Walking and Hiking

Hiking. Egmont National Park has more than 188 km (116 miles) of walking trails that lead around the mountain and across to the adjoining Pouakai Range, through dense forests, across the higher subalpine slopes, past waterfalls, across mountain streams, and beneath massive lava bluffs. There are signposted short walks, suitable for all ages, from each of the three main park access roads. The best trails for sampling the park's forested scenery start from the Dawson Falls Visitor Centre. Most popular are the Wilkies Pools Loop Track and Kapuni Loop Track to Dawson Falls; each takes 1 to 1½ hours. In late summer, when there is usually no snow on the mountain, summit ascents are popular. The most straightforward route is from the North Egmont Visitor Centre and takes anywhere from 7 to 10 hours round-trip. You must be properly equipped, keeping in mind that the weather conditions change extremely quickly, and tell someone reliable of your plans.

For a multiday hiking trip, consider the well-signed Pouakai Circuit, which has accommodation huts (NZ$15 a night) at one-day intervals. The Pouakai Crossing, an increasingly popular one-day walk, takes in the diverse landscape features of the Pouakai Circuit, but because the start and finish are several kilometers apart, transportation must be arranged. (Check with the visitor center.) For those who want to stay on the mountain, the Camphouse has budget bunkhouses at North Egmont (NZ$38 per person or NZ$90 double room including bed linen). Reservations are required.






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