G and myself. Sasha also hiked up to Tahurangi Lodge with us but was too pregnant to tackle the summit :)
There were a lot of people on the mountain, most having started the day much earlier than us down at North Egmont carpark. The first of them started walking by our lodge at around 7am while we were still just preparing our breakfast. This might have encouraged us out the door a bit more quickly and we were on our way by about 8am.
As usual I was a bit too enthusiastic about pace, and should have been more social. I had minimal gear and was keen to see how fast we could get to the top. About an hour in I was looking back down the slope cajoling my fellow hikers.
Gavin decided to carry a full pack for some reason, and that didn’t look nearly as fun as shorts, woolly hat, two shirts and a day pack :)
The weather was fantastic and the landscape suitably exotic, but there was a line of hikers in front and behind and it took away a bit from the experience for me. Mt Taranaki is no place to be in bad weather, and sadly too many people have died on the slopes of this volcano, but on a day like this the work is easy and over pretty quickly, especially starting from Tahurangi Lodge.
In not much more then 2 hours we had reached the peak.
Running down the scree slopes on the way down was fun, but it seems like the traffic on Mt Taranaki is now so great that most of the scree has already been pushed down the mountain, so it wasn’t as easy going as I was expecting. Nevertheless it was great day. We need to do the Shark’s Tooth next time!