Once the same size and shape as Taranaki, Pouakai is now an eroded shadow of its former self. Offering great vantage points for viewing Mt Taranaki, Pouakai is a much lower summit, perhaps for those days when Mt Taranaki is out of bounds.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,400 m (4,593 ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Taranaki/Wanganui/Manawatu
Location Coordinates 39° 14′ 16″ S, 174° 0′ 52″ E
Nearest Town/s Stratford, New Plymouth
Geology Volcano
Translation a gigantic bird
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 7-9 hours (return)
Distance 17.8 km (11.1 mi)
Start/End Points Dover Rd, Mangonui Rd, or Maude Rd
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Mud, Farmland (shut any gates!), Rocky surface
Season Help.gif December to April
Sights Views, Rivers, Maori heritage , Views of Taranaki, Maori oven, Mangakotukutuku Falls.
Hazards Alpine weather, Snow, Ice, Mist


Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

There are numerous options for bagging Pouakai. There are day tramps to the trig up either Maude Track, Mangorei Track, or Dover Track.

Route Options

As well as the numerous tracks up to the Pouakai, there is also a 2-3 day loop circuit you take from the North Egmont visitor centre. Known as ‘The Pouakai Circuit’, it doesn’t officially go to the Pouakai Trig, however the summit can easily be reached as a 2 hour return detour from Pouakai Hut.


Although not as high at Mt Taranaki, Pouakai can still be victim to sudden changes in weather and foul conditions. The same care should be taken as on the slopes of Taranaki. A clear day in New Plymouth does not indicate a clear day on the mountain, and up to date information should always be obtained from one of the local information centres (DOC Stratford (06 765 5144), or Egmont Visitor Centre (06 756 0990). Even then, you need to have clothing suitable for alpine weather, and if you’re on the mountain outside of summer, you would need experience using an ice axe and crampons. White out conditions are also common, so navigational equipment and skills are recommended.

While Mt Taranaki is currently dormant (last eruption 1755), it is still a volcano, and is capable of changing it’s volcanic status in the future. You can check out GNS’s latest volcanic alert bulletins here.

Height Profile