This is Mount Taranaki (aka Mount Egmont), one of the most symmetrical volcanoes in the world. Taranaki was so named by the indigenous Maori people and roughly translated means “shining peak” (www.gns.cri.nz). At 8,261′ the mountain towers above the rest of the western edge of New Zealand’s North Island, which mostly sits at or near sea level.
I took this image from Lake Managamahoe which lies to the east of the city of New Plymouth and north of the mountain. The lake was teeming with water fowl, mostly comprised of geese and ducks. The ducks had the most peculiar sinister quack. It sounded like a maniacal madman chuckling over his latest scheme for world domination (and my wife completely lost it every time they quacked). It was hysterical. This was a beautiful way to finish out our first day in New Plymouth.
This lake is one of the best vantage points of the volcano. Perhaps the only one better is Pouakai Tarn, which takes a much larger commitment to arrive at. We did undertake the climb the next morning, but that is another story for another time. If I ever return, I intend to summit this peak… we just didn’t have enough time this time around.