Kia Ora! Welcome to Mt Taranaki / Egmont Carpark. We came here to spend the night after being in New Plymouth for a few days during a passing storm. We were originally heading up towards Waitomo Caves but since we were held in the Taranaki area for a while, we wanted to see Mt Taranaki before moving on to Tongariro National Park area instead.
You couldn’t really see the mountain from a far so we thought going up top would be a good idea, plus free campsite spot outside of the New Plymouth area (which would get full quickly and payed campsites were between 60 and 80 NZD).
We managed to be at the mountain before it started raining and got covered completely. We were hoping to do a short hike or two but it started raining very quickly after we arrived. Also, being this high, it was really cold and windy! I almost didn’t leave the van while up there.
We had a very sad cold night because we weren’t equipped with the appropriate clothes and sleeping bags for the temperature. Plus, we parked the van on a slight slope and we kept slipping down. AND, the wind, hail and rain kept making a lot of noise and rocking the van side to side.
Needless to say, it would’ve been a smart move coming down after seeing the Mt starting to get covered by the mist again. Specially after escaping down the mountain early in the morning and finding a beautiful little parking area by King Edward Park with the cleanest coziest toilets I’ve encounter in our NZ van trips!
The one pro with staying up there was seeing these morning views before heading down and in one of the many times we woke from cold, slipping and noise… We were able to see the stars, the brightest moon and milky way through the clear dark sky above.
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