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Taranaki In the Maori language, Taranaki means 'Gliding Peak', a name that reflects the legend of how the mountain came to its present location. The story is Taranaki once lived with the North Island's other great volcanoes (Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe) but was banished for falling in love with Tongariro's wife, a smaller volcano called Pihanga. Taranaki went west towards the setting sun and carved out the Whanganui River as he went.
Create wonderful memories in Taranaki - on the mountain, in the water, exploring gardens or viewing the invigorating art. This is a lush, beautiful region of vivid greenery and spectacular beaches on the North Island's west coast. It is situated halfway between Auckland and Wellington. Mount Taranaki, a wonderfully, dramatic volcanic cone with a snowy top, looms over the region. It is the second highest mountain in the North Island. The mountain is a spiritual and physical force and is the source of over 50 rivers and streams, and the subject of many stories and legends. In 1642, exlorer Abel Tasman said it was "the noblest hill I’ve ever seen". The main centre of the Taranaki region is the city of New Plymouth, which has been voted the "Top City" in New Zealand. Taranaki is situated on the west coast of the North Island, surrounding the volcanic peak. The large bays north-west and south-west of Cape Egmont are named the North Taranaki Bight and the South Taranaki Bight.. Mount Taranaki, a near-perfect cone, last erupted in the mid-18th century. The mountain and its immediate surrounds form Egmont National Park. Although Māori had called the mountain Taranaki for many centuries, Captain James Cook re-named it Egmont after the Earl of Egmont the recently retired First Lord of the Admiralty who had encouraged his expedition. That name appeared on maps until the 1980s when it was ruled the official name was to be either "Mount Taranaki or Mount Egmont".