Michael A. Stecker


Mount Egmont (aka: Mt. Taranaki) on New Zealand's North Island
Mt. Egmont began forming about 70,000 years ago and aquired its present cone shape about 35,000 years ago.  Hill formation started about 25,000 years ago when the northern part of the cone collapsed, generating volcanic deposits called lahars over 75 square miles to a depth of at least 100 feet.  A second major cone collapse and associated lahar arose between 16,100 and 6,970 years ago adding to the hilly terrain in this region.  Egmont has erupted at least eight times in the last 6,000 years. Most of these eruptions have been explosive and from the central vent, however, two flank eruptions produced Fanthams Peak and Southern Beehive about 1,300 years ago. The last eruption of Egmont was in 1755.
Egmont National Park, near the town of New Plymouth, encompasses Mount Taranaki: New Zealand's most perfectly symmetrical volcano. The walks in this park extend from black sand beaches to lowland rainforest, alpine herb fields and snow and ice fields.