Before I moved to New Zealand I only knew it’s stunning landscapes from pictures in books or from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. I snapped this pic while travelling from Auckland to Wellington when I had been given a window seat. I would have missed this stunning sight as my normal preference is an aisle seat. After being rewarded with this view of Mt Taranaki early in the morning on a clear day, I think I will have to change my flight seating preference to a window seat.
According to my research Mt Taranaki, which stands at 2518 meters, is one of the most symmetrical volcanoes in the world. Captain Cook named it Mt Egmont, after the First Lord of the Admiralty – John Percival (2nd Earl of Egmont). For many centuries the mountain was called Taranaki by Māori. The Māori word tara means mountain peak, and naki is thought to come from ngaki, meaning “shining”, a reference to the snow-clad winter nature of the upper slopes.
Some interesting trivia on Mt Taraknaki is that because of its similarity to Mt Fuji in Japan it is often used as a substitute, such as in the Tom Cruise film The Last Samurai.
I am excited to explore more of New Zealand’s stunning mountains.
UPDATE – After flying over Taranaki, I did visit the region and traveled around the mountain to see it from all vantage points. It is truly a wonder not to be missed on the North Island of New Zealand.