Mt Taranaki’s Around the Mountain Circuit (AMC) offers experienced trampers a challenging multi day route through spectacular bush and alpine environments. The route is best tramped during the summer months.
Rivers and streams on the AMC are not always bridged and can flood at any time of year.
In winter conditions upper tracks on the mountain may be snow and ice covered – ice axe and crampons are likely to be required.
North Egmont to Holly Hut
Time: 3–4 hr
Distance: 8 km approx.
In the upper car park at North Egmont roadend, take the Holly Hut Track left of the Camphouse. The track climbs steeply to the junction with the AMC from where you turn right crossing several streams before reaching the Boomerang Slip. From here you will descend past the Kokowai Track, eventually meeting the Ahukawakawa Track. Holly Hut is 15 min further along the AMC.
Holly Hut to Waiaua Gorge Hut
Time: 7–9 hr
Distance: 13 km approx.
From the hut, you take the AMC across Holly Flats, joining Bells Falls Track before reaching the Stony River Track. Caution is needed in the Stony River area. Look carefully for flagged routes and be prepared for erosion and flooding. After crossing the river you continue downhill, across several streams before you meet the Kopoaiaia Track. Turn left, and climb uphill to the Puniho Track. Here you have two options:
Low track: This section of track is often muddy and crosses many streams. Continue along the Kopoaiaia Track past the Kahui track junction and on to the Oaonui Track.
High track: Turn left onto the Puniho Track and walk uphill 1 km to the 6 bunk Kahui Hut. From here the Kahui track descends to the junction with the Oaonui/Ihaia Tracks.
Both options: Follow the Oaonui Track, eventually meeting the Ihaia/Brames Falls junction. Turn left here onto the Brames Falls Track and walk uphill to reach the short spur track to Waiaua Gorge Hut.
Waiaua Gorge Hut to Lake Dive Hut
Time: 7–8 hr
Distance: 10 km approx.
Return to the Brames Falls Track junction. From here you drop into the Waiaua Gorge, crossing the river and climbing the other side to meet the Taungatara Track. Here you have two options as well:
Low track: This track is often muddy and has many stream crossings. Turn right and follow the Taungatara Track 6 km through bush, until reaching the junction with the Auroa Track. Turn left and ascend the Auroa track 4 km to Lake Dive Hut.
High track: This area of track is severely eroded. Continue past the Taungatara Track along the Brames Falls Track climbing steeply. From here the route is marked by snow poles, crossing several streams before descending to the Lake Dive junction. The left fork leads to Dawson Falls (3 hr) and the right fork is a 1.5 km tramp down to Lake Dive Hut.
At this point you have two options available. The high track completes the circuit and the low track continues on to day 5.
Low track: Lake Dive to Dawson Falls and Waingongoro Hut
Time: 4–6 hr
Distance: 9 km
The Lower Lake Dive Track winds through bush and crosses many streams before eventually joining the Fanthams Peak Track. Turn right and descend to the Dawson Falls Visitor Centre. Walk down the road from the visitor centre and take the Kapuni Loop Track. Continue for 50 m into the bush before turning left and joining the Ridge Track. Walk uphill to the Waingongoro Track turnoff and turn right following this track as it descends to Waingongoro Hut.
High track: Lake Dive to Dawson Falls and North Egmont Visitor Centre
Time: 7–9 hr
Distance: 15 km
The Upper Lake Dive track climbs steeply to the junction with the Brames Falls Track. Continue right and follow the poled route through tussock below Fantham’s Peak before reaching the Fanthams Peak Track. Turn right and descend down to the car park at the Dawson Falls Visitor Centre. This is approximately the half way point.
From the car park follow the Wilkies Pools Track, joining the High Level AMC track which climbs to the Plateau car park and on over to the Maunganui ski field. Continue on the AMC across tussock slopes to the privately owned Tahurangi Lodge, with the large TV transmitter nearby. From the lodge a 4WD track leads downhill for approx 1 hr to North Egmont Visitor Centre.
Waingongoro Hut to North Egmont
Time: 6 –7 hr
Distance: 12 km
Return to the Waingongoro hut track junction, where you turn right and cross the swing bridge, following the track to the Te Popo car park. From here follow the Curtis Falls Track for 3 - 4 hr to Maketawa Hut. From here it is 1 hr 30 min tramp to North Egmont car park.
The Around the Mountain Circuit (AMC) can be accessed from several road ends in Egmont National Park, but traditionally begins at the North Egmont Roadend approximately 30 min drive from New Plymouth. Drive south on State Highway 3 to Egmont Village and turn right onto Egmont Road which will take you to North Egmont.